Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Scandalous train


Big turmoil Sunday: several trains traveling from the South to Paris were delayed. That, in France, is scandalous, believe me! What happened? There was a problem with the catenary between Marseille and Nice and some people had to wait up to... 10 hours to go back home. I was in one of these trains, but was lucky enough to be delayed only 40 minutes. No harm ;) And I really enjoyed my 3 days in the south (in Languedoc, more precisely).

56 comments:

  1. I love the design-y quality of this image. I could wear that as a scarf!

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  2. Californians are so detached from rail systems, it's laughable. Well, if you don't cry.

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  3. 10 hours...10 hours... I would have had the time to kill all the travelers, the barman and even the driver! This kind of things makes me crazy. The worst is when there is not more water in the Bar and you are just thinking of drinking (because you can't drink the water of the restrooms washbasin)...awful souvenirs.

    I took the TGV 4 times since June and the trains were always late, from ten minutes to one hour.(guille the moaner). :p

    Eric, did you use Photoshop? Awesome colors!

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  4. Ah, the glories of train travel!!

    My favorite memory of train travel was in England where my hubby and I got to the Refreshment car too late and had to have peanut butter and jelly from the small stash in our luggage. (But we did have to take the mold off parts of the bread first!) Yep, good old train travel! Now I look back on that as a fond memory! :)

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  5. PS---It is already my anniversary in Paris!! Hooray!! 13 years!

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  6. Eric, as Guille says the colors are engaging. They set off the metalwork and wires nicely. So glad you had a nice trip to Languedoc. My summer was definitely a "staycation", but in my dreams I vacated to the south of France and to NYCs Village Van Guard. Cheaper to travel this way anyway with gas prices soaring! As for complaints of trains and the delays therein, my kingdom for a train says I. Cheers!

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  7. Eric, as Guille says the colors are engaging. They set off the metalwork and wires nicely. So glad you had a nice trip to Languedoc. My summer was definitely a "staycation", but in my dreams I vacated to the south of France and to NYCs Village Van Guard. Cheaper to travel this way anyway with gas prices soaring! As for complaints of trains and the delays therein, my kingdom for a train says I. Cheers!

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  8. Perhaps I'll regard this fine photo as a weather report, Eric.
    I hope it remains as nice for a little while, yet.

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  9. very lovely, crisp graphic pattern against the ombre sky....

    i have fond memories of riding the train every summer with my mother from new york to los angeles - she would not fly, so we traveled three days by train, to and from. as a child it was probably interminable, but now I think it sounds delightful...nothing to do for three days but read, nap, and watch the world go by

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  10. I, too, like the design elements of this photo, Eric--the patterns against the sky. I'm glad you didn't have to wait too long for your train, and that you enjoyed your time in Languedoc.

    Happy anniversary, Christie!

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  11. I LOVE this awesome photo, Eric!!!
    Gorgeous graphic qualities - it totally should be a scarf.

    I unexpectedly came to love Languedoc, too. I went to stay there outside Rodez because I'd read a great book called "A Fool and His Gold" agout that city, which in the middle ages was both a walled city around the perimeter and in two sections down the center since one half was owned by the local bishop and the other was owned by his brother the local Duke, and - brothers being brothers - they hated each other. Needless to say, it was the poor townsfolk who suffered, being locked into one side or the other at night, with a no man's land in between. The book is a tale of a lost, then found again, treasure taken from the actual transcripts of the trial that ensued when the man who lost, the man who found, and the Duke, all claimed it.

    Languedoc was so green and sort of extreme and the stone farmhouses so beautiful, in a style much to my liking. I had a lovely room in a converted 17th century manor home that was a mile in from the road thru the forest and half way down a cliff over a roaring river.

    Ahhhh.....how many memories one word brought back to me! Not to mention the little old lady who, grinning from over her farmboots and under her headscarf, talked and talked to me when I got lost and wandered onto her farm looking for directions, never paying any mind to the fact that I obviously couldn't understand a thing she was saying! But we both smiled alot and parted friends.

