Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hotel de Ville de Paris viewed from the BHV

Today was a grey rainy day, not a day for a street photographer. Finally I could get to one of the BHV terrace (department stores) that is one side of the Hotel de Ville de Paris. (town hall)

Monday, December 10, 2012

A long weekend in Amsterdam

Weekend in Amsterdam (link, enlace, lien, Click)
With a december cold changing weather, rain, snow, some sunny breaks, we enjoyed very much this great city.

Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands with a population of 820,256 within city limits. Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age. During that time, the city was the leading center for finance and diamonds.
Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, has been called the "Venice of the North" for its more than one hundred kilometres of canals, about 90 islands and 1,500 bridges.
Weekend in Amsterdam (link, enlace, lien, Click)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bernard's Travels: Park Juan Carlos I

Walk in Juan Carlos I park (link) A cloudy Sunday walk in the beautiful park Juan Carlos I, in Madrid, 2 kms away from my home. Enjoy...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Park Juan Carlos I

A cloudy Sunday walk in the beautiful park Juan Carlos I, in Madrid, 2 kms away from my home.
Un dominical paseo de otoño en el precioso parque Juan Carlos Primero de Madrid.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekend with AEAC part 4 end.

Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (link)

The Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa, known in Arab history as the Battle of Al-Uqab (معركة العقاب), took place on 16 July 1212 and was an important turning point in the Reconquista and in the medieval history of Spain.The forces of King Alfonso VIII of Castile were joined by the armies of his Christian rivals, Sancho VII of Navarre, Pedro II of Aragon and Afonso II of Portugal in battle against the Almohad rulers of the southern half of the Iberian Peninsula. The Caliph al-Nasir (Miramamolín in the Spanish chronicles) led the Almohad army, made up of people from the whole Almohad empire.
Alfonso crossed the mountain range that defended the Almohad camp, sneaking through the Despeñaperros Pass, being led by a local shepherd that knew the area. The Christian coalition caught the Moorish army at camp almost by surprise.
The crushing defeat of the Almohads significantly hastened their decline both in the Iberian Peninsula and in the Maghreb a decade later.
This is a very simple resume of the facts please check appropriate sources, thanks.

Weekend with AEAC part 3

Caracuel Castle (link)

castillo of Caracuel is a military castle, originally built by the Muslims from the IX century in successive periods. It is located to the municipality of Corral de la Calatrava in the province of Ciudad Real, Spain. In 1085 the Muslims lost the city of Toledo and as a consequence Caracuel became momentarily property of the king Alfonso VII. Few years later though in 1091 it was included in the dowry of the Muslim princess Zaida! Lost and reconquered many times the castle of Caracuel became property of the brotherhood after the battle of Las Navas of Tolosas. (see part 4)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekend with AEAC part 2

Calatrava La Nueva (link)

Calatrava la Nueva (Sacro-convento Castillo de Calatrava la Nueva) is a medieval castle and convent situated on the high hill across the valley of Alacranejo, within the municipality of Aldea del Rey, near Almagro, in the province of Ciudad Real, Spain.
Looking for a convenient location for a new headquarters the Brotherhood of Calatrava, a group of warrior monks whose aim was to drive the Muslims from the Spanish peninsula built Calatrava La Nueva. They moved in 1217
The castle was both a defensive structure as well as a monastery.
Thus, the original site became known as "Calatrava la Vieja" ("Old Calatrava") and the new site as Calatrava la Nueva (“New Calatrava”).
Across the valley on the opposite hill is another castle called Salvatierra, originally constructed in the 10th century by the Moors on the site of a Roman fort. (today privately owned.)
Confiscated by King Joseph (1808), re-established by Ferdinand VII at the Restoration (1814), the possessions of Calatrava were finally dissipated in the general secularization of 1838.The castle survived until then as such.


Weekend with AEAC (Asociación Española de los Amigos de los Castillos) Part 1

Calatrava la Vieja (link)

The reason behind the travel was the VIII century anniversary of the battle of Las Navas of Tolosa a key milestone in the history of Spain, our final destination on Sunday. Saturday we stopped at some other Castles related to the history of it. So let's stop first at Calatrava la Vieja, located in the village of Carrión de Calatrava, in Ciudad Real province.

Calatrava la Vieja (formerly just Calatrava) is a medieval site and original nucleus of the Order of Calatrava Knights. Calatrava during the High Middle Ages was the only important city in the Guadiana River valley. It thus guarded the roads to Córdoba and Toledo.
Its name is derived from the Arabic Qal'at Rabāḥ قلعة رباح ("fortress of Rabah"), a reference to the Moorish nobleman who held this area in the 8th century.
In 1147, Calatrava was conquered by Alfonso VII, becoming one of the farthest Christian outposts during this stage of the reconquista. A The castle was placed under the protection of the Templar Knights, but this proved unsatisfactory, and Sancho III of Castile made an offer: he would grant the town and fortress of Calatrava to anyone who promised to defend it from the Moors. The Calatrava Knights replaced the Templar Knights.
In 1217, the Order of Calatrava moved to Calatrava la Nueva (castle of Dueñas), 60 km to the south. Thus, the original site became known as "Calatrava la Vieja" ("Old Calatrava").
Calatrava la Vieja remained the center of the royal land grant, but it was completely abandoned by the early fifteenth century, when the Knight Commander of Calatrava moved his residence to Calatrava la Nueva. This is a too short resume introduction of the castle history. Please visit Wikipedia or refer to the appropriate books for the complete information.
Click to link above to open the slideshow
end of part 1#

