An Awesome Visit to the OCA Observatory on the Plateau de Calern

My partner and spouse Ralph Doggett and I are living the idyllic life in Grasse, France, where we enjoy exploring the region for the cultural and photographic opportunities it brings us. These opportunities are often an unexpected combination of adventures. On one recent occasion, we accepted an invitation that surprised us in a variety of ways – starting rather unexpectedly with one of those hikes that the French call a “rando” along the “Plateau de Calern” near Grasse on an unusually hot day in June.  Our hiking adventure, however, was only the beginning of several surprises – discovering a chapel inside a cave, for one, but most especially seeing for the first time a laser-driven telescope. This was, after all, an invitation to visit the famed Observatory of the Cote d’Azur (OCA) – an awesome learning experience for us in and of itself. But the visit proved to be a fabulous combination of unexpected adventures.  Here is a brief commentary with a photo collection  of the hike (“rando”) on the plateau, the cave and the observatory(plus a delightful dinner in the middle of it all). Continue reading “An Awesome Visit to the OCA Observatory on the Plateau de Calern”

Grasse Naval Day September 2021

As Americans living in France since the 1990s, we have long had an interest in observing  where the parallel histories of the two countries converge, and especially where they have a distinctly local connection.  We have become acquainted with two annual events – one of which occurs just down the street from Villa Ndio in August, and the other of which is a September event called “Grasse Naval Day”. This is a photo essay on the September event, but first a few words about the August event. Continue reading “Grasse Naval Day September 2021”

Operation Dragoon

Operation Dragoon
Photo by Peppy Doggett

Last year on 23 August from my bedroom at Villa Ndio I heard recordings of the Canadian, British, American and French national anthems blaring from across the way so I went down to the traffic circle nearby to find a ceremony taking place – so today when I heard bagpipes in the distance I knew immediately what was going on. I grabbed my camera and hollered up to Kathy to come on down. We were on time to watch this year’s version of the ceremony commemorating those that gave their lives in the second invasion of France by the allied forces, the one called Operation Dragoon that came from the south, east of Marseilles and west of Cannes. See the map among the photos below. The ceremony honors in particular the Americans, British and Canadians that gave their lives during the Great War to rid the world of Nazis. Two things made today’s experience particularly meaningful to me.

Continue reading “Operation Dragoon”