Buongiorno Italia

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Back in the mid to late 1990s I visited Italy quite a bit, usually going twice a year, once for the carnival and once in the summer. I initially would take my 35mm SLR film camera, but in later years replaced this with the first HP PhotoSmart Camera. These images are from my 35mm camera, which were developed and then scanned into the computer.

On many of those visits I went to Venice, but I have very few photographs of that place from my 35mm collection, though I have some digital ones from the PhotoSmart camera. I really liked Venice and though it was full of tourists, one of the advantages of having a friend who was  a local, was finding those really nice places for coffee, cake and pasta, that were frequented by locals. So yes you could spend €4 for a coffee in St Marks Square, the places we went to, you paid €1 for an espresso.  This photograph is one of the Grand Canal.

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The local restaurant in Venice we went to, was more of a cafe then a restaurant, but served some delicious food, the seafood pasta I had was great with clams, prawns, squid and lobster.

Another place in the area I visited was Verona.

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This is Piazza Bra in the heart of Verona.

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This is the Arena di Verona, which is a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra in Verona. Back in Roman times, nearly 30,000 people could sit inside, despite its age, today 15,000 people can sit inside.

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The one place where I spent most of my time when visiting Italy was Padua.

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An early morning walk with the mist slow rising before the hot summer day.

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Interestingly from a technical perspective, the prints from those trips are still with me (in a box) however the original digital images seemed to have gone missing, they were probably backed up to a series of floppy disks that I discarded many years ago when moving house (this was in the days before cloud storage became ubiquitous and a quick and easy way to backup and store digital photographs). What I do remember from those images was how awful the quality was, 0.3MP or similar if I recall correctly.

Out and about in the Lake District in 1998

Following on from my last blog post, here are the final pictures from that Lake District trip. It was rather cold up there and every so often you would see something that reminded you of this, this frozen waterfall is a good example.

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I loved how this bridge was more than just stones as the local fauna dover the sides, making it look like a living bridge.

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This is one of those images that has uses for presentations that talk about barriers. It was used to keep the sheep in the field…

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One thing you find a lot of in the Lake District are sheep!

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Some more holiday pics from Normandy.

Honfleur

I’ve already published some blog posts about a trip I took to Normandy in the 1990s. In the first I talked about Honfleur and the second was on Caen. Here are the remaining pictures. Back then of course I was using film in my 35mm SLR, which I was quite conservative about the number of photographs I would take and in some cases there would also be prints with the little stickers that the developers would place on those underexposed, blurred images that I would occasionally take.

There was something quite special (as well as quite annoying) in taking photographs with film and then once you had handed it into Boots (or similar place) and then a few days later, collected your prints in the wallet, leafing through them as you walked through the town to see how they turned out. We seemed to have less coffee shops back then too, otherwise I am sure I would have sat down in one of those, ordered a coffee and looked over the photographs. These images, looking at the “box” they came in, were sent off for developing and the postman would have delivered them to the house. In today’s digital world, I now take substantially more images (as I did on a recent visit to London) and there is more instant gratification, as you see them on the small screen on the back of the camera (or phone); or as you load them onto the computer or laptop.

The first stop of the trip was arriving into Ouistreham, it serves as the port of the city of Caen. We had undertaken an overnight trip to France and this was the early morning arival at the port.

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As well as serving large ferries, many sailboats also are moored in Ouistreham, used for cruising up and down the Normandy coast.

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Of course with no GPS, I have no idea where the following images were taken. I remember stopping at a cafe for coffee and a croissant for breakfast. Knowing the journey we took from Ouistreham to Honfleur, before driving back to Caen, I would guess this was Cabourg, but could be Houlgate, or somewhere different. I did take a quick look at Google Maps and Streetview, but to be honest there was so much to look through I didn’t think it was worth the effort.

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I do think that this final shot is Honfleur, but I could be wrong…

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Looking back over these old photographs, makes me realise how much I enjoyed visiting Normandy back then, so I think I might start planning a return visit soon.

Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle

I have taken quite a few photographs of Ludlow Castle, but I have never actually visited the castle itself.

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These were taken back in 2000 (or possibly earlier).

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Click the images for larger versions.

Caen in Normandy

In the late 1990s I made a weekend trip to Normandy, and we stayed in Caen having first visited Honfleur. On this trip I had taken my relatively new at the time, 35mm SLR and took some photographs.

All down the Normandy coast are marinas full of boats, this appears to be very much part of the culture of the place, but also they welcome hordes of visiting sailing boats from the south of England, as well as Spanish, Belgian and Dutch seafarers.

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One of my overwhelming memories of that trip was a visit to the local market in Cane and the smell of tomatoes. You could smell them from some distance away from the stall.

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Even today I have never found an English market come close to those that I found in Normandy on that trip. Certaiinly the Italian markets I visited at the same kind of time were similar, full of fresh produce.

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There were things there that you would never find in the British markets (or supermarkets) at the time, but things have changed.

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I wonder if these markets still exist?

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I remember at the time noticing this jeep like car, only later did I know it was a Citroën Méhari.

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The Citroën Méhari is a light utility car and off-roader produced by the French automaker Citroën, a variant of the Citroën 2CV. nearly 150,000 Méharis were built between the car’s French launch in May 1968 and 1988 when production stopped. This means that this car was at least ten years old, but may have been even older. In case you didn’t know a méhari is a type of fast-running dromedary camel, which can be used for racing or transport.