CB&WPC: French Roads in Black & White

The theme of Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week is roads.

All these photos were taken on our trip to Normandy, France last June.

Roll out the red carpet in Cabourg’s touristy center, lined with restaurants and shops.
20190616_192131 (2)
Entering Cabourg
20190616_191919 (2)
Village in Normandy between Arromanches & Caen
20190617_150919 (2)
20190618_121328 (2)
Mont St.-Michel
20190618_213912 (2)
Looking down on the causeway from the abbey at the top of Mont St.-Michel
20190619_111849 (2)
Approaching Pegasus Bridge
20190621_104839 (2)

Lens-Artists #84: Narrow Passageways

Amy at Lens-Artists this week invites us to explore the topic of narrow.

In my travels to “old” places – places built when there were no cars or crowds of tourists -I explored (or declined to explore) many narrow streets and other passageways.

Places like Old Town Tallinn, Estonia (where I got lost due to sidewalks and streets so narrow that I lost sight of our guide!)…
KODAK Digital Still Camera
A van that is nearly as wide as this street in Old Town forces all pedestrians to the narrow sidewalk on the left.100_0371
There were also narrow witches!
KODAK Digital Still Camera
In Stockholm, Sweden, I tried to imagine returning home to one of these narrow alleys on a dark afternoon in winter!
KODAK Digital Still Camera
Dale ends our bike ride through Stockholm coasting down a narrow cobblestone street.
Stockholm, like many European countries, also has tall, narrow buildings.
Even older is Old Jerusalem, Israel…Like elsewhere, vehicles have the right of way, squeezing pedestrians to the wall.
Some of these climbing narrow streets are divided between steps and ramps.
Watch out for motorcycles coming through!
In ancient Egypt, clearly people were smaller to fit into narrow passageways into pyramids and tombs.

Dale and a few other adventurous souls (such as this woman from our group emerging from a pyramid) did go down these narrow steps into a now empty room in the Queen’s tomb in Giza. I took one look and decided to wait outside!
Tourists descend a long narrow hallway covered with inscriptions and paintings to reach the tomb of Ramses IX in Valley of the Kings. These hieroglyphics declaim the deeds of the king during his reign, and there are also symbols of gods to accompany him to the afterlife.
At the Chateau of Caen, France, a narrow stairway leads down to…where??
On Omaha Beach, in Normandy, are the remains of WWII German bunkers, which I declined to enter, also reached through narrow passages and stairways. (I’m glad I didn’t go in – my son’s photos show empty rooms with an inch of rainwater covering the floors!)
On the way back to our Airbnb farmhouse through the Normandy countryside, we drove down the narrow roads of villages, flanked by houses on both sides.
A car in front of us navigates a sharp corner into another narrow street.DSC00482
A lot of traffic in Amsterdam travels its canals, which narrow on approach to bridges.
DSC00587Floating traffic jam!
Bridges have these traffic signals indicating when it is safe and permissible to proceed (or not!).
The day after our tour of the canals, we went to the “red light district” where we were told not to take photos of the sex workers who lived on either side of these narrow alleyways. Probably also not a good idea to photograph potential clients – good thing this one came out blurry!
In Amsterdam, we stayed in an Airbnb 2nd floor flat, with a narrow stairway winding up to it. That was one of our son’s obligations to us for paying for his trip – carry our suitcases up and down! The stairway was so narrow and windy that he had to carry the suitcases one by one in his arms!


CFFC: Vanishing Lines

These are some examples of vanishing and leading lines for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge.

Last night in downtown Mt. Prospect
Barn lines at Wild Bill Cody’s Scout’s Rest Ranch in Nebraska
On the road in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Rest stop at Rocky Mountain National Park
Roller Coaster Road near Harper’s Ferry, Iowa
Crop lines, Israel
An old, unused railroad track along the river dock, Regensburg, Germany

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Leading Lines

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #80 is about leading lines. Leading lines are one of the “rules” of composition: There are indeed “rules” of photographic composition, which like many other rules, are made to be broken. Whatever their skill level or experience though, understanding and knowing when to use the “rules” of composition can be helpful for any photographer. This week, our challenge will explore a key compositional element, Leading Lines. …Leading lines carry our eye through a photograph. They help to tell a story, to place emphasis, and to draw a connection between objects. They create a visual journey from one part of an image to another and can be helpful for creating depth as well.

This is how I spent the last two Junes, 2018 and 2019.

Our road trip (mostly) on Route 66: Sedona and Winslow, AZ
We visited the Painted Desert, too: first, horizontal lines.
Undulating formations which slope downward.
In Santa Fe, colorful pillars…
and a souvenir shop with paintings lined up along a counter.DSC_0626
When on Route 66, here’s a sight not to miss: Cadillac Ranch. It had rained the night before.

A year later, we were on a river cruise in Europe. One of the first ports of call was Cologne, Germany with its famed cathedral, with stained glass windows reaching toward heaven…
…and soaring arches decorated with sculptures of saints.
Later we crossed the bridge to return to our ship. The inner side of the bridge is covered with “love locks” – padlocks people leave in honor of their sweethearts. They stretch on as far as the eye can see!
Next stop was Marksburg Castle, which afforded beautiful views of the Rhein River and town below (I wish I could photoshop that pole out, but I don’t have the software).
And here’s a different view: a steeple rises up as seen through a turret.
Marksburg is definitely a “must” on any Rhine River cruise. It’s like a fairy tale castle!
Farther on down the river, a swan swam over near our ship.
We were passing through a lowland area.
I loved the small town of Miltenberg, which was so picturesque!
Inside a church, hymnals were stacked neatly in the narthex. One is drawn to the word Gotteslob, which perhaps means hymnal.
Our final stop on the cruise was Budapest, Hungary. A memorable part of the day we were there was a walking tour through the old Jewish Quarter.