    Ahhh....

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  12. hi islipian
    it sounds really nice you could write nice memories about it
    btw how much would a journey like this cost nowadays in case we plan to visit the californian pdp bloggers stopping to fetch the other on the way

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  13. Carrie...enjoyed reading about your adventure in Languedoc. Thanks for sharing. ;-)

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  14. 10 hours? Geez, I would have just started walking home after an hour or so of waiting!

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  15. I love this abstract photo -- very cool. I would hate to paint it -- too many straight rigid lines. To me, it makes a better photo than a painting.

    I don't own a car. San Francisco is totally into trains; actually any mass transit vehicle is popular in this city. I sold my car when I moved from Hollywood -- just didn't need it in San Francisco and I could up-grade my apartment with the money I saved. I take the CalTrain every day Monday through Friday. It departs from San Francisco on time to the minute! So beware if you are late -- you missed the train. I take it to Silicon Valley and back. In the last car people drink and party. I usually sleep or read. Time well spent. Better than being stuck in traffic.

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  16. Carrie, Merci for the story about Rodez and the book called "A Fool and His Gold". I love finding out about these events in history. PDP is so awesome in this respect. Everyone gets so involved -- it is terrific.

    Coltrane, As a writer (you) once said, "I hate it when I repeat myself" HAHAHAHA :-) I'll never forget that one. BTW, I forwarded your comment about your dog and his language skills to my Baron, my X and my daughter. They think you are VERY funny and a good writer. I'm telling you man, you have a gift! Oh, I also told my Baron the taco story of you and your daughter -- he thought that was funny too.

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  17. Lois...you made my night!;-) A lot of fab writing on this PDP blog...yours is always appreciated on the ColTrain. At present, "writing" happens to be on my brain (for better or for worse, richer or poorer, till death do we part) as I prepare to do battle with my Composition classes which start Thursday. Yep, then lookout for I'll likely turn into Dickens' "Gradgrind"...okay, maybe not that bad. I do hope I'm still in the writing mood after weekly correcting the 100+ students essays. So, you can see that you really made my evening. Have a great week, Lois. Best to your family too! Tell 'em to have a margarita on me. ;-)

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  18. Eric you have such a wonderful attitude counting your misfortune of just 40 minutes delay as opposed to 10 hours!
    The colors in the sky are so subtly
    beautiful.
    Interesting point of view, makes me want to see more.

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  19. Fascinating design in this photo! Good eye!
    Glad you didn't have to wait 10 hours to get home.

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  20. Oh my goodness gracious, how less controversial than yesterday's photo. I love the colors and contrast Eric. Oh please do make it into a scarf! I love the new 2009 calendars you made too. Last year's was great but now I have TWO to choose from. I guess I will have to get them both!

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  21. So according to the rules, our USElaine is wearing the GF crown. Sorry Loic -- must be 2 sentences about the photo. hahahahahaha

    Eric, I have been putting my head together with other PDP's for my next Paris painting. The swans on the Seine are definitely out. My X screamed when he saw the photo, "Swans? in Paris? on the Seine? How did they get there?" Me, "I doNo". Then I was talking to Cali and I realized, it is a better photo (because it is believable -- as a painting, it will look like fantasy art.

    We are really "brain-storming" here on PDP.

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  22. Eric - this is a great shot! Not only that, but the story lets us wonder what you were doing when you heard the annoncement, "En raison des problemes de catenaire, le train numero 2206, en provenance de Montpellier, devait départ avec plus de 40 min de retard environ. Merci pour votre comprehension."

    That woman's voice drives me crazy and I always wonder how she always happens to be at the train station I'm at when I hear her over the loudspeaker!

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  23. To Rachel and the others who'd like a scarf, unfortunately, Zazzle doesn't let me make one. Anyone for a tie? LOL

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  24. Whatever happens.. you are still in france.. count your blessings.. whatever the hell that means...

