My Grand-Pere’s World

For more than half a century, my grandfather has spent every spare moment exploring the world, and photographing his journey. 80 countries. 20,000 high-quality, old-fashioned slides. Now each day, thanks to our digital world (and with a little help from his grandson!) he can share those places and faces and memories of a life well-traveled.

Headed West

France 2017-02-21 11:36:22

This was beyond a cross-country summer trip. From my hometown in eastern France, I had to drive across the whole country, heading for Britanny. I then carried on westward to the Finistère department. Then hopped on a boat for about an hour and voilà: I got to the small and picturesque island of Ouessant (Ushant), which is the westernmost point in Metropolitan France (excluding overseas departments like Guadalupe and La Réunion.) See more slides from My Grand-Père's World.

Good Morning, Mr. Andersen

Denmark 2017-02-17 12:59:42

You will find many statues of the legendary 19th-century local fairy tales author Hans Christian Andersen in his native Denmark. My own little mermaid Cécile was here standing next to what was then one of the most recent ones, installed just two years earlier in the capital. See more slides from My Grand-Père's World here.

Row Power

Thailand 2017-02-15 12:37:19

Navigating the khlong canals of Bangkok is quite a different experience from being on a Venetian gondola. No rowing oars here, but the famous longtail engine – basically a car engine attached to a propeller. See more slides from My Grand-Père's World.

Faraway Forge

Canada 2017-02-13 11:44:40

This traditional blacksmith, in the open-air museum of Village Historique Acadien in Canada's New Brunswick province, brought back memories of my hometown. I grew up — and still live — near one of the oldest forges in France.

When War Was Just A Game

Syria 2017-02-10 11:01:53

These young Syrians in the western city of Homs paused from playing a mock game of war to look my way for a photograph. Current Syrian ruler Bashar al-Assad, whose father had taken power two years earlier in Damascus, was about the same age as these kids. See more slides from My Grand-Père's World.

Palm In His Hand

Spain 2017-02-07 17:42:43

Little penitent during a Palm Sunday procession in Andalusia, southern Spain. See more slides from My Grand-Père's World.

Dancing Dynasty

China 2017-02-06 11:53:48

There is more to folk dancing than the famous "Dragon Dance" ... Feather Fan Dance, Ribbon Dance, Sword Dance — my wife and I spent an evening enjoying them all. See more slides from My Grand-Père's World.

Charon's Choice

Greece 2017-02-02 15:47:56

In Greece, everywhere you go and everything you see can easily take on a mythological aura. When you're well-versed in the ancient Greek texts — as a high school philosophy teacher like me was bound to be — a seemingly mundane pier like this might actually seem to be the mooring for Charon's boat, carrying the souls of the just departed across the river Styx. See more slides from My Grand-Père's World.

Big And Blue

Norway 2017-02-01 11:52:59

This monolith belongs to the Vigeland installation in Oslo's Frogner Park, an impressive series of sculptures by Gustav Vigeland, who also was the designer of the Nobel Peace Prize medal. I had a rather clear memory of the sculpture's intricate designs, but when I rediscovered this image, what struck me was the way the vertical gray mass is carved into the deep blue of the sky. See more slides from My Grand-Père's World.

Superstar Grandfathers

United Kingdom 2017-01-30 16:32:29

As you may remember, I used to conduct a traditional French music choir in my hometown. This shot was from a memorable trip abroad, to Wales, where we'd been invited to the famed Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod folk festival. The tall and handsome man signing autographs like a celebrity was not only a strong tenor in the choir, he would eventually become family. His son next to him, wearing a white bonnet, ended up marrying my daughter, making him l'autre grand-père of my grandchildren — including my grandson who helps me write this here column! See more slides from My Grand-Père's World.