Welcome to a week mostly in France, just south of the Dordogne. I should have introduced it last week as we arrived on the Saturday but anyway ….. we hunted online for a cottage (I should say gite as it was France) and found Peyrenègre which was absolutely lovely. Situated among orchards (these were plums) and sunflower fields it was amazingly peaceful (Monday / Tuesday’s pics) and thanks to a combination of lovely accommodation, the pool, hot tub and lovely countryside along with very friendly owners we will be going back when we can.
So … back to the trees – it’s interesting how they’re set up in the orchards – the walnut groves were a little too far for me to walk so I stuck to the plums and depending on if you looked down the diagonal (as shot here) or square on you had really quite different light/shade contrasts. It was fun.
Tuesday I just liked the bright sunflowers against the cloudy sky. 10 minutes later it was sunny again (yay).
I had mentioned in my previous post that I’d had a little trouble with my shiny new flash and in the middle of the week we’d planned on visiting one of the fairly famous caves in the region with cave paintings of mammoths and such like (it was supposed to rain all day so we thought we may as well go underground). This proved the incentive to finally figure out why when the flash was connected and turned on, I still could not activate it as the option was greyed out on my X-Pro1. Well …. thanks to the wonders of the interweb and users forums, I discovered that you need to not have the camera in silent mode. I switched on the annoying beeps and lo and behold, my flash works – woohoo!
However, we then called the caves to find out that lots of people had thought the same thing and were visiting the caves due to the inclement weather. It turned out, we’d not got up early enough and they were fully booked for the day (this was a conversation held by me in French which must have been very painful for the helpful person at the end of the telephone) so we went to a fascinating place called Saint Emillion instead. It was stunning (and not raining) in terms of architecture and if you’re a wine aficionado you’ll have a great time here. If you like photography then there are some amazing things to try and capture as well … I did like the 17th / 18th century graffiti in sandstone.
The following morning (why was I waking up before 6am on holiday?) we had a pretty sunrise. Shame about the high voltage wires but I liked the sky.
Friday was our other “day out” and we visited a different wine region. This one is just south of Bergerac and it’s quite interesting as they’ve created a co-operative winery. Anyway, Monbazillac has an interesting chateaux and in the basement they have an “example” collection of 7000 bottles of wine for you to get an idea of what a wine cellar really looks like. The bottles fill 3 sides of a small room …. that much wine should not fit into that small a space!
The lighting was interesting and it was fun trying to balance a fast enough shutter and depth of field (playing with ISO / Aperture) without a tripod to get an interesting image without it being grainy. This was my favourite angle. I’m sneaking in a second photograph from the same day here ….. these bugs were all over the rose bushes in the chateaux gardens …. I just liked the patterns and they looked like tiki masks.
The final day in France for me was a trip to Bergerac airport and then flying back – I was leaving the family to go do very little in Scotland for a week while the rest went camping (at 7 months pregnant, it’s not something I was considering an option this year). I found this interesting (to me) bracket fungus so it had to be snapped.
Back in Scotland, we had this visitor to our accommodation – unfortunately she was slightly wary and this was at the limit of my zoom lens but she graced us with her presence for about 20 minutes which was lovely.