    - T

    www.MostEmailedNews.com

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  25. You people who do not live in England have no idea how lucky you are. Try taking a train here and see how good your patience is.

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  26. Belle photo d'un réseau...
    Réseaux ferroviaires, routiers, électriques, téléphoniques, informatiques, sociaux ...! Connections between ... people. Great, of course!

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  27. What a wonderful word "catenary"! One almost expects to see cats strolling along. Or perhaps the idea is Nary a cat because they have enough sense not to play on the tracks.

    Very glad you made it home safely, Eric.

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  28. I agree with the consensus, the design & lighting are fabulous!
    (Re: yesterday's comment - Michael, I didn't see your follow up to my comment - but thanks to Jeff for answering it!)

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  29. Lady Like - I work in this business and never thought about it like that. In fact, when I think about it, it could be a cat after a canary...

    Nikon, yes, thank you Jeff.

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  30. As a power lineman in San Francisco, I can appreciate this shot! Electric lines may be unsightly to most but they are always a source of atraction to those of us who work on them.
    France, and indeed most of Europe, has a transportation system that we, who are more in the know, just seethed with the frustration of our inability to attain. C'est la vie....

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  31. ColTrain! HAHAHAHAHA! Oh I shouldn't comment any further, I'll just get myself in trouble. ...oh what the heck! How much are tickets? I'd like to go for a ride! (Sorry!)

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  32. Genemarine - I love your blogger name! Now, can you sing for us that old Glenn Campbell song: Wichita Lineman


    I am a lineman for the county.
    And I drive the mainroad.
    Lookin' in the sun for another overload.

    I hear you singing in the wire.
    Chorus 1
    I can hear you thru the whine.
    And the Wichita Lineman,
    is still on the line.

    I know I need a small vacation.
    But it don't look like rain.
    And if it snows that stretch down south,
    won't ever stand the strain.

    And I need you more than want you.
    Chorus 2
    And I want you for all time.
    And the Wichita Lineman,
    is still on the line.

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  33. Soosha...how much does a Mojito and some tunes from Coltrane cost? It's cheap travel for sure! You are more than welcome! A new profile I see.;-)

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  34. catenary
    One entry found.
    catenary
    Main Entry: cat·e·nary
    Pronunciation: \ˈka-tə-ˌner-ē, -ˌne-rē, especially British kə-ˈtē-nə-rē\
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural cat·e·nar·ies
    Etymology: New Latin catenaria, from Latin, feminine of catenarius of a chain, from catena
    Date: 1788
    1 : the curve assumed by a cord of uniform density and cross section that is perfectly flexible but not capable of being stretched and that hangs freely from two fixed points
    2 : something in the form of a catenary
    — catenary adjective

    That didn't help, M. Merriam-Webster. Let's try Dictionary.com:

    cat·e·nar·y Audio Help /ˈkætnˌɛri; especially Brit. kəˈtinəri/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[kat-n-er-ee; especially Brit. kuh-tee-nuh-ree] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation noun, plural -nar·ies, adjective
    –noun 1. Mathematics. the curve assumed approximately by a heavy uniform cord or chain hanging freely from two points not in the same vertical line. Equation: y = k cosh(x/k).
    2. (in electric railroads) the cable, running above the track, from which the trolley wire is suspended.
    –adjective 3. of, pertaining to, or resembling a catenary.
    4. of or pertaining to a chain or linked series.

    [Origin: 1780–90; < L caténārius relating to a chain, equiv. to catén(a) a chain + -ārius -ary]

    Much better. It's good I'll be going to Chicago soon so that I can see some catenaries!

    I'm cattin' ary
    Satin doll...
    (apologies to Duke Ellington)

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  35. Michael, I'm old enough to remember that song in the hit rotation. It's today's earworm, thank-you-very-much.

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  36. uselaine scavenges a bit of bent metal tape, a nut and bolt, and devises a morse code ticker on the side of the crown...

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  37. Wow! Now we learn about the origin of words on PDP! I'm impressed Jeff ;)

    USElaine "Californians are so detached from rail systems" LOL

    Guille "Eric, did you use Photoshop? Awesome colors!" Nope! It's 100% natural!

