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Each evening, I walk back home... Working days are long, traveling, work, traveling back home nothing really exciting. But tonight, I felt like to walk looking at the stars like if something special was there. I was thinking that we - frenetic workers - don't look enough to these beautiful stars. Stars are here every evening, but we go under them without even looking at them. We even put lights as much as we can in our streets to ignore them or to forget about them. And tonight is special night...

I've spent my childhood as much as I could in the nature, walking, biking, just enjoying being there. But the most important was the friends who were there with me, without who this nature as beautiful as she can be, would be without colors. Those friends, are the true ones, the ones who are here not only when time is clear and beautiful for you. We are used to say that you can count them on the fingers of one hand. After years and years together, it became like brotherhood, something you'll never forget whatever is coming. These friends also even saved my life once. I'm and will be grateful for them as long as I will be. Thanks to them, I am.

As we became adults, our lifes went on their own, each of us started to build their own story. Story in different countries, story with beloved ones, story with new little ones. With our "busy" lifes we see less and less each other, get news less and less. Not that we forget about each other, but just we're absorbed by many things from our busy life. "Busy" for what... We all know what... busy to put the light in the street not to see the stars...

But tonight, this bright clear and beautiful sky was telling me something. I came back home and got news that two of my stars are now up there bringing us light and beauty when the night is too dark.

Looking at the stars by vttiste

Maybe time to look more often to our stars and to avoid as much as we can this stupid busy life.

Don't wait tomorrow to be with your beloved ones and to live your own life.
  • Listening to: Peter Gabriel
  • Watching: Gandhi
Time is running so fast, I remember myself 10 years ago looking at 2000 excited and amazed to have the chance to live in this next millennium. I remember all its numerous promises of high technologies, perfect healthcare, and various huge progress in our society according to our media.
This evening we will be already 10 years after and yes probably things changed a lot in a very short time. But do things changed as we expected, like we were dreaming in our childhood, or simply as the promises were made ? I don't really know, but probably not exactly in the very right way.

Today, or daily life goes around or computer, mobile phone, car, microwave, and other modern devices. It is indisputably progress, it is without any hesitation things the most useful and practical in our modern life.

Today simple celebrations like Christmas were transformed literally in a only commercial day. Everybody expect more and more for this day, but I should rather say, everybody expect more and more material things forgetting nearly who offered the presents... probably forgetting also that this day was earlier more a human day, to put family together, to care about each other than the biggest material day of the year.

Today we run everyday to our work, we work like crazy to get of course more and more. Things to have possibility to work more, things to hide the truth of life like stupid movies in cinema, or simply new material things.

Today all religion are seen like old fashioned, something from another age, looking only on bad side like crusades, or Djihad. We just forget what everything some people did and still are doing like l'Abbé Pierre in France, or mother Teresa. In my opinion, I'm sure that if someone really believe in a religion he will never go and kill someone particularly in the name of god. It's easy to see Bush after 9/11 who was using religion as an excuse to fight against the devil (Afghasnistan with thousands and thousands of civilians killed for no reason at the end because nothing is solved after 8 years of war). Today the state religion of Occident is Materialism, and synonyms of this are : selfishness, loneliness, and pointless life.

Today no agreement were made in Copenhagen, no help will be provided to mother nature that we are destroying everyday a bit more. The objectives of the rich countries were to make a world tax, which was not supposed to solve anything (you will still need to use your car to go to your work everyday but you would have to pay for this! - and trees in Amazonia will be still cut) it was just to get another tax from the people, and to keep poor countries even poorer. The objectives of the developing countries were just not to have any constraints in their economy... Endless development, endless materialism where it's necessary to change your car, computer and mobile phone every two years, can not lead us anywhere, we have to look at the reality in front of us.

Yesterday our grandparents were -as far as I know- not unhappy despite the fact that they were not using any of our necessary things. They were spending Christmas offering each other only oranges, but had much better respect to each other, much better atmosphere and feeling during this day. They were much closer to the nature by growing their own vegetables and fruits (and not eating things which are coming from the other side of the planet everyday). They could claim true roots to their region, things that only few of us can do today (we nearly all immigrated to big town, for studies and work). They had respect and priorities in family. And probably the most important they were not blind in front of futile things which is the food of today's people. Maybe by looking only at modern things, and only on materialism we are missing something, don't we ?

My wish for 2010 is simply to get out as much as possible of this crazy circles where we all are. Live and to be satisfied by more simple things, trying to get closer to nature as well could be a good start no ?

Future is ours.
  • Listening to: Renaud
  • Reading: The secret history of the world
  • Watching: Planet Earth
  • Playing: with health
  • Drinking: Vitamins
Most of the pictures in my gallery were taken with my lovely Kodak P880. Unfortunately my camera died few months ago, and Kodak didn't want to repair, or even to have a look to it :( So I decided to buy a new camera from another trademark.

