We had a lovely time again in the South of France, mainly around Pezenas (our haunt in 2007 World Cup) with day trips to Millau Bridge (unofficial 8th wonder of the modern world), Sete, Agde & Bouziques (all seaside resorts with lovely fresh seafood restaurants & cafes) and Pont du Gard, the ancient roman viaduct/bridge that covered 50k and dropped only 15 cm over that distance to allow gravity to feed water from Uzes to Nimes. Kev & I had the chance to take the "newbies" to several restaurants we have discovered before and bar one that had changed hands (and it was still good, except didn't have the Duck with Cherries Kev had waited 5 years to try again!!). We were not disappointed, however, the food is proving to be lovely and reasonably inexpensive as the Aus $ is doing us proud during this 9 week excursion!
So then on to Spain for a couple weeks where we are well and truly all becoming Spanish....lots of sleeping, sunbaking (in my case shadebaking!!), eating and drinking Sangrias by the bucketloads!! We have a lovely hillside Hacienda in Begur overlooking the Mediterranean complete with pool, BBQ & all mod cons, thanks to Sharyn & Gary's "house swap". There are 8 of us now as we have been joined by Roger & Liz. The weather has been hot to warm with only a spot of night time rain and, as the school holidays have finished, all those pesky tourists are going home & leaving us to roam with less queues & more beach space!
Spain is quite different from France, the attitude is far more laid back, shops don't display opening times, as that means they might have to stick to them (heavens forbid!), everywhere people (including the shop keepers) are in cafes talking, sipping coffee & watching us silly foreigners walking & climbing all over their quaint little towns, again mostly around the sea, as we have been sticking mainly to the coast known as the Costa Brava. The many little beaches and coves are a real treat, all quaint, very blue water and lovely sandy (not so much of this before in other countries) beaches all lined with many cafes to attend to our ever present hunger!!
We have visited the Salvador Dali Museum and I want to know what that guy was on!! He was very talented but a little bizarre (what an understatement!) for my taste, so if that was on your Christmas pressy list for me, maybe a Monet could replace it,. thanks! Have a look at the photos attached, however, and marvel how diversified he was with his paintings..... p.s. That was Kev's added comment, I still think he is tooooo strange & just conning the "art world" which I do find impressive!!
We are getting into "Tapas" as a great way to eat, many small dishes, so that choosing from the menu is so much easier, as you feel you are not missing out on all the different tastes. Us ladies are loving the Sangrias (served in 1 litre jugs) & the fact that none of us are driving (who are the clever gender??...that's a rhetorical question!), lunches are long and leisurely and sometimes followed by a little siesta (yes in the car on the way to the next castle, church, beach or fort etc) but as our brilliant navigational skills have been replaced with GPS machines, the boys think we are being quiet because we are enthralled by the passing scenery!
Note: This is the editor (Kevin) speaking now...just want you to know that the boys DON'T think the girls are quiet!!)
We have been here a week now and had a day trip to Barcelona to do some early city sightseeing, as we are also going back to Barcelona at the end of this week for 3 days & 2 nights as their annual Fiesta is on and we are told it is just "one big party", with fire dragons, displays, giant floats of 20ft high legendary people, all styles of singing, folk & flamenco dancing, markets etc..that is as long as our interpretation of the Spanish (Catalan actually, which even the Spaniards can't totally understand!!) programme is even vaguely correct and we find the right plaza at the right time over the 3 days....my attitude is follow the crowd and hope for the best and that most Spaniards are shorter than us!!....more on that after the party has been had!!!
After all that we will then be travelling back up through France and finally to Paris to catch our plane home.
Hopefully one more tale before returning (if we recover from the festival), but have to go now as I can hear ice, oranges & lemons hitting the Sangria jug!!