© wim melis

Atlantic Wall - Quiberville & Le Hourdel

I noticed I haven't posted some photographs of the Atlantic Wall in France yet. Since Stephan Vanfleteren published a book about this subject. I used his brilliant work as a great example and didn't try to be a copycat but to find my own style on the subject.

Some newer work here below at the Bay of the Somme  (Le Hourdel) and at the frontier of Normandy (Quiberville): the first picture in full daylight, dozens of tourists running around, the second a day later, between two showers of rain and heavy wind coming from the Ocean.

More bunkers to come.

Bodie, an old mining village

We made a short detour to Bodie, an old mining village and now a Californian State Historic Park. A bit like Bokrijk in Belgium here, but focused on the way these types of villages looked like during the 50th and before. ( Gold rush fever).

All houses were abandoned and often you could feel that this was done in a rush. 

The mining site was closed and labelled as a hazardous area. 

Grand Canyon

We drove from Cameron to the Grand Canyon, the bottom of the Escalante Staircase. After visiting the Little Colorado River Navajo Tribal Park, Desert View was the real stuff. Thunderclouds and lightings were omnipresent: the tower was closed. Luckily no rain fell out. A ranger spoke about the Californian Condor, while we were witnessing an astonishing sunset.

Next day, we took the challenge to hike the Plateau Point, some 1100 meters below the rim. I think it is still 400 meter down further until the Colorado River.

We didn't make it to the Point. Not because we were too tired, but a bold thunderstorm came closer and closer. Back to the Indian Gardens, back to the 3 & 1,5 mile rest-points, back to the edge of the rim. I guess we missed it by 500 - 1000 meters easy walking.

Bryce - NP

Before entering Bryce National Park, you can watch the Aquarius plateau. This is the topmost part of the "Grand Staircase" , the bottommost part being the famous Grand Canyon: The Pink cliff or Claron formation is the top stair of the geologic wonders we have encountered. It was as well the last region in continental US that was uncharted and still to be explored in 1871 by Powell.

 Bryce seems to be the most delicate national Park we have visited: full of elegant rock formations dressed in red. A trail leads into the massive arena, which gives spectacular views of these rocks. 

Bryce often pops up as one of the most beautiful parks when touring around in this far-west land. Although not my favourite park ( Death Valley  !!!),  it's a must do.

Leaving Las Vegas - 1995

WTH: Wrong turn, a hectic (and efficient) valet parking In Luxor, swimming pool closed, no view out of our hotelroom.... nevertheless a strange fascination slips in my mind: the strip as a rollercoaster.

This mindset goes on for a couple of hours: casino after casino, mall after mall, helicopters, limousines, families, beggars, traffic jams, red lights., preachers, over-the-top neon-lights, magic spectacles, Brian Ferry comes this autumn...

Gradually another mood pops up. It doesn't happen suddenly and swift: was I an embarrassed spectator, caught in some guilty pleasure or some witness of a (future-proof) entertainment business, which I didn't experience before. Is this pastiche copied all over the world ?

We need to go to sleep.

Next morning we leave the golden Trump-tower behind. Two F-35 planes depart vertically from the Nellis-base chasing other jets. I don't stop the car. 

 Back home, I need to watch Nicholas Cage (again).