Thanks to the miracle of Ryanair we arrived in southern France this morning in time for glorious pain au chocolate and delicious coffee for breakfast. OK, so it did mean we had to leave home at 3am but it was worth it.
It's really weird to be at home one minute and suddenly immersed in total 'frenchness' in less than two hours. This is a typical Ariege street full of old houses with no gardens but they certainly love their geraniums.
We always have a number of 'must dos' when we visit France - of course checking that the patisserie is still up to scratch is towards the top of the list. We also sampled Magret de Canard with a couple of the local wines tonight - it's a tough job but someone has to do it and I am more than happy to volunteer.
The main reason for the visit (apart from catching up with my sister and her other half) is to follow two stages of the Tour de France. Our favourite, Mark Cavendish, won again today and is wearing the Green Jersey tonight so we are all happy. Tomorrow we are checking out the route to find the perfect spot on the mountain to see them whizz by on Saturday. They reach such incredible speeds downhill that it makes sense to stand on an uphill stretch. That way we get a bit more time to see who's approaching. If I can manage to focus the camera on anything other than a colourful blur I'll post pictures soon.
We did manage to fit in a visit to a huge new patchwork and quilting shop in Carcassonne this morning. They have only been open for 3 months but they had an incredible range of fabrics and notions. Quiltmaking must be very popular around here. Although I intend to have as much of a break as I can I've packed my sketchbook and paints with every intention of filling some pages when I have a free minute. Holidays are often the most productive time for sketchbook work!
Thanks for taking the time to visit - bye for now, Linda