I was so privileged to photograph this lovely series of engagement photos, celebrating the Bluck’s. We set it right where Lewis proposed to Kirsty: by Sham Castle, Bath.
Need a low-rate photographer? Get in touch here.
*Disclaimer: Services were offered free and non-profit.*
All images subject to copyright – © Eleanor Hyde 2020
Not far from Bordeaux
Bordeaux is one of France’s famous wine regions. French wine is a delicacy that anyone hoping to encounter the nation’s culture must delight in. French wine production is second in the world league tables, and cycling French wine regions is certainly great travel activity.
On the periphery of Bordeaux, sits the Libournais wine region which is named after the beautiful medieval town of Libourne. Geographically, Libourne sits on the banks of the Dordogne river and played an important part in the shipping of French wine.
I visited and stayed in Libourne during my French travels. I soon found that the best way to travel around Libourne was to cycle. There is nothing more relaxing than a slow cycle through ripe vineyards, past medieval town buildings and quaint French villas. Green country rolls out beyond you and well-kept cycle routes connect Libourne to surrounding French wine destinations. The roads are beginner-friendly and from Libourne, it’s only 5 miles to Saint Émilion – the oldest, and most charming wine producing town in the Bordeaux region!
Libourne on Sundays
Beginning our tour, my two friends and I ended up landing in Libourne for a Sunday. On Sundays, Libourne’s market comes to life and wandering the streets up from the town square, you can step into history. Smelling fresh oysters and purchasing local fruits gives you the sense that you are retracing the steps of medieval locals and participating in the preservation of Libourne’s market-town heritage.
Fortunate to be hosted by local friends, we observed life as those in Libourne play it on Sundays: up early, stroll the markets, and stop for a coffee (or a glass of French wine) in the indoor market café. It’s simple yet wonderful!
Our friends then headed off to a local wine bar to join friends for a bread & cheese lunch – something the locals enjoy alongside some French wine to continue good friendships. We picked up some bread at the market and jumped on the bikes to continue through Libourne.
A 20 minute gentle cycle along cycle paths landed us at Libourne’s local lake, Lac de Dagueys. This large, man-made lake is the perfect pic nic spot and place for an afternoon swim. You can cycle round the lake to a beach area and other attractions also sit along the perimeter, including a water park which opens during the summer. Since everything closes and life ‘halts’ on Sundays, the lake is by far the best way to relax and live like the locals!
Pedalling the French Wine
Experiencing French wine often comes by tasting, buying, smelling and perhaps visiting vineyards. We found another great way – cycling the French wine region! Pedalling through the countryside and quite literally rolling past grape fields on your bike gives a new perspective. Each vineyard is part of the network of the Libournais production. Besides, it’s just incredibly relaxing!
From Libourne, cycle routes will take you out of town and beyond the railway. From there you can follow quiet country roads, past a number of vineyards and a couple of wine museums. The route is a total of 5 miles (approximately 40 minutes at gentle pace) to Saint Émilion, and flat most of the way. [See the route here.]
Saint Émilion – A French wine must-see!
Built into a hillside, Saint Émilion is a beautiful medieval city to meander through. Rest from cycling and park your bike by the Saint Emilion church and take a look inside. You will find a beautiful mural in the cloisters!
Then, I advise you walk around the corner to the office desk tourisme where you can pay €2 to climb the tower. Here you get stunning views out across the region. Look back on where you cycled from, or absorb the green scenery; I enjoyed watching people wander through the lanes below you.
Saint Émilion Recommendations
Back on the ground, take a day to explore French wine! There is no set way to do this, other than to meander and experience as much or as little of the wine shops and bars ass you like. However here are some suggestions from our French Wine cycling trip:
- Cloitre de Cordeliers: a beautiful converted church and cloister, now selling French wine & gifts, offering tasting, and a coffee shop in the cloister gardens.
- Find an art gallery: there’s one here.
- Sit in the square outside the Ermitage de Saint Émilion: Have a glass of French wine from one of the cafes, or enjoy a picnic.
