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The Journey

Provence 2009

The girls: Anna Maria & Betty
The date: June, 2009
The destination: Provence, France

T he first journey this year takes us once again
to the region of Provence in southern France.
Just a year ago I was in the west of Provence with
Originally Anna Maria and Anita were planned as
the models for this trip, with Betty as makeup
artist. But when Anita cancelled at the last minute
Angela and Nikita, and this time we shall visit the I decided to offer her place to Betty, who will now
eastern section. Our destination is the area perform the two roles of model and makeup ar-
around the Cote d'Azur, not far from the Italian tist. Consequently, this time we are a very small
border. For decades this part of the country has team: only four people, including my assistant
enjoyed an international reputation as the holi- Monika.
day destination of the rich and the beautiful:
The trip will last a total of five days, three of which
names like Monaco, Nice, Cannes and St Tropez
are scheduled as working days. However, as
are legendary. However, away from the sophisti-
traveling involves only a short flight from Vienna
cated but also overcrowded coastline, which has
to Nice, we may well be able to do some work on
largely been devoured by construction work,
the first and last days as well. I have planned the
there is a wonderful hinterland which will provide
schedule in such a way that we are as flexible as
us with a variety of fascinating locations for our
possible and will be able to make the best of
whatever comes along!

Tuesday, June
Monday, September 23th
8th, 2009 2008of
: Day : Day of arrival

12.15 p.m.: At Vienna Station I meet Betty and two hours. So the girls needn't have got up quite
Anna, who have taken the train here from so early!
Budapest. Then we take a taxi to the airport,
where our flight to Nice takes off this afternoon.
1.00 p.m.: At the airport we meet my assistant,
Monika, so now our team is complete. The news
awaiting us from the airline gives less cause for
rejoicing, however: our flight will be delayed for

the plane isn't:
we sit around
Today the train for ages at the
is dead on time. airport.

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our luggage inside comfortably.m. But as we drive to our first location along a winding coast road with beautiful views. Now let's get to apparently! And the only way to get there is in a the hotel as quickly as we can! crowded shuttle-bus. functional construc- cause prob. weather soon improves. above the sea itself the storm But we are clouds are already dispersing. 11.m. And the car 7.m.: We are not the only inhabitants of the land where the hotel has been built: a colony of frogs living in a very muddy ditch alongside the building made a hell of a noise all night long – even drowning out the sound of the traffic.m.00 p. the first of this journey. and there is a nightingale perched in every freshes herself with some water which is trickling other tree.: This doesn't take long. And at least it's big enough to get all but we have to go to the office in Terminal 2.6. which like all the resorts on the Cote d'Azur comes complete with considerable glamour factor. The woman at the office in Terminal 2 also claims she can't help us – but at 8.m. tions. As we climb up the path steam is rising everywhere after the heavy shots. but now we are finally sitting us. when Betty re- rain. The restaurant doesn't offer any great But at least it's culinary delights.: After sitting around all that time. but this evening we are big enough! quite content with what we can get. Tuesday. the circus the car: the main office in the car park. in the car. Cannes. Or first day of work is deci- dedly damp at first. Our first location is a small chapel built in a mountain grotto which can only be reached by means of a spectacular flight of steps hewn into the rock face. so I'm not too in luck: the worried about this. We manage to get a number of fine down on a rock wall.30 a. tion intended for travelers with modest aspira- lems as well.. page 2 . June 9th: First day of work 8. and least she can tell us where we really can pick up a flight that didn't even take two hours.: And sure enough. either: they do have an office in our terminal.: It has taken us over an hour of infu- rental company doesn't make things easier for riating wasted time.00 a.30 p. the one continues when we get to Nice. a storm brews up. and soon the sun even begins to shine. since our hotel is in the next town. But at least the buffet breakfast is substantial and extensive! 10. Suddenly it is absolutely pouring with rain! However.00 a. it is a quite desolate.00 p. when we reach the location it has stopped raining. Unfortunately the hotel doesn't quite conform to this image: loca- Renting a car ted on a rather busy street at the edge of the turns out to town.: Up to now the weather has been quite good.. either.m. we have to wait with the long line of people waiting outside! almost half an hour for our luggage.

suitable for a stroll. This is a good sign.m.: Unfortunately things don't work out as start to our work. we set off: gather overhead again.00 p. weather still looks good. suggesting that we even while we were having breakfast the thick may be all alone down at the stream as well! cloud cover began to disperse. After climbing back down to backdrop.00 a.: As the restaurant at our hotel didn't exactly thrill us last night. Wednesday.m. place: the only 11. I had hoped for a great deal more from this location! We did get some good work done today. The to deteriorate.30 p. The car park steep path. It soon became obvious that today will be warm and sunny for us. In any afternoon there! case. we have to pack our things.: This morning was overcast at first.00 a. but not long after we arrive the clouds the car and having a break for lunch.: The chapel helped us make a good 5. but in terms of quantity it was far less than sche- duled. but is empty. but the weather isn't really suitable for taking a stroll: it's raining.: Since it looks as though another storm be able to spend a comfortable and productive is on its way. storm forces But this evening the weather really isn't us to flee. so with any luck we will 6.30 p. today we have driven into the centre of Cannes to have dinner. This gorge is though.m. Pity.m. as we will not a demanding be staying in this hotel again tonight. At least the weather forecast promises a considerable improvement We are also able to do some good work at tomorrow! the second location – for a while. In the harbor magnificent yachts are bobbing up and down against the background of neoclassical splendor. We would like to look around a bit. But not for long.m. Ideal conditions to drive to a gorge nearby where a cool stream with a number of waterfalls should provide us with a beautiful backdrop! First.00 p. page 3 . We make a dash for the first pizzeria which looks reasonable.2. it has become so dark that I can only con- tinue working by using various tricks of the trade. June 10th: Second day of work 9.m. 9. soon we decide to finish work.: It takes a while for us to navigate the access is via a winding roads leading to the gorge. unfor- tunately: an approaching The centre of Cannes is a glamorous place. And as I am shooting a we are heading for a village in the mountains series of photographs with Anna the light begins which has been in ruins for a long time. but we definitely need a second we had hoped: the ruins do provide a magnificent location for today.