Unfortunately the filters I had for my Kodak camera doesn't fit on my brand new Canon, the diameter is different. I had 2 excellent Hoya filters : ND4 (neutral grey), and IR (infra red) in 55 mm. I took with these filters the picture with the most favourites in my gallery : Frozen. I managed with these filters to use 16sec exposure in full day light :)

Today I can't use these filters anymore, so I decided to sell them on eBay. The price for brand new Hoya filter is usually quite high particularly for infra red. So I think it could be good opportunity for you, deviant addicted :P

Hoya ND4 55mm
Hoya IR 55mm
  • Listening to: Gummy bear
  • Reading: Digital Fortress
  • Watching: The godfather
  • Eating: Light
  • Drinking: Caj
I was looking at the map for a long time already. I tried a short way close to the river Labe (or Elbe) few weeks ago, which was so beautiful. So last week I told to myself that this Saturday will be perfect time to do it. Good weather forecast, free time, all conditions were fine to make this trip, and what a trip : Kolin to Prague following the bank of the river Labe. I planned two ways : the first one around 90 km and the second one 70 km, in case of problem, or I feel not strong enough to finish. This was an rough approximation of the distance :)

- 7am : alarm clock wake me up... Quite hard to begin the first day of the week end !
- 7:50 : I start the way to the train station on bike. Prague is in the fog, the town is nearly empty. I'm going through Malostrana, Karlův most (Charle's bridge), Staromestske namesti (old town square). I think it's the first time since I'm here that I cross the town without crowd. The combination of fog and quiet atmosphere gives me feeling that I'm part of one of the many legends and myths of Prague !
- 8:30 : I take my train ticket. Surprising that they sell the ticket for people in the train station, and the tickets for bike only in the train ! There are things sometimes difficult to understand but after all why not :P
- 8:50 : I take the train. Just my luck the train is nearly empty and I don't have to fight to put my bike inside the train !
- 10:30 : I'm at Kolin ! The fog disappeared, and I start to quickly visit the town. Typical beautiful Czech square, and one really big cathedral compare to the size of this village (Czech will tell you that it's a town but for me it looks like a village). When I look at my watch, and when I look at the map, it's maybe time to really start my trip !
- 12:30 : Nimburk ! already 38km, I thought it will be much shorter. I start to think that the trip will be much longer than planned. Anyway I passed the first part, the fog came back. Good surprise the way is one small path, far from the road with privileged view on the river Labe and it's reflections Labe by vttiste . I try to find a suitable place where it's possible to eat. I try one restaurant (U vodarny), and surprise : the food is excellent, the beer also :) After this first part of the trip I enjoy so much this moment !
- 1:30 : way to Celakovice. Many many fishermen during the way. Maybe 100 of them, who escape probably from their wife :) They are sleeping, reading, eating, and their fishing-rods are alone on the bank of the river. I understood after few fishermen that they have alarm in case of movement on their fishing-rods. What a sport :P ! Few girls chose to follow their boyfriend for a fishing weekend. They looked totally desperate and bored, but on one hand I think I understand them ! The way is again on path, far from road, which allows to admire the autumn colours without taking care of cars.
- 4:00 : Celakovice ! 70km already, my estimation was slightly wrong !!! I choose the shortest version to go directly back to Prague. I cross a nature park with a train station lost in his center part (Klanovice). I stop there few minutes and I take another beer "pour la route" as we are used to say ! I'm surprised by this part, as on the map it was like fields. I am on nice single tracks in the middle of the forest.
- 6:30 : 90km I am back on the road to Prague. I start to ask myself how long the trip will still be as I'm supposed to be on the short version ! The night approaches and I want to avoid to be on main road during the night even if I have lights. People here are driving like crazy, they don't hesitate for example to pass a car even if someone is coming on the other side of the road. They invent new road with 3 lanes so often :P The problem is that if you are on bike, usually you don't have any more space for you and it start to be really dangerous !
- 6:50 : my effort are not vain and I see the first tram. I have smile on my face, that I will soon finish this trip which start to be a personal challenge ! I cross one of the many bridge above the Vlatva, with view by night on the castle. This view is really gorgeous and even after more than 1 year here, I still take pleasure each time I go across this bridge to look at this castle.
- 7:10 : 106km and at home ! Dead but really happy by this experience. To make this kind of trip without knowing so much the language, the different places, it's like small adventure, with as usual plenty of unexpected things.

For those who read this journal till here, they probably didn't understand why I chose this title :) I'm from south of France and tourists ask every summer the same question : "excuse me, can you tell me the way to the sea ?" Funny for us as it looks totally evident. But this time I felt like a tourist, asking my way plenty of time, and each time thinking to this sentence with smile on my face, saying to myself : "this time it's you the stupid tourist !".
  • Listening to: Gummy bear
  • Reading: A year in the merde
  • Eating: Everything
  • Drinking: Cerny pivo
Czech Republic !

