Thursday, October 31, 2013

Dinner in Amiens

 Most restaurants these days even in Paris are mostly fast food ones. The family run places are few and far between. Those that still exists gets very crowded. It was no different here, a little place next door to my hotel.
 Its becoming very popular, nectar of rhubarb, it is very delicious, nice, sweet and bubbly.
 This is the area to eat oysters and I had some as a starter.
Pork in cream sauce, this is Haut Normandie, land of butter, cream, camembert and Calvados.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Autumn 2013

 Visions of fall, a very red Bartlett pear.
 Ripe apples in the orchard at Giverny, Monet's home and garden. There were a lot of windfall, I picked some to eat. I've always wanted to be in an apple orchard.
I love blackberry brambles, to photograph them. I haven't seen  much that excited me because they are so few and far between.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Amiens cathedral

The cathedral of our lady in Amiens is an Unesco world heritage . It was built between 1220 and 1270. It has one of the most beautiful facade. I sat in front of it that first evening in Amiens and started to sketch it. I made a good drawing even though it has such complicated details. After that study I went on to sketch all the other churches I visited. Such fussy details doesn't intimidate me anymore.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lille again

I didn't think I'd ever be in Lille again. I spent a day there a few years ago. This trip, when I landed in Charles de Galle airport, Paris, I asked the SNCF personnel that I want to go to Amiens. She wrote ame a ticket that would take me to Lille and then transfer to a local train for Amiens. Of all the airports I've been in CDG Paris is one of the most impressive. There is a TGV station there and the TGV trains can take to the major cities real fast. This was the TGV that I took to Lille, spent 2 hours hanging out and then on to a regional train for Amiens. I was in Amiens in the late afternoon to start the first leg of my trip.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Back to work

I'm trying to ease my way back to regular life. its hard with visions of dreamy French villages dancing in my head. I'll try.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I'm home again

I have just landed and will continue posting pretty soon.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Time for a little break

I'm off to Paris for a short break.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday, a day of prayers and worship

Whatever your belief is, its always time for prayers and worship. Picture depicts old prayer flags strewn on the hillside in Litang, Sichuan province, China. Here is the Tibetan world of China where Tibetans outnumber Han Chinese.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

An old house

Pingle still has some old dwellings. These are a rare occurence in China where the old is rapidly making way for the new. Home owners are being forced out. Some will come home to have their house demolished without them knowing it. It was quite a pleasant surprise.

Friday, October 11, 2013


 Dan dan mein or noodles on a pole. Sichuan province is famous for its cuisine. Its cuisine is hot with chilli peppers and peppercorns.

 Little fish from the river.
We didn't care for Sichuan cuisine, its too spicy and too hot. Our heritage is Southern China where the food is milder. We hate Sichuan peppercorns, its a special pepper found only in Sichuan province. It grows on little schrubs and all over the region we see people harvesting it.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A river runs through it

 Pingle, by the river, is a pretty place.

 They have these kind of dykes at various parts of the river to control the flow and allow the locals to play in the river.

Chengdu is landlocked and the only water the residents see are the rivers and the lakes. I don't know what that is like. I've always lived by the sea or the ocean. Growing up in Borneo we lived by the sea and here I live by the Pacific ocean.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013


 Pingle, an ancient village 2 hours by bus outside of Chengdu. The kids didn't come with me, they went shopping in Downtown Chengdu. I took the bus by myself.
 The thousand year old Bunyan tree.
 A river runs through it and there are bridges that connect the two banks. There were lots of local visitors milling around.

 These are the fishes that eat your dead skin and supposedly will slough off the dead skin on you legs and feet. I didn't try it but they were everywhere.
 Have you read of the story of a Chinese man who immersed his lower torso into the fishes and one of them swam up his penis? He had to be operated on to get the fish out which by this time was dead.
 Chinese women likes to play dress up for pictures.
Supposedly you buy a red ribbon with your wishes and hang them here so that the wish will come true.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The Butterfly museum

At another corner of the Panda station is the musuem of butterflies. I've never seen so many dead butterflies in one place before.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Swan lake

 The Panda station encompasses a huge area. To one end is this huge lake where Koi fish and swans live harmoniously.

The Chinese kids were enthralled with feeding both fish and swans.