mervfrench PHOTOGRAPHY


We’re Back … here’s the slide night.

Posted by mervfrench on October 17, 2010

Actually we’ve been back for a week but I’ve been busy catching up with things and haven’t got back into the blogging thing again just yet.

If you can stand it, this will be my slide night and I’m only going to do this once so pay attention ok.

All these shots are taken with the Canon S90 as I didn’t taken the 5d  as we wanted to travel light , I think it did a great job and after all, the pics are only for us to keep, our memory shots.

As it was my first trip to Europe I was bright eyed and bushy tailed and I wasn’t disappointed.  We  left Perth and the plane to Singapore was only half full, great start, plenty of room to move.

We had 9 hours in Singapore just time enough to go into town and have a look around.


We went to the Raffles Hotel, the new Sands hotel ,

checked the shops and went on the Singapore Eye  , where this shot was taken.






We boarded a Singapore Airlines A380 for the trip to London and settled in. The A 380 is a fantastic aircraft , its huge and it’s quite and its comfortable , but after  12 hrs it’s just another plane.


We had 2 days in London and  had quite a good look around.



I loved London, vibrant full of action and history and it had a good feel to it.

The only down side as I’ve mentioned before is unfortunately  7.5 million people live in the city, a few to many for me, but you get used too it.












Then onto the Euro Star train and over to Paris for 5 days. The Euro Star is great , there’s something about shooting along at 300 km’s hr watching the countryside go by.


London and Paris are 2 of the ” BIG 3″, London Paris  New York,  and they live up to there reputation very well I’d say .

Paris is a little larger than London with  approx 11.5 million people in the city.

including 2.1 million living in and around the CBD, thats almost more than the entire population of WA , amazing.












Montmartre  in Paris is the home of the artist’s, they line the streets with their work set up in stalls for sale and they paint portraits as well on the spot. We a great afternoon out with plenty to see and lots of cafes and action , a great people watching place,

and some superb artworks.












One of our favorite places on the trip and one I can highly recommend is in northern Italy, almost at the French border, a place called Cinque Terre , the five villages.  There are five villages built into the side of the cliffs over looking the Mediterranean Sea. The easiest way in is by boat or train and you can walk between the villages , a fantastic place to spend a couple of days and very photo friendly.  The walk between the villages is spectacular, one of the few times I wished I had the 5d with me.

If you are going anywhere near the South of France or planning a trip to Italy, make sure you take the time to go here , you won’t be disappointed believe me.

The villages grow fruit and veg. and olives etc. up the sides of the cliffs on terraces , something they have been doing for over a thousand years.




Riomaggiore   , Cinque Terre.





Vernazza  Cinque  Terre.





Venice of course is another place that is certainly worth the time , a timeless place. As our Gondola driver told us ” If you live in Venice in something built in the 1500’s, it’s considered modern.”

There are 150 canals, 400 bridges and 235000 people in Venice and it is smaller than Rottnest ( Venice 15 sq km’s Rotto 19 sqkm)




A quiet day in Venice (below).

The day we arrived was the yearly regatta day so there were quite a few people about.










Carting hay Swiss style



This is our  hire car    🙂     at the top of Mont Ventoux in the  South of France.

This is the highest climb on the Tour Da France.  ( 1920 m )






Certainly two of the most amazing things I saw on the trip was these  bridge’s.




The Viaduct De Millau  was opened in 2004 and is 2.5 km’s long

and 245 mts tall , the highest vehicular bridge in the world, it’s in the South of France





In stark contrast, The Pont Du Gard was built over 2000 yrs ago by the Romans  as a canal bridge, part of a 50km aquaduct to shift water to the Nimes district for use in fountains, baths and homes, it’s also in the South of France.

It is 50 mts high and  274 mts long and carried 200,000,000 lts of water a day.










While in northern France we went to visited the Australian War Memorial at Villers Bretenue, in fact we camped outside, got up at dawn and wandered around it. It is a serene peaceful place on a hill surrounded by farmland and well worth the visit.










After  Central Europe it was back to London for a couple of days then out into the English countryside for a couple of weeks.

Traveling around England is little like being in a story book , the countryside is just fantastic and the villages are so close together and they all have a at least 1 pub.




What a great name for a village,Sheepwash. We also went through Maggot Flat , Upper Slaughter , Lower Slaughter to name a few.






Thatched roof house in the Cotswolds district.





















What better way to finish , than with a beer at the Pishill pub  !!!!

So thats it, a quick overview of  our little trip to Europe, plenty more but I won’t bore you any longer.

We would  certainly  go again , there is so much to see and take in and we only really scratched the surface .

There are millions of people  in the northern hemisphere , around 90% of the worlds population live there.

Yes it’s crowded and busy but you soon learn to accept it and if you get off the beaten track it not so bad.

FOOTNOTE :    To anyone in Europe reading this.   If you are thinking of coming to Australia to live remember we have mostly desert’s here with hardly any water.  It’s hot and dry, we have deadly snakes, poisonous spiders, wild dingoes, man eating sharks , crocodiles and deadly jellyfish in all the waters  oh  and bears that live in trees !!!  Driving from place to place you can be lost for days.

Stay where you are, you live in a beautiful part of the world, you don’t know how lucky you are.






40 Responses to “We’re Back … here’s the slide night.”

  1. wayte27 said

    Hey Merv, nice slide show mate, loved it. The canon s90 worked a treat. The new s95 looks good, Im still after one. I took my DSLR kit away on the honeymoon and I wished I had a s95 at times.
    Your trip abroad, how long did you go for, Skye and I are going for 3/4 weeks to Italy and france and maybe a little UK sept/oct next year.
    You itinerary looks rather researched, so if you can and willing send me your thoughts cheers Adrian
    By the welcome home to the deadliest place on earth

    • mervfrench said

      Hi Adrian thanks for the welcome , yes now we are home we have to be on our guard all the time !!!

