Notre Dame

Notre Dame
Notre Dame Cathedral’s interior before the fire (1999)

Given the sad news about the fire at Notre Dame in Paris, here are some pics from our visit there in 1999. Shot on negative film, some of these have deteriorated (hence the purple splodges).

After the fire, several sections of the roof have collapsed. Below is a illustration of the parts which have collapsed. The part of the roof at the top of the pic is no longer there, and there’s a pile of debris on the chairs in the foreground.

Notre Dame Burnt
Showing the parts damaged in the fire
Notre Dame Windows
The windows (which are still there)
My favorite photo of the interior, “Prayer”
Votive Candles
Votive candles
A service in the Cathedral
The daffodil garden at the back of the Cathedral


Lanterns across the street in Chinatown

We went out walking at twilight on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, we didn’t have anything particular in mind, but the light was interesting. On Sunday we deliberately went to see Chinatown, hoping for a good show as it’s close to the lunar new year.

Chinatown was decked out in lots of red lanterns. I used this as an excuse to use my “faster” lenses (the ones which are better with less light). Unfortunately, the red of the lanterns didn’t always show up in the pictures, looking more orange, or even yellow. All the lanterns are actually red if you go see them in person.

Looking back up Grant Avenue, with a pagoda outlined against the sky
More lanterns in Chinatown
Spooky lighting on Giannini Plaza
Interesting frescoes in the lobby of the Monadnock building on Market Street
The moon peeking out between the interesting juxtaposition of the ultra modern Jewish Contemporary Museum and the old St Patrick’s Cathedral
“Stubby”, what we took to calling the Salesforce Tower on Mission St. The top is actually a giant video screen and shows various scenes.
Another interesting juxtaposition, of the old cathedral and a modern hotel
A construction crane, one of many, making an interesting diagonal statement.


The Bridge
A classic view of the Golden Gate Bridge seen from the overlook on the coastal trail at Lands End

We had no plan for the weekend, but on Saturday decided the Bay Bridge was close by, so went down to the Embarcadero to take some pictures.

On Sunday, we discovered there was a bus directly to Lands End, the northwest corner of San Francisco, and you can get great views of the Golden Gate Bridge from there. As usual, when we’re in the City, it was brilliantly sunny. The locals says this is unusual weather.

A strong view of the Bay Bridge, seen from almost underneath on the Embarcadero
A wider view of the Golden Gate
Oakland under the main span of the Bay Bridge
Most of the Western Bay Bridge, showing how long the main span is

A Weekend in San Francisco

A little late for Valentine’s Day, Cupid’s arrow missed the Bay Bridge

We spent the weekend in San Francisco, mainly just because. We did some wandering around and I took a few pics.

The door of the Hearst Building on Market Street
Ferry Building
The Ferry Building seen from down Market Street
Sun on Sea
The sun shining on the sea, through cypress trees at Lands End. The Cliff House is just peeking out.
Rocks in the surf at Lands End

Aquarium again

A few more things you can find at the aquarium.

A puffin swimming underwater

I spent a little time at the puffin exhibit, trying to get a shot of one swimming underwater. The wall of the exhibit is glass, so you can see both above and under water. I’m not happy with any of the ones I got. The best picture I did get was the splash when a common murre dived underwater (below).

Scarse murre
Scarce murre
A kid coming face to face with a cuttlefish, at the “Tentacles” exhibition.
A fish, I don’t have a note of which sort. It may be an Orangespine Unicornfish, according to Google.
The rarest thing I saw at the aquarium

The rarest thing I saw at the aquarium, wasn’t fishy though. It was this guy shooting on film. Not only film, but medium format film, which was pretty rare even in the era of film. (The camera is a Mamiya C220.)


The aquarium’s other humongous tank, is the kelp tank.

Kelp tank
The kelp tank at the aquarium

That replicates the kelp forests of the Monterey Bay itself (where the aquarium is located). There’s lots of interesting stuff in the kelp tank.

A friendly bass in the kelp tank
A shark (tiger shark?) in the kelp tank.
The aquarium is also famous for otters
Bat Ray
A bat ray in the touchpool
Tiger Sharks
Tiger sharks. The tocuhpool also has tiger sharks, you can watch them through remote controlled cameras.
A bird at the Sandy Shore exhibit
You can get up close and personal to the birds, they don’t mind.

Aquarium: The deep ocean

We were in Monterey at Thanksgiving, we went to the aquarium (we’re members) a few times.

The deep ocean tank at the aquarium

One of my favorite places is the deep ocean tank. It’s a humongous tank, kept mainly in the dark. It holds the large deep ocean critters. In the photo above, they’ve turned on the bubble curtain, which helps new critters not to bang into the glass. It does obscure our view though.

Tank 2
The deep ocean tank without bubbles

Critters, like sharks, tuna, mahi mahi, and turtles.

Sunfish, looking very alien

Our favorite is the sunfish (mola), which looks like nothing on earth.

Hammerhead sharks


There’s also small shoaling fish in the tank. You can see how the shoaling behavior confuses the predators, so usually they don’t get eaten. Occasionally a small fish will separate from the shoal, and be vulnerable. Like the fish below.

I want to be a tuna
I want to be a tuna

And off to Manchester

Travel tubes at Manchester Airport

Yesterday was all visiting with family, today was a leisurely progress to Manchester airport. Tomorrow morning we fly home.

A restaurant with a view at the airport hotel

Back to Oxford

A table with a view at Frankfurt airport

The trip is almost over, we made our leisurely way back to Britain today, with nothing else to do except get there. We left plenty of time, as Frankfurt airport has a reputation for being confusing. But things went smoothly, so we ended up with plenty of time to spare, and watched the previous plane leave.

On the way into Oxford, we took a detour to finally find some fish and chips. When we got to the hotel, we got the “quaint” room. That means low doors and exposed medieval woodwork. 

A relaxed airport worker has the plane on a leash
Pushing the plane back, still on a leash
Fish & Chips
Finally, fish and chips
The “quaint” room (there is no camera trickery in this pic)


An amusing statue near the Rittergasse in Sachsenhausen

We took a trip into Sachsenhausen today, that’s the trendy bit of Frankfurt south of the river. We took the tram and stopped in Otto Hahn Plaza, mainly because he came to our attention yesterday. There didn’t seem to be much happening there, but the next stop near Schweizer Platz, a shopping district, was much livelier.

Then we went looking for the Rittergasse, which is supposed to be the party end of town. That involved a tram to the amusingly named Frankensteiner Platz. We found both the Big (Große) and Little (Kleine) Rittergasse. The Kleine Rittergasse seemed to be the party place, with lots of bars, and even the real exotic like a Hooters. Though they were all closed.

Where to find the Best Worscht in town. (Highly rated.) Just down from Schweizer Platz.
The Frankfurt skyline seen from Frankensteiner Platz
Not Home
A quaint looking shop “I was at home last night”.
No Elephants
… with a no pachyderm policy
Kleine Rittergasse (everything’s closed)
A well worn looking hostelry on Kleine Rittergasse