This country has plenty of interesting points, a lot marvelous castles, historical places etc. They want to develop tourism and I think, big part of the country business. The reconstructions, renovations are huge and impressive. The country history is probably one of the most fascinating of European countries.

As in nearly all indoor places, it's forbidden to take pictures. If you can pay they allow you to take pictures, but you have to respect their conditions : no flash, no support on anything, and no... tripod ! Is someone can explain me why they ask you to pay ? And above all how to take picture with these restrictions ?

Yesterday I visited a cave called Konepruske jeskyne which is not too far from Prague. Again you have to pay to be allowed to take picture, and again no support, no flash, no tripod.

I can understand that they want to avoid theft of the castle's jewels, or not to damage wooden or marble floors with tripod. But probably that in all cases if someone really wants to plan a theft he will do it with or without picture. And in a cave with nearly no stalagmites or stalactites, such restrictions are really ridiculous.

At the end the feeling that you finally get is that the tourist is by definition taken as stupid person and not respected. Let's pay for parking place in the middle of nothing (in the country side), let's pay for picture which you cannot take, let's pay for the post card (because it's impossible to take any pic), let's pay the foreigner price (foreigner always has to pay more because they are supposed to be richer than Czech) etc.

I think that photography is a way how to promote a place, how to invite people to visit it, how to make people dream about it. By these restrictions, Czech loose a lot possibilities to develop this activity, and remove motivation for tourists to try to discover Czech Republic.
One more choice, one more place, one more town, one more year, one more rich experience... Working somewhere is the best way to discover a place, a culture, and to meet people. It's never an easy choice to move, to leave friends, family, and sometimes much more, but as Bernard Werber says in his book "Encyclopedie du savoir relatif et absolu", "Sometimes, it could be interesting to try to do the opposite of what we really wish".

Already nearly 3 weeks here in Prague, only the begining but enough to say that I don't regret my choice, as everything here is a good surprise !

The sun is shining outside, and my mountain bike wait me :) so just have a look at my first Praha deviation "Prague by night" !
Back from a few days at Grenoble ! 16 hours of sports in 3 days, so many great pictures in my mind... 3 days skiing and to finish an unique experience.

  • 7 pm departure from Grenoble. Bags ready with skis, shoes, headlamp...
  • 8 pm at the bottom of a black level ski track. This track is not used anymore. We start to climb this track headlamp switched off as the snow allow us to see enough. Snow, firtrees, and stars, with a unique moonlight...
  • 9:30 pm summit reached ! I've done so many walks, treks, trips, but this view by night is unique... All the lights of Grenoble, Chamrousse surrounded by snowned up mountains, and crowned by thousand of stars ! The feeling you have at this place is indescribable. Here is a Google Earth link to virtually go to this place
  • 10 pm skis and headlamp ready, let's for a crazy run by night !
  • 10:10 pm already at the car park :) but sooo happy to have done it !
  • 11 pm ready to eat "la fondue savoyarde" with some great wine !!!

I didn't have my DC this evening, but a friend tried to do some shots, I will post them to give you an idea.
  • Listening to: Black eyed peas
  • Reading: L'encyclopédie du savoir relatif et absolu
  • Watching: Closer
  • Playing: with my mountain bike
  • Eating: fondue
  • Drinking: white wine
The summer is nearly ended and I have done most shots I wanted to do ! After an excellent trip in Scotland, some big walks in the Pyrénées (France), and nice lazy days at beach (at home ;-) ), I can work again on my deviations with some raw material =)

The walks were in Catalogne, the east part of the Pyrénées, a place with a strong identity and where people would never leave their land for nothing in the world... And I really undestand, it's such a nice place ! The first walk was at the Canigou (2800m), I walked 10 hours with a surprise at the end : rain and hail storm ! I'm still alive but still afraid of this storm =) !!!! The second walk was at   the lake of the Bouillouse, a place where there are many lakes as you can see on the panoramic pics and the highest summit of the Catalogne, the Carlit (2921m).

I will post soon my pics of Scotland, I don't know... but there is a kind of spirit there, higlands are like a mystic place for me !
My old cam (Kodak DX3600) was really good with 8000 shots and most of the panoramic photographies of my gallery... Time was come for me to try a new one ! I have now a brand new Kodak P880, with wide angle and the possibility to use several settings... Enough for me to learn ! Give me all your suggestions !
After the panoramics from Scotland, and Cevennes, there will be soon some panoramic photographies from Corsica.
It's always frustrating to watch a photography with wonderful landscapes, amazing colors, ... without being able to know where it is exactly ! Tonight I played with the software Google Earth, and I asked myself why don't suggest a link to Google Earth ? It's now done for the a panoramic photography "Tournette" in the Alps ;-)