    Coltrane "My summer was definitely a "staycation" I like this expression ;)

    M. Benaut "I hope it remains as nice for a little while, yet" er... How to say... It just poured 5 minutes ago near my office!

    Islimian "from new york to los angeles - she would not fly, so we traveled three days by train". I did not know you could still do that in the US. hum.

    Carrie "Gorgeous graphic qualities - it totally should be a scarf." OK, I like that...

    Lois "I would hate to paint it -- too many straight rigid lines" You bet! "I usually sleep or read. Time well spent. Better than being stuck in traffic." I agree. Vive le train !

    rachel "Last year's was great but now I have TWO to choose from. I guess I will have to get them both!" ;)))))))

    Michael ""En raison des problemes de catenaire, le train numero 2206, en provenance de Montpellier, devait départ avec plus de 40 min de retard environ. Merci pour votre comprehension" It looks like you heard it so much that you know it by heart now! Who do you work for BTW, can you remind us???

    Corinne "Belle photo d'un réseau... " Et le réseau, ça me connait !!

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  38. What a fabulous photo! so intriguing!

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  39. Wow, Eric - I can't believe the color wasn't altered on this photo! This is a phenomenon as a natural result.

    Actually, now that I remember it, I once took a photo of a yard area with lots of foliage that ended up somehow in fantastic shades of pinks and oranges. I just assumed it was due to some sort of processing error. But maybe there is more to it than that -- alien influences maybe!!??

    I know -- lets not start with the aliens....

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  40. The color looks like sky to me. It could be a browser phenomenon!

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  41. Wat a wonderful graphical design you made here!!

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  42. Look at all this entertaining commentary that I missed today because I was too busy at my job! Not fair, I say. I'm going to lobby for scheduled blog every 2 hours or so.
    Terrific photo, Eric. I'm sure there were lots of images to choose from, but this is so wonderfully graphic. Glad you had a good time in Languedoc.

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  43. Nothing like taking a mid afternoon sanity break, I always say.

    Not that 3 o'clock has any particular PDP importance or anything......

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  44. Is it possible the unthinkable happened? The train was so late! In Nice too. Shocking. JOking aside a regular happening in the UK.I would still much rather me sat for 10 hrs on atrain in Nice than 10 mins in the UK.

    Love the lines and stark bleached out
    background. Sometimes the story compels ths image be taken

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  45. This is a cool shot! I really like it! :) But, Eric, delays at the SCNF? No!! Shocking! ;)

    If this makes you feel any better, I once sat in a train at Gare du Nord for a long time because although the train was on time, all the wagons were hooked up and everything (1), it still couldn't leave because ... the locomotive was late!

    (1) And yes, it is a good idea to make sure your wagon is hooked up to the rest of the train when you board. I'm not kidding. I once sat in the part of the train that doesn't go anywhere... NOT FUNNY! grrr

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  46. lol coltrane! I'm just going to assume your idea of my comment was not the same as the way I meant it!!! Glad you like what ya see on me profile, though, even if that is meant differently by you then I'm taking it!

    Oh yeah, and I know a place 'round here we can get cheap mojitos together!

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  47. lol coltrane! I'm just going to assume your idea of my comment was not the same as the way I meant it!!! Glad you like what ya see on me profile, though, even if that is meant differently by you then I'm taking it!

    Oh yeah, and I know a place 'round here we can get cheap mojitos together!

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  48. *grumblegrumble* Stupid school computer made me post twice. Grrrr.

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  49. Soosha...cheap mojitos! How can I resist! :-)

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  50. Electric lines have never looked so good.

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  51. lol! Whenever you have a chance to visit St. Louis, coltrane!

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  52. Très jolie photo, très graphique.
    J'aime particulièrement le dégradé du ciel, bleu clair vers ce jaune pâle. Ces couleurs apportent une vraie quiétude à la scène.
    Bravo

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