- Walk along the Rue du Convent: Here you can enjoy some beautiful views of Saint Émilion and continuing past La Tour du Roy, you can venture towards the cities old wine tunnels – where barrels of wine are stacked up and stored in the heritage network of underground caves.
End your French Wine tour well!
After a delightful day, you can pause to stop for an ice cream right where you parked your bikes! This place has some delicious flavours and a private courtyard with a water feature to sit in, if you enter and pass through the back door of the store. What a dream – French wine and ice cream, and well deserved after that cycling!
Cycling the French wine region of Libournais is a wonderful way to slow down and soak up culture! We added a trip into Bordeaux onto our 48 hours and it was definitely worth it. Whilst we took a 40 minute train from Libourne, there definitely would be an option to hire bikes and cycle along Bordeaux’s river to.
Thinking of planning a holiday? Cycle the French wine region of Libournais!
More on France? Click here!
Want more cycling ideas? Take a look at this cycle tour of Helsinki.
A collection of street photography: portraits of strangers on corners or through windows.
Some people people-watch, sitting on street corners or at cafe tables. A select few reach for a note book and sketch away, creating characters with stories and adventures imagined. Yet, I find there is a frustrating sense of inactivity involved in this process, feeling stuck and still with one single frame in which to capture.
Thats why I take to the streets. I walk and delight in the split-second moments that a 50mm lens affords me to capture. With street photography, I’m no longer observing but stumbling upon a moment – an exchange and interaction. Some of my subjects notice. Others will maybe never know. All are captured with the intent of dignity.
The French, I find, are more expressive of their personality. Each individual follows a fashion of their own style and lives out their unique moment, perfectly intertwined within habitual routine.
All street photography images subject to copyright – © Eleanor Hyde 2022
More from France here.
*Disclaimer: One or two of these were shot in Bordeaux, although the majority were from the streets of Paris.
Graduating Architecture via the Pompidou
Home to a large public library and the Centre National d’Art et de Culture, the Pompidou Centre in Paris is well worth a visit. An artistic statement in itself, this high-tech influenced piece of Architecture is a must see on anyone’s Paris bucket list. Having just finished my Architecture degree, I headed to France as a well-earned break, whilst awaiting results. I made a B-line for the Pompidou.
About the Pompidou
Designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the Pompidou Centre 1971-77 is revolutionary to this day. To state the obvious, this high-tech statement was a successful expression of an ‘inside-out’ concept. All the structure, mechanics, circulation, vertical cores and ducts were placed to the exterior. This colour-coded system of pipework, structure and access encased an open interior, free of clutter and perfect for functional program. The result was a cocoon-like array of fabricated scales.
It was not just the form of building that launched its presence in Paris and global fame. The building houses more than an art museum: a library, theatre, music venue… As a result, the building became an exciting hub transforming the idea of what a museum could be. The Pompidou was and is the precedent of a museum that engages with the city on diverse levels, offering social and cultural exchange beyond the idea of ‘museum’ in the 1970’s. The Pompidou had ‘everything,’ and could not be defined as a single type of building – it had multipurpose.
Views from the Pompidou
Today, many visit the Pompidou and entry into the art museum’s exhibitions only costs you €16. Additionally, due to the building’s diverse range of function, the concourse is publicly free to enter. A grand open centre inclusively offers bookshops, toilets, information and temporary displays. More so, ascending the famous exterior escalator is free to all and arrives at a public viewing terrace.
The corridors stretch along the same line, one floor above the viewing terrace. Along this axis, you are given one of the best panoramic views in Paris. Along a single linear route, you can see both the Eiffel Tower and the Sacre Coeur. It really is a must see! Although on a hot day, I advise finding the external terrace quickly, because the 1970’s glass tubes are really nothing more than unpleasant greenhouses…
The backstreet regions around the Pompidou are also worth a stroll. Located adjacent to Le Marais, you will find colourful pocket galleries, street art, artisan shops and more! Perhaps you’ll spend an evening strolling avenues or enjoy a bite in one of the many Brassieres or Creperies.