which is quite expensive on top of everything else.20 p. Now all we need to do is find some is certainly accommodation for the night. June 11th: Third day of work 8. but they do have the our thorough approach to the task of clearing advantage of providing a really fine breakfast.00 p. Here it is actually better than the last place! The page 4 .m.m.: Hotels which are part of big chains restaurant manageress is rather taken aback by may be rather impersonal. almost every village boasts a charming little country inn. so that we could down at the remain flexible.: It is already late in the afternoon by the time we arrive. stream condi- 9. and the third is full. Finally we end up in a rather impersonal estab- lishment on a fast road down in the valley. However.: After spending several hours in the village also gorge. I even manage to per- suade Betty to get into the water a little.30 p. the question arises as to what we should proves to be a do with the rest of the day. so we don't have to go to bed hungry.m.30 a. Today I am able to posi- 8. But it closes 10 minutes after we arrive. and we shall have good light for several more hours.m.: By the time evening arrives and we pack up our things we really have virtually com- pensated for the less than satisfactory results But the effort yesterday.11.m. But today conditions here are so good that it has definitely been worthwhile: it is warm and sunny. and quickly: I worthwhile: didn't reserve a hotel for today. away the buffet. it is worth it: the sheer rock walls provide a wonderful back- ground for the little waterfalls and rapids along the course of the stream.00 p.: But apparently the pleasures of this tion Betty and Anna perfectly in settings consis- place must be earned: after walking through a ting of ruins overgrown with lavish vegetation! dark road tunnel for a few minutes you have to clamber down a steep path.: It really shouldn't be a problem to find tions are per- a hotel with two rooms for us in this region. We quickly throw our luggage into the rooms and then sprint to the restaurant in order to make a last-minute order before the kitchen closes. to the ruined village where we had to stop work yesterday due to bad weather.00 p.: At least the hotel has a restaurant.m. the second is simply closed. Thursday. so we don't even have time to leap into the shower. since fect for us. the ruined 3.m. I really have been regretting the fact that we didn't make full use of the opportunities presented by that place! 4. I decide to drive back good idea.00 a. even Returning to though it really is very cold. But it does turn out to be a problem: the first one we try only has one room free. 9.

3.: I had actually intended us to be in a have been here several times before. which is illuminated only by a few little could go today: we have already used all the windows. tacular places further to the west. But we provide us with a fine closing image of Anna still have time playing in the cool water against the luxurious for one last green backdrop. time left for work today.m. in atmosphere of this unique location fills every. location! page 5 . But since the flight isn't until late afternoon. we won't have much natural beauty of our girls. If we spend sphere. 12. moving again. 1. A big hotel there. This location isn't as spectacular as We are leaving the others we have visited on this trip. but has been partially hewn straight out of the rock. June 12th: Day of departure 10.m. the most sensitive light setting on my camera. It is quite dark in here.: We have covered the majority of the distance when we strike trouble: there has been a serious accident on the highway just in front of us. and we need to be at Nice Airport in a few hours. I wonder whether there's any point continuing to our planned destination now. by this time we should have been so now we call it a day much earlier.00 p. shady disrupted. Friday. but that would But it's worth it: the setting. we still have time for a quick shooting session. The mysterious the place. but it does today. and this evening we case! also have time for a relaxing dinner. Hell! While the firemen are at work in front of us and air rescue helicopters land.00 p.30 a.00 a.: An hour and a half later we finally get 7.m. The oil mill quite different part of Provence by today. now it becomes apparent that it was the right decision. But one of the locations I know there is so spectacular that it's worth the effort – so we set off! But the rest of the day works out well: the oil mill is a fantastic loca- tion! When we have almost arrived we suddenly find ourselves stuck. forms a stimulating contrast to the that much time traveling. and the traffic is at a complete standstill. excellent spi- body with enthusiasm – including me. I do know very spec.m. with its alien atmo- mean driving for almost three hours. I spend a long time thinking where we space. since yesterday evening my plan has been rather giving an archaic atmosphere to the large.30 p.: Today is our last day. We drive to a valley where there is a small stream surrounded by a lush forest.9. It is already Our destination is an abandoned oil mill which evening by the has been constructed at the bottom of a rock face time we leave in a most spectacular fashion. so I need to use locations in the vicinity.m.: Last night we worked until very late. although I rits. But I decide not to change my plan in any not far away has room for us.00 p.: After another hour's drive and half an hour spent walking along a footpath.m.

where they will catch a train back to Budapest this evening.30 p.00 p. which is the trip is about two hours' drive away. And at least the plane leaves on time today! 5. After only two rather hectic exactly accor- shooting sessions we quickly throw our things ding to plan.m. rather hectic… 2.: After we land in Vienna we accompany Betty and Anna Maria to the station.m.m.30 p. page 6 . For Monika and me the journey is already over. The last shoo- ting session of into the car and set off for the airport.: Unfortunately we are so pressed for out! Our return time today that we can't take full advantage of journey goes the potential here.: But everything works out fine: we get there in plenty of time to return the rented car without any hurry before checking in for our flight. But it all works 12. … because immediately afterwards we have to drive a long way to the airport.