      Adrian we had a basic idea of where we were going to go but found most things as we went along, just looked at the map and thought that looks nice lets have a look. we hired a camper in Germany and did the round trip nearly 7000 km in 24 days. Then hired a car in England for the rest of the trip. We were away for 6 weeks ( didn’t you miss me 🙂 )

      The camper was great we loved the freedom of stopping and staying where we wanted without unpacking. Driving is not a problem, when you get used to it. Only too happy to give you some tips on what we did, it may be of some use to you, anytime mate.

  2. Some great shots Merv, you must be happy with the results from the S90 that’s for sure?? I’m heading to the UK for 5 weeks in December so hoping to spend a fair bit of time in London and get some time for photography. Welcome home – just in time for summer!

    • mervfrench said

      Thanks Mark .

      I’m real happy with the little s90’s performance, worked a treat.

      I loved London , one of my favourite places and the English countryside is superb

      If you want to come around some time there’s about 5000 more images to go through !!!!! 🙂

  3. Thanks God for digital! That would have been 139 rolls of 36 in the old days – would have cost more than the holiday for the dev & print!!

  4. welcome back Mervman!
    looks like a great trip, good to see you enjoyed yourself 🙂
    really love the old bridge image, nice light and really cool bridge

    • mervfrench said

      Cheers Stephan, looks like your on a bit of an adventure of your own.

      Watch out for all those deadly things lurking about the country.

      • the only thing that really scares me in this country Merv is the birds known as the double breasted mattress thrashers…. gotta watch them. You go to sleep, and can wake up with half the house gone at any stage. apart from that, bring it on haha.

        but I do like the finish to your post, you missed flies though. they hate flies, so that’s another weapon in our arsenal 🙂 lol

  5. davidsobik said

    Welcome home mate! Bloody brilliant images. Yes why the heck would you cart around all that heavy gear with cracking images like this!

  6. mattinman said

    Welcome back Merv, looks like you had a fantastic trip. England sure does have some interesting town and place names. and some really nice ales too!

  7. True North Mark said

    Yep, welcome back Cotter!

    You certainly captured a nice cross section of images mate, but your footnote takes the cake mate…rolling around with laughter I was….why didn’t you just say..”piss off and stay away, all you Northerners”!

  8. Looks like a wonderful trip, Merv, I am green!

    • mervfrench said

      Yep it was great Odille, it’s a must do thing.

      But I can say, you get most of the same kind of scenery crammed into a little place called New Zealand, a place not to be underestimated.

  9. Great images Merv, good to hear that you made it back to the southern hemisphere safely and had a great trip.

  10. Hey just ran through your shots of the trip and suddenly realized why you stopped at the Pishill, Nothing to do with beer it was because it had a free house !!!
    Love to go to that Cinque Terre place, looks wicked.

    • mervfrench said

      Cinque Terre is wicked alright you got that right, can’t recommend it enough, and it’s still relatively unknown at this stage, probably because it’s a little harder to get too than most places.

      Funny how that Mediterranean Sea slopes off to the right , must be something to do with the northern hemisphere.

  11. peta said

    Welcome back Merv, what a great selection of photos,looks like you had a ball, love all the shots but my favorites are the Italy ones…What a place… also love the thatched cottage…cute..hows the jet lag…

    • mervfrench said

      Thanks Peta.

      The shots are our happy snaps of the trip, it wasn’t a photographic expedition, but I do have a few pano’s to stitch when I get time.

      Jet lag does make you feel your age for a couple of days 🙂

  12. Hey Mr French….nice to have you home 🙂
    Fabulous post by the way, Singapore to Pishill in record time and some great photos. Cinque Terre looks very picturesque and Venice has been on my to-do list for years, although I reckon I’d give Upper Slaughter in the UK a wide berth!

  13. Donelle said

    WOW Looks like you had a fantastic holiday!! Glad to see you back alive and well!!

    • mervfrench said

      Thanks Donelle.

      Yeah it was a great trip,not sure holiday is the correct term as we didn’t sit around in the sun at all, we kept on the move, but it was great.

  14. muzz said

    Tell me more about the FOOD Merv, I want to know about the food ……………..

  15. mervfrench said

    Ok Muzz,here’s a couple of things to take your mind off those diet milkshakes.

    Cornish pasties,crouque monsieurs,crepes both sweet and savoury,dried sausages of many varieties,pork pies,fish and chips with mushy peas, bloody hell now I’m hungry !!!

  16. Welcome home Merv.
    Great pics, love the little tractor.

    • mervfrench said

      Thanks Thomas, yeah that little tractor in Switz. was great and the people were nice and friendly as well. we saw quite a few of those little machines around Europe.

  17. Kheng said

    Great slide show Merv and welcome back.

    And yes Cinque Terre is most definitely the place to visit. Did you go to all 5 towns/villages, yuuummm just thinking of the seafood I had when I was there.

  18. Hey Merv, I have stopped by and checked out the slide show, I just failed to write anything here!!! Looks like you had a great trip, and got some cracking shots while you were away. Great stuff!!

  19. wayte27 said

    Hey Merv great catching up today. How did you go ?
    I have a cracker swimming shot of the wife today if your keen to send to your triathlon people, free to use, just let me know if it makes a publication. Did you get any of her in transition?
    Also whats your email address cheers Adrian

  20. Christian said

    some great pics mate,

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