Somehow I find this image disturbing. It’s just a detail from a fountain in Klagenfurt, but those closed eyes and the crack going down to the open mouth induce a feeling of hopelessness and eternal pain.
In earlier times I would have had bought a guide to the region, or more likely a few. I’m mostly interested in art, history and architecture, and the quality of guides varying.
Basically the quality of that information is comparable to everything that a good tourist guide of the Provence would have revealed about a town like Fréjus. It told me that there is a cathedral, and it also told me about a cloister. I love cloisters, therefore we had to see it.
What makes a cloister beautiful? Well, twin columns are always nice, and of course much depends on the nature of the patio. This one has a lovely well, white gravel and a few small trees.
Originally the cloister was connected to the church, but that door is closed now. You reach thr cloister through the tourist office, just like we’ve seen it in Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume.
Fréjus had not been on my radar. If you had asked me where that place is, I would have said it’s in the French Alps, just across the border from Torino, Italy. Which is also correct, because the mountain pass pass leading from Torino to France is called Col du Fréjus, and that’s the name that I had in mind.
It’s always irritating when two places have the same name. I don’t know the origin of the name of the mountain pass, but the city in Provence derives its name from Forum Julii. It’s one of the cities founded by Julius Caesar. From there, linguistically, it’s a long way to Fréjus, but that’s what 2000 years do to names.
It’s not a particularly interesting city, not a must-see in Provence, but it was one of the places where we could reach the sea. Cannes, half an hour on the highway to the east, would have been the next access to the Mediterranean, but we didn’t want to drive that far. We just wanted to drive an hour or two along the coast and probably sip a drink somewhere. Therefore Fréjus was it.
Using a fisheye is hard. Before you look through the lens, you never know what you’ll get.
The image from the chapter house is extreme, but then, in a certain way it conveys what I saw and how it felt to be there. That’s a funny thing to say about an image that’s totally distorted 🙂
Fisheyes: this is really stuff for experimentation. Try it out. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Predictions impossible 😀
In France the heir apparent was traditionally called the Dauphin, which means dolfin. I guess that’s why we see so many of those animals on fountains, even if they don’t look like dolfins at all 🙂
From the height of the first floor of a house on the southern side a madonna with child quietly watches over the place. On the other side, on the road towards west, an impressive building displays a stately array of windows.
Here’s the promised “bigger fountain” at the western end of Cours Mirabeau.
The dove perches on top of a small fountain in the middle of the long stretch. At the western end the place is terminated by a much larger fountain at the center of a roundabout, but more of that tomorrow.
I like these compositions. I think they are balanced and nicely fit in their respective frames.
In other news you may have heard that our presidential election between the final two candidates, Norbert Hofer and Alexander Van der Bellen, has to be repeated. After Hofer lost, his party, the right-populist FPÖ, appealed, and they did so by submitting a 150 pages tome of collected “irregularities”. And formally they were right.
In some cases the election supervisor did not wait for the official witnesses but used public servants as witnesses. Again that’s against the rules.
In its opinion the constitutional court finally gave one reason that alone would have rectified the annulment, and that was the fact that from 1 pm on preliminary results had been given to political parties and to scientists for the purpose of making projections. That’s also against a strict reading of the rules.
The problem is, every past election of the last 20 years has been executed that way. It was the consensus. It was accepted by all parties, FPÖ included. Now they broke the consensus.
Every political party could have done the same thing after every past election. They didn’t because it was just the way things were done – and by and large it worked perfectly.
Now you may ask, why did FPÖ break the consensus? For their voters they insinuate electional fraud, but in all their 150 pages they did not find a single incident that would point to fraud.
Meanwhile Erich Neuwirth, a professor emeritus of statistics and computer science at the University of Vienna, has demonstrated conclusively on his blog, that all disputed districts statistically lie in the mainstream. If you assume a manipulation to the amount that would have changed the result, all of those districts would have to have been extreme outliers before the manipulation. In other words, the insinuation of fraud is pretty laughable when you look at the hard facts.
Furthermore, even the witnesses of FPÖ have all signed under oath that everything went according to rules. Some of them may even face persecution. Therefore again: why did they do that?
I think the answer is, that they feel they are very near to their goal. Europe is crumbling, the Brits are out (are they?), France might fall to Marine Le Pen (heaven forbid!) and in general the extreme right seems to advance everywhere. Having a partisan president who would call for early general elections in times of refugees and an economic crisis, that is just too good a chance to pass it. Therefore the heavy push, therefore this “nuclear” weapon that you can only use once.
Well, it’s our job to stand united and to just say no. Let’s re-elect Alexander Van der Bellen and let’s do it even more decisively. I think it’s time to set a signal, time to stem the brown tide. They may think so, but in reality their victory is not a historic necessity. It would rather be a freak aberration like the Nazi reign has been. Thank you, we’ve had that, no need to go that route one more time.
Here’s another detail from Miradouro de Santa Luzia. If there is anything remarkable at all here, then it is the superb highlight detail in this image. In the reality of bright noon light everything was just white and hurting the eyes. The original from the camera did capture the highlight details, but at the expense of an overall dull, grayish appearance. Processing from RAW made a world of a difference. I like this image.
Yesterday night the dreadful attacks in Paris have happened, today our politicians already call for restrictions of civil rights, more surveillance, more totalitarianism.
As if it had helped in France! After the attack on Charlie Hebdo, the French government has already introduced laws that are widely criticized as too broad, giving the police almost unrestricted and uncontrolled power, laws that the next dictatorship will be thankful for.
It didn’t work. It can’t work. Whenever you take freedoms away, democracy dies a little, but regardless of how much freedom you take away, there is always plenty of opportunity for a small, determined force to wage terror, especially when they don’t value their lives.
Whatever you do, this reflexive first reaction is completely wrong. I don’t know what the answer is, but it can’t be to shut down democracy.