Which Way Challenge: Roller Coaster Road

There is a road into the small town of Harpers Ferry, Iowa that is referred to as the “roller coaster road.” I heard about it from another tourist in Iowa last week. We decided to take it.
The roller coaster road is a gravel road, but like most Iowa gravel roads, is in good condition and easy to drive (however, your car will get dusty!).  It is called “roller coaster” because of its series of hills, one after another – the kind that as a kid, I used to say gave me “butterflies in my tummy.”20180929_175921
As you can see, it is a rural area, surrounded by farms and cornfields.
Posted for: SonofaBeach96 Which Way Photo Challenge (which was kindly taken over from Cee!).


Photo for the Week: Mountain Country Roads

Bren at Ryan Photography has a weekly challenge “Photo for the Week” and this week the theme is country roads. I decided to focus on country roads in the mountains from our trip out west and on Route 66 in May/June.


The switchbacks in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, can be treacherous!


Mountain pass on the way to Kingman, Arizona


On route to Kingman



Sometimes you have to brake for donkeys! – near Oatman, Arizona


A road winds through the formations in the Painted Desert in Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona


Tuesday Photo Challenge: Winding & Windy

Frank Jansen at Dutch Goes the Photo has a Tuesday Photo Challenge. This week the topic is wind. Depending on how it’s pronounced it’s either a noun or a verb. Here are a few of each.

Glacier winding down a mountain at Glacier Bay National Park, AlaskaKODAK Digital Still CameraAt Glacier Bay National Park, a steward came around with split pea soup on a tray and handed it out to grateful passengers. It was so windy on the deck that the steward’s tray almost got blown away and he had to hold it with two hands!The steward holds on tight to the tray of soup.Here you can see that it’s windy by my blowing hair.
Fast forward to this year:  On our recent road trip, we went to Rocky Mountain National Park near Denver, Colorado. We went up a very winding road, with a lot of switchbacks.
Note the road sign on the far left.
We saw winding mountain streams…
…and a rushing waterfall that winds its way through descending cliffs.


Adams Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park

At Hotel Donaldson in Fargo, North Dakota, they provide free wine and appetizers every evening in the lobby. We stayed two nights there last year, so you could say we were wined and dined at the hotel, to use a homophone! 🙂

Getting Our Kicks in Kingman, Arizona (Route 66 Day 3, Pt. 1)

June 8, 2018

We stayed overnight on the 7th at a Best Western in Kingman, Arizona. There are actually two Best Westerns in Kingman, only a short distance apart.

In Kingman is the Kingman Powerhouse Visitor Center, at 120 W. Andy Devine Ave. (which is also Route 66).  The building, built between 1907 and 1911, was operated by the Desert Power & Light Company and besides powering local mining operations, also supplied power for the construction of Hoover Dam, until the Dam began producing cheaper hydroelectric power in the late 1930’s. It was restored 60 years later when it was opened as a Visitor Center in 1997. 20180608_094732This is, in my opinion, the best of the Route 66 museums scattered along the route. It has stories, dioramas, maps, photos, old equipment and comprehensive information about Route 66 over the years. You really get the sense of what the Mother Road was to migrants, businesses, and individuals over the decades. It is worth spending an hour here.



Here you can read the story of The Great Bunion Derby. In 1928, there was a foot race on from L.A. to New York, following Route 66 as far as Chicago. Andy Payne, a 19-year-old part-Cherokee farm boy, desperately wanted to be in the race and finally persuaded his dad to get a $100 loan for the entrance fee. His 200 competitors were experienced runners from all over the world. The race started on March 4, 1928 and on May 26, 3400 miles later, Andy Payne ran to victory in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Only 55 runners finished the race! With his $25,000 prize money, Andy bought a car, drove back to Oklahoma, paid off his father’s farm mortgage, and married his high school teacher.

This diorama shows a typical migrant family traveling with all of their possessions in tow.



Follow the chapter numbers to read the history of Route 66.



Burma Shave ads became famous along the Mother Road. These ads used a series of signs alongside the road spaced at regular intervals. The messages were quirky and clever.





In the basement is a display of electric cars – and I thought they were a new phenomenon!20180608_101446



The Detroit Electric Model 60 began production in 1907.


Also in Kingman is Mr. D’s Route 66 Diner at 105 E. Andy Devine Ave., which we took photos of, but didn’t stop to have lunch there. In spite of its good reputation for burgers, it wasn’t yet 11:00 a.m. so we were not hungry and decided to drive on.20180608_103504.jpgHackberry General Store, which we also did not stop at, is 24 miles north of Kingman on Route 66. You can check out the web site linked above.

Hackberry general store.jpg

Downloaded image from Flickr

We finally did stop for lunch at the Hualapai Lodge and Tourism Center, on the Hualapai Reservation, in Peach Springs, Arizona. (There is also a Hualapai Reservation inside the Grand Canyon, but we were told their dialect and customs were somewhat different.) We ordered buffalo stew and fry bread. I also bought some beaded jewelry and socks in their gift shop.