Heading to Paris? Add it to the itinerary!
Want more French inspired blogs? Check out the France series over the next month or so.
A collection of street photography.
Photos by Copyrighted – Eleanor Hyde 2021
For more photography: go here.
I’ve been enjoying portraiture lately. I did a street – style shoot for my brother over lockdown and it turned out well. The abandoned Art-Deco street was a brilliant backdrop to work with.
All images subject to copyright – © Eleanor Hyde 2021
Need a low-rate photographer? Get in touch here.
*Disclaimer: Services were offered free and non-profit.*
Baseball caps or lockdown hair? Either way it’s a vibe! I have a few more shoots lined up (within restrictions). If you’re wanting your own photographs, do get in touch via contact – I’m always on the lookout for portrait models.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process of shooting with a model. Additionally, with lockdown I found myself watching YouTube videos created by photographers who film their shoot days with clients. I learnt so much about portraiture as well as getting that much needed escapism, to street locations all over the world. Jessica Kobeissi has a very fun series and here’s one that has me desperate to visit Japan again!
All photos taken with the Canon EF 50mm f1.8 lens.
Vancouver is a huge city filled with diverse culture. There are strong links to and from Seattle, areas to see theatre and music, popular public parks and famous food markets.
If you are road tripping or city hopping, Vancouver connects to a range of destinations. Seaplanes are a preferred form of transport for connections to Vancouver Island and even Seattle. An evening by the waterfront can be enjoyed in many restaurants and bars, watching the planes land and take off on water.
Stanley Park Cycle Route
Since Vancouver is so huge, one of the best ways to enjoy it is by bike. Multiple places around the famous Stanley Park offer bike rentals and you can follow a circular route through the park and out towards Granville Island, a thriving island filled with food markets and culture. The route then continues round and returns past the TELUS Science World.
Vancouver Public Library
If you are passing, the Vancouver Public Library is definitely worth seeing. It makes for some great photographs and is structurally interesting. However I did find it a bit pastiche and ‘colosseum.’ I couldn’t quite persuade my brother to go inside the library and the atrium itself is nothing more than a shop front.
Culture and History
Vancouver is full of culture and heritage. Within the city, Gas Town and China Town sit adjacent to each other in Downtown Vancouver. Ideally you want to experience Gas Town in the evenings. The area is filled with Victorian buildings, a steam-clock and restaurant bars – perfect for a Friday Night. China Town is home to a beautiful Japanese Garden.
Further from the centre in North Vancouver, is the Capillano Suspension Bridge. You can visit the attraction and learn about the history of the bridge building. On the other side of the river, there is a treetop park to enjoy however I soon discovered that the attraction is overpriced. You’ll be paying to queue across a bridge and then walk about a kilometre. Again, the pictures are pretty but in terms of experience, it wasn’t really worth it.
Museum of Anthropology
I initially had the Museum of Anthropology on my bucket list for the architecture. It turns out that the exhibitions themselves are just as impressive and extensive. In fact, it’s probably the best thing you can do in Vancouver if you want to learn about Canadian heritage. Unfortunately, my trip was cut short when someone broke into our rental car but despite this is was a really great trip – just park close to the front door!
Finally, you can’t go to Vancouver and miss out on the whales! We booked on an organised whale watching trip and spent 3 hours watching killer whales fishing and diving around. We also saw seals, sea lions, eagles and herons on the way. It’s not every day you get to see a whale! One tip I do have though – book an afternoon slot because the morning slots spend time trying to find the whales in the first place. Go in the afternoon, and the boat will head straight out to the whales meaning you get more time to watch them play. We did this and it was worth it!
Vancouver is a very diverse city break and there is a huge range of things to do and see. My favourite though had to be the whales! It’s not everyday you get to spend hours photographing such incredible animals!
Want more of Canada? Check out my mountain photography and road trip through The Rockies here.
Mountains are spectacular! Canada is home to the most incredible expanse of mountain tops.