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bernard's Travels: Saint-Malo Walled city

Bernard's Travels: Saint-Malo Walled city: From the Walls of Saint-Malo Saint-Malo the famous granite city, is a walled port city in Brittany in northwestern France on the Englis...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Château de la Loire Chenonceau

We spent 2 and half days in the Châteaux de la Loire ending on Monday Morning in château de Chenonceau under a grey and rainy day early morning. More pictures to come on the Châteaux de la Loire.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Visit at the Mont Saint-Michel

We left Paris with a weather forecast that was assuring us of sunny sky. Well was not accurate at all. We visited the Mont Saint-Michel under a grey sky unfortunately.

Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island and a commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre off the country's north-western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. The population of the island is 44. The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times, and since the 8th century AD been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name. The Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay are part of the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. More than 3,000,000 people visit it each year.

Tidal island Mont Saint-Michel was previously connected to the mainland via a tidal causeway. This connection has been altered over the centuries. In 1879, the tidal causeway was converted into a raised or dry causeway. This prevented the tide from scouring the silt around the mount.
On 16 June 2006, the French prime minister and regional authorities announced a €164 million project to build a hydraulic dam using the waters of the river Couesnon and of tides to help remove the accumulated silt deposited by the rising tides, and to make Mont-Saint-Michel an island again. It was projected to be completed by 2015.
The construction of the dam began in 2009 and is now complete. The project also included the removal of the causeway and its visitors car-park. It will be replaced by a light bridge, allowing the waters to flow freely around the island, which will improve the efficiency of the now operational dam.
Bonne visite.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Un petit tour dans Paris

Along the river click on the link

Flame of Liberty and Death of Diana, Princess of Wales

La Flamme de la Liberté or Flame of Liberty (an adaptation of the Statue of Liberty in New York) has become the non official memorial of Diana princess of Wales. (Official memorial of Princess in the garden of Le Marais district.)
Yesterday Friday 31st of August was the 15th anniversary of the tragic accident of Lady Diana. Believe it or not Flame of Liberty was still full of people coming from everywhere to remember her memory.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fort La Latte

Fort-la-Latte or Castle of La Latte is a castle located about 4 km southeast of Cap Fréhel and about 35 km west of Saint-Malo, Côtes-d'Armor, Brittany, France. This impressive castle was built on a small piece of land at the Baie de la Fresnaye in the 13th century.
The house of the mighty Goyon-Matignon built at this sit a castle in the 13th century. In the year 1379 it was conquered by Bertrand du Guesclin. It was besieged by the English in 1490 and by the holy League in 1597. Garangeau under the reign of Louis XIV turned it into a fortress, using Vauban's building plans. They used canon batteries, stationed in Fort La Latte, to defend Saint-Malo against English and Dutch attacks. In the year 1793, a melting furnace for cannon balls was built and some counter-revolutionary suspects were imprisoned at Fort la Latte. The last attack happened in 1815 during the Hundred Days (French Cent-Jours) (also known as the Waterloo Campaign, it describes Napoleons return to power between 20 March 1815 to 28 June 1815), when a few men from Saint-Malo unsuccessfully attacked the castle.
Various films have been shot at this site, including The Vikings (1958 by Richard Fleischer) with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis.

Saint-Malo Walled city

Saint-Malo the famous granite city, is a walled port city in Brittany in northwestern France on the English Channel. Saint-Malo became notorious as the home of the corsairs, French privateers and sometimes pirates. (The "corsair" activities started in the Middle Ages)
The corsairs of Saint-Malo not only forced English ships passing up the Channel to pay tribute, but also brought wealth from further afield. Jacques Cartier, who sailed the Saint Lawrence River and visited the sites of Quebec City and Montreal – and is thus credited as the discoverer of Canada, lived in and sailed from Saint-Malo, as did the first colonists to settle the Falklands – hence the islands' French name Îles Malouines, which gave rise to the Spanish name Islas Malvinas.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

2012 America's Cup Newport

2012 America's Cup Newport - 1st part
From Boston to Newport Rhode Island.
Our good friends Nancy and Jeff said we were invited to Newport to join not only their resident friends Diane and Rob but as well Karen and John who were sailing there to watch the 2012 America's Cup. What a great opportunity! What a wonderful day it's been! Thanks to all of you folks for having us and sharing this day. We'll certainly not forget. Looking forward to seeing all you on the other side of the pond soon.
Regards. Bernard and Elena.
Watch my photographs that try to recreate the ambiance of the first half of the day.
Please click on the link above.
Coming soon 2nd part of the day.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New York City High Line

