food / travel

Hello, Troglodyte Neighbor

I've shared photos before of a trip to central Turkey's Göreme National Park, with its troglodyte cave-like dwellings and fairy chimney rock formations. Only recently did I dig up this image from a visit a few years earlier, and was reminded of how strange and powerful the landscape is.

It's A Water Buffalo's Life

On the unpaved roads of inland Indonesia, this worker was relying on the strength of his water buffalo to bring building materials to a construction site. A couple of days later on the same trip, I would get to see some even less fortunate bovines, in an indigenous Toraja village.

Not Quite Groundhog Day

I had to be quick to snap a photo of this little fellow in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, before it dashed back into its burrow. I'd always assumed it was a groundhog, like those I'm used to seeing in the French Alps. But looking at it now, I'm quite sure it's a prairie dog.

Unmistakably Austrian

When I was a young man, a major folklore festival came through my hometown in eastern France, with musicians and dancers in colorful costumes from all over Europe. Spotting this photo 58 years later, I knew right away what I didn't know when I took it: this perfectly rotund tuba player almost certainly hailed from the Austrian region of Tyrol. How do I know? In the intervening decades, my wife and I visited Austria 23 times.

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

Storming The Lithuanian Castle

The red-brick Gothic castle on the Lithuanian island of Trakai looks like it's straight out of a fairy tale. However the spell was broken when a full garrison of soldiers made their rowdy entrance in the courtyard.

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

Petra Peddlers From The Past

The woman and the boy in the foreground were walking toward the members of my guided tour to try to sell knick-knacks. There were only two of them selling souvenirs in front of the Royal Tombs, and my fellow visitors and I had the whole Petra site pretty much to ourselves — which I'm told would be near impossible these days.

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

Here Fly The Little Amazonian Birds

Le petit oiseau va sortir...!

"Here flies the little bird!" is what we say in France when we want our subjects to pay attention and look at the camera. That time in Manaus, one of the gateways to the lush Brazilian rainforest, these vibrant orange birds didn't fly away just long enough to get this colorful contrast shot in front of the bright green vegetation.

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food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

For Whom The Notre-Dame Bell Tolls

I'm not sure the exact date, but it was the month of July when my then wife-to-be Claudine and I climbed the 400 steps of Notre-Dame, only to be startled by the sudden (very) loud ringing of the Parisian cathedral's bells.

Just a few months later, back in our native eastern France, other bells would be ringing just for us. That day I know by heart: November 10, 1953.

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food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

India’s Most Photogenic Temple

Sure, there's the Taj Mahal. But at this moment in the Jain temple of Ranakpur, in northwestern India, everything an amateur photographer like myself could ask for fell into place: the whiteness of the marble contrasting with the visitors' colorful garments, the rays of sunlight gently filtering in, the symmetry of the architecture, the depth of field. Now just frame, focus ... and click.

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

Unidentified Frying Object

When it comes to international cuisine, I must confess that I'm not that much of an aventurier. Amid the street markets of Indonesia, like elsewhere, I would much rather take pictures of unidentified, deep-fried delicacies than take an actual bite ...

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

All Scallops Lead To Compostela

All across Europe, you may stumble, as my wife and I did many times, upon discreet scallop shell symbols: They mark the ancient "Camino de Santiago" routes that lead to the Christian shrine of the apostle Saint James in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The facade of the Casa de las Conchas in Salamanca is definitely more conspicuous — pilgrim, you're getting there!

Society
Bertrand Hauger

Up The Ibis Tree

The fauna and flora of South Africa rank among the most impressive I've seen anywhere in the world. Near Durban in the east of the country, I caught them both on vivid display, as a tree filled with white ibis.

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

Everything And The Kitchen Sink

Fish, fruit, pottery, an endless selection of drain pipes: the massive open-air markets were a vivid memory from the northern Brazilian city of Belem.

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

A Turkish Camel's Life

My clearest camel memory from this same trip to Turkey 30 years ago was witnessing the millennia-old tradition of camel wrestling. Just a few miles down the road, near the Ancient Greek site of Ephesus, this fellow was in the mood for nothing of the sort.

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

Music Soothes The Sulawesi

This concert, courtesy of the Toraja people, provided a welcome balance to our day: My wife and I had just witnessed a traditional burial, in this village of southern Sulawesi — and it featured the pretty gruesome slaughtering of a water buffalo.

food / travel
Bertrand Hauger

Home Is Where The Mailbox Is

Some 7,000 kilometers away from my neck of the woods in eastern France, Martinique feels like home. In this French overseas region in the Lesser Antilles, people speak French, pay in euros ... but perhaps the most strikingly familiar feature is the unmistakably French yellow mailboxes across the island.

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