It’s almost October – what? After my crazy summer of travelling I threw myself back into a new job and new house. Now the rain is here, the sweaters are on and I still have mountains of Canadian moments to share.
I went to Canada in June. It was the trip that my Dad and I have always dreamt about. We hired a car and spent two weeks road tripping from Calgary to Vancouver with my Mum and brother.
Never in my life have I ever stood 7,500 ft above sea level and just stared out across a mountainous valley. I love mountains. I love to stand in high places and look out over vast expanses of land – it excites me!
We aren’t just talking one spectacular view like Kambadaga Falls, or Nikko’s mountainside Lake Chizenji. I’m talking about miles and miles of road winding between peak after peak. In the height of summer, you can look up and see glaciers.
I spent one beautiful morning running from Tunnel Mountain into Banff, following the river as it wound through the valley. Watching the fog lift and the mountains break through was such an incredible life-giving experience.
Time stands still in the Rockies. As a family we just slowed down completely. Mornings are quiet in the little mountain towns. Days were spent watching elk and bears, parking up at various view points, canoeing, hot-tubbing and relaxing.
God often uses mountains to speak to me. Often He will remind me of how faith can physically move mountains, or in the hard, muddy, valley moments He promises to stand on a mountain top with me. He shows me all the things he has for me in the next season.
How beautiful are the mountains! I just love to look through all my photographs and breathe sometimes. One day – just maybe one day – I’ll live on my own little mountain.
I’ll share more about our road trip stops in Calgary, Kelowna and Vancouver but for now, enjoy the mountain pictures!
Japan is a rich, dense nation deeply routed in buddhist and shinto culture. Tokyo makes it incredibly easy to forget such roots with it’s metropolis of high rise developments, huge business and city life. Kyoto, Japan’s former capital however, offers a charming insight into Japanese culture.
As a UNESCO world heritage site, Kyoto is home to some of Japan’s oldest, most beautiful buildings. Traditions such as tea ceremonies and kaiseki dining offer tourists an opportunity to encounter such a beautiful culture. Kyoto mixes history, beautiful architecture, religion and natural beauty within a city demographic.
Kyoto’s charm and beauty is displayed throughout the city but the three most incredible and enchanting spots have to be, the Gion District, the Nansen-ji temple and the Fushimi Inari Shrine.
The Gion district is Kyoto’s most famous geisha district. Gesiha are entertainers who perform theatre and dance in tea houses. Traditionally, many women use to train at a young age and become Geisha. Performing for those in high society, it is still one of the best and most well-respected jobs a woman in Japan could have. A stroll by the river and then along the little lanes of ancient wooden houses can lead you to stumble across Geisha, dressed in typical kimono. The Gion is also home to one of the ‘most beautiful Starbucks in the world’ which offers a tatami style (typical of Japan) seating.
Kyoto is home to so many incredible temples. The Nansen-ji temple is one of the most impressive just by shear scale. A walk around the grounds is a pleasant stroll or you can head up the Philosopher’s Path, which is a hike up the mountain giving spectacular views of the temple and city from above. I didn’t get chance to do the hike but it’s definitely worth it if you happen to have time spare in Kyoto.
Kyoto’s must see attraction is the Fushimi Inari Shrine dedicated to the God of business. Many businesses donate a red torii gate, writing their business name on it. 10,000 of these gates create a trail up the mountain and it makes for a beautiful walk. The attraction is extremely busy however the further up the trail you get, the less people and the views are an added bonus!
Kyoto is beautiful. The heritage of the city is enchanting. Its also the place for souvenirs, Japanese food markets and good speciality coffee. Not to mention the stunning Arashiyama bamboo forest…
I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to visit Kyoto and I wish I could have spent longer there. It’s taken a piece of my heart!
The people of Japan are incredible! They are some of the healthiest people on earth and are very active. I couldn’t wait to get to Japan – it is a brilliant place for street photography. I’m calling this collection ‘Humans of Japan.’ I capture subjects unaware in order to reflect and document Japanese culture.
Please do not reproduce or republish these photographs.