I thought I would write a little about my posts and particularly their length. My background as a scientist and physician led me to publish a large number of technical books and articles. I am retired now but my writing habits remain a little obsessive-compulsive. I could split posts into many smaller posts but to me that would read differently. I try to keep the posts as short as possible but I often find that the art, object, food or monument requires context to fully appreciate it. As a compromise I try to keep the text down to one paragraph per picture so that if you are interested in mostly pictures, you can scroll by the text. In the near future I hope to incorporate photo albums by geographic location. I also plan to incorporate site modifications such as a hierarchical category list to help you the reader find information more easily. The website was my first experiment. The plan is to completely redo it, in the near future. Also, I realize most of the posts are currently about France, we have tons of pictures from other places and they will be included in the future. If you can think of any other ways to make the site more user-friendly please share your ideas here.
I take the tag-line of this blog, look..learn..eat..live, seriously. I think to really get to know a place, you must start little and build up. Look at the trees and begin to understand the forest. Good pictures make a travel blog great and I have tried to continuously improve the pictures. As of this moment I am using a Lumix GF5x camera back with Lumix micro 4/3 lenses. In my collection of lenses I have a new f2.7 12-35 lens which I hope will give better museum pictures in uncertain light. I also have the 14-43 and the 45-175 f4-5.6 Lumix zoom lenses for outdoor and video shots. I also use my IPhone for panoramic shots and ceilings. I do like technology and almost all my posts are made on an IPad 3, although we do travel with an Apple Airbook. In the coming year I am planning HDR (high definition range) shots using the bracketing on the Lumix GF5x. I hope these will really increase the quality of unevenly lit subjects and give spectacular pictures. I do post video and plan to post more on YouTube on the channel traveltoeat.
The name of the blog, Travel to Eat, is what I started out with but it really does not reflect the “learn” in the tag-line. I am a big fan of history, particularly intellectual history, art history, archeology and ancient history. I want to know what historical forces led to the creation of borders, customs, art, language and everything else. We often plan our itinerary on historical themes and we both love museums. I think we live in an era, thanks largely to technology and the Internet, when history is being reappraised, and we can all be a part of it. The Old Testament, Classical Greek literature and myths/legends of all kinds are being re-evaluated as possible eyewitness accounts of actual history. New technologies are revolutionizing archeology, understanding of ancient weather patterns and even locating new sites. It is estimated that on the basis of satellite images only about 10% of the sites in Egypt have been excavated. We live in an age when everyone can see the latest data, the latest theories, the most beautiful pictures and we all can speculate on what it all means. My goal is to bring those theories, that data and those pictures to your home computer as if you were there.
I realize that I often cover technical subjects, like clocks, maps, nautical instruments and maps. I look at odd stuff as a challenge to blogging. I hope to intrigue you, perhaps to develop interests you didn’t know you had. To this end, I have started including references to exceptional sites on the same subject. I hope that these subjects give you a new perspective on familiar places. Let me know what you think or what you would like to see.
I am a firm believer that food and it’s components are an essential part of truly understanding and enjoying a particular locale. Everyone eats, most people cook and if you go where people eat and drink, you will more often than not find out what is on the local calendar. Aside from all of that, I love to cook and I would literally travel a thousand miles for a new taste, ingredient or meal. This blog is not just about food and history, it is about living fully and having fun. We will pretty much go anywhere, eat anything and drink liberally while doing it. The posts on Saint Malo came with a chance meeting with a woman in the produce store. She said it was great and we decided to go, what a beautiful place (sigh). Moral of the story, be impulsive, if it feels right just do it. We both hope you will enjoy these posts and that perhaps you will be persuaded to visit some of the places in the blog.
Kurt Buzard MD