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Holiday lights, fountain in the historic center of Montpellier, France

Holiday lights, fountain in the historic center of Montpellier, France

— I took this photo of the fountain near the entrance of Esplanade Charles de Gaulle in Montpellier, France, on December 17, 2002. It has the distinction of being the oldest photo in my Google Photos collection — for now, at least. The camera I used back then, a Minolta point-and-shoot, had low resolution by today’s standards — about 3 megapixels, I think. However, I’m pleasantly surprised when I look back at some of these old photos and see how much nicer they look than those taken with my phone.
Maison Carrée in Nîmes on a beautiful, clear day

Maison Carrée in Nîmes on a beautiful, clear day

— I took this picture of the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, France, in 2004, during my late-summer European tour. As you can see, it was a beautiful, clear day when I visited Nîmes. Maison Carrée, Nîmes, France I lived in Richmond, Virginia, for many years. One of my favorite evening walks in the city included a stroll by the Virginia State Capitol building, which was designed by Thomas Jefferson and modeled after the Maison Carrée in Nîmes.
Hacker-Pschorr tent at Oktoberfest in Munich

Hacker-Pschorr tent at Oktoberfest in Munich

— Kathryn and I were able to spend part of a day at Oktoberfest in Munich in 2007. It seems everyone who has been to Oktoberfest has a favorite from among the major beer tents. My favorite is the Hacker-Pschorr tent. The theme is charming and simple: Bavarian heaven. To call this structure a “tent” is fairly misleading. It’s a permanent building. The only part that appears to be made of canvas is the section of the roof over the seating area.
A one-day road trip to the Cannes Film Festival

A one-day road trip to the Cannes Film Festival

— Back in the spring of 2003, I took a day trip to Cannes during its famous annual film festival. It was the last day of the festival, and most of the Hollywood celebrities had already come and gone. However, watching the European celebrities arrive for the final screening was no less glamorous. Pay close attention to the security detail. They were actually officers of the elite CRS, a special unit of the French national police, in formal uniforms.