I had trouble editing this to look “nice” so I started just blowing it out in different ways, and this is what I came up with.
This is a picture of the chateau (the ‘teeth’ of the skull) from the allee.
Hi Everyone –
We’d like to keep you guys interested even while we’re not traveling, so we’re going to post picture touch ups, videos and other pieces of travel that we have from the trip. Check back!
Azure and I have been home for a week now and I’ve been searching for the way to wrap up this trip but I just couldn’t find it. I was thinking about listing my favorite parts, but that seems petty. I was also thinking about sharing what I felt was the overarching theme of the trip, but I think you got the idea if you read the blogs.
Last year I wrote about my first reactions on arriving home and a lot of people had strong responses to that, so I think that’s how I want to do it. My first reaction:
As we were flying south toward Seattle I saw the Olympic mountains, dark and low and folded, and I remembered that Washington State has been populated for as long as Corsica has (Kennewick Man is 9,300 years old). Our place is as ancient as theirs, it’s just not as celebrated and I’ve never given it its due attention… our predecessors in the Pacific Northwest built with wood. No stones to run my hands across, no stones for new populations to wonder about or rebuild into new structures or interpret. Certainly there’s an archaeological record, but we don’t physically navigate history the way they do in Europe. Our culture hasn’t pulled ancient magic into the present the way they had on Corsica, but our landscape does suggest it. Where are those myths waiting?
Anyway, thank you for following us to Colombia and Europe this year. We’ll be back on the road in November.
I’m sure not everyone will like this, but it’s one of my faves from the batch. I wanted to create a picture that showed how I saw the Jeanne d’Arc statue with its emotional power, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it. When I saw the result I was really excited – I’m happy that I’ve learned enough technically that I can start with a picture in my head and bring it into being through the camera. Mmmmaybe I’ll brighten it a bit.
A wedding party from LA showed up yesterday so we had to tip-toe around and stay out of the chateau proper. They were playing rap in the dining hall which was evidence of a horrible disconnect. I like rap, but on your first night in a chateau? We could sense that their pace of life was different than ours had become over the course of the trip and it was grating to be around.
Whatev. I’m obviously just territorial (even though the chateau isn’t my territory).
Anyway, we arrived in London safely and are in wonderful Ellen’s wonderful apartment. We walked in and she had a chicken roasting in the oven, herb potatoes and a fennel salad waiting for us. What a welcome! Tonight we’re off to what’s been touted as the best Indian food in London. My whole body is watering at the thought.
Last night we went into the allee (it’s an alley of trees) to take some pictures from inside. Azure said that with two people there it wouldn’t be as frightening so she offered to chaperon me. When she was there it wasn’t as terrifying as it was when I’m alone, in fact it seemed a little silly to be so afraid. We took some nice pictures then started walking back toward the chateau.
I decided I wanted to take a few more pictures but I didn’t want Azure to be bored, so I said she could go back inside since we were so close to the driveway and I was over my fear. Well, that was a bad idea. She went to do some emailing and when I clicked the first shutter for a long exposure (Click, 1, 2, 3, 4….) the night started growing larger and I felt like little eyes were watching me. I heard noises like a tin can being swept in the forest and another bird took off and my heart went from 70 to 150 bpm in a flash. So I ran out of the allee and when I was finally in the open I set up for another picture. I opened the shutter and counted. I heard a noise in the forest again, but then it got really silent. There are really no good options for night in a forest. You don’t want it to be too quite nor too noisy… I was crouching down for the photo and at that moment there was a loud splash behind me that seemed to be coming at me. I turned and in a moment of completely unplanned instinctual response I literally hissed in the direction of the noise.
I thought, “ok, this shit is getting to me,” so I went back to the chateau and found Azure and we walked briskly back to our room.