Monday July 9th we took a walk to the second section of the High Line that opened in June 7 2011. In November 2010 we had discovered the southernmost section, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, opened as a city park on June 8, 2009 thanks to our friend Ray.
The High Line is a 1-mile New York City linear park built on a 1.45-mile section of the former elevated New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line, which runs along the lower west side of Manhattan; it has been redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway. The High Line Park currently runs from Gansevoort Street, three blocks below West 14th Street, in the Meatpacking District, up to 30th Street, through the neighborhood of Chelsea to the West Side Yard, near the Javits Convention Center.
The recycling of the railway into an urban park has spurred real estate development in the neighborhoods which lie along the line.
The photographs of my reportage intend to show you the trail through my lens. In a very short period of time some of those pics will be history I believe!
PS: for more on the High Line see Wikipedia at:
Or visit the official website at:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Baron Philippe de Rothschild visit

In April 2008 my good friend DeWitt invited me to go with him for a Bordeaux Tour organized by his brother Ed Cook, Director of Wine and Beer for Harris Teeter. We had a great four day visit in many well known Bordeaux winery estates.
Today I would like to share with you a few images of the Baron Philippe de Rothschild S.A. visit which ended by a wonderful lunch in a Rotisserie in the Pauillac village.
Baron Philippe de Rothschild S.A. is a family company located in the village of Pauillac, in the Médoc, 50 kms from Bordeaux. The history of the domaine before the 18th century is rather murky.
The first date known could be with Nicolas-Alexandre de Ségur, in 1718. Joseph de Brane, purchased the seigneurie of the Barony of Mouton from the Ségur family in 1720
In 1853, Thuret the owner of the land sold the estate to a member of the Rothschild banking family. Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild.
Finally it is Philippe de Rothschild son of Henri Rothschild, in 1922 that took interest in the property. Under his leadership the great changes began at Mouton.
Premium wines are: Château Mouton Rothschild, Château clerc Milon, Château d'Armailhac, Opus One, Almaviva, Domaine de Baron'arques.
Branded Wines: Most known Mouton Cadet and many others please visit Baron Philippe Rothschild website at :
Baroness Philippine Mathilde Camille de Rothschild (born in Paris 22 November 1933) is nowaday the owner of the French winery Château Mouton Rothschild.
One more word of interest in those few lines is the one regarding the labels. Baron Philippe de Rothschild came up with the idea of having each year's label designed by a famous artist of the day. In 1946, this became a permanent and significant aspect of the Mouton image with labels created by some of the world's great painters and sculptors. The only exception to date is the unusual gold-enamel bottle for 2000.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bernard's Travels: A Sunday with my photographer's friend Ali in Pari...

A Sunday with my photographer's friend Ali in Paris.

A Sunday with my photographer's friend Ali in Paris. Ali is a very passionate and talented photographer. Ali also takes the highest risks to shoot whatever he has to bring back for his clients.
Please visit Ali's work at his website.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

our week in Madeira

Is Madeira the paradise on earth? The island has the hallmark of subtropics, from blue sea costs to green mountains you get it all in few kilometers. The island is small, 57 km x 22 km, the two highest points are around 1800 meters above sea level .
So you may ask, from a photographer point of view? It is indeed a landscape seascape paradise. But Madeira doesn't give up herself easily though. Roads are generally good but as soon as you leave the cost's highways, be prepared to climb abruptly by very windy roads where stopping is not easy. The marvelous landscapes are most of the time for your eyes only. (except of course if you are prepare to walk). Although there many trails, not always well marked, they aren't generally, as a photographer stand point, where you would like them to be. A good advice if a week is all you have, make a lot of research on what you want to see and shoot and be ready to ask for local advice at your arrival.
Paradise I said, so this applies to the weather right? People living in Madeira will tell you that it is the most perfect weather in the world. Never cold never too hot. 24ºC during the summer, 17ºC in winter time (average). Not quite, if Madeira is so green is for good reasons.Clouds are omnipresent and bring a fair among of rain. Wind can be very strong. Summarizing: The island is full of small microclimates. One day crossing the national park, we left the cost with 21º and up there we got as low as 5ºC, the fog was so thick that for 20 kilometers, we could hardly see the front of our car. One last word, although we had recent guide books we found difficult to find so some of the things describe. As an example, we were looking for the colorful fisherman boats, in vain. The photograph below is the only boat we could find and I had to fight hard to find a way to isolate it from place where it was parked! 
Below few photos that will give you an overview of Madeira Island.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

India October 2011

It's been a fabulous journey through the north of India, mostly Rajasthan.
Click on each day below to see the day to day reportage.
day 1       day 2           day 3     day 4     day 5     day 6     day 7     day 8    day 9   day 10

day 10-2    day 11   day 12   day 13   day 14   day 14-2    day 15   day 16   day 16-2