Friday 15 July 2011

happy holidays

I expect it's a real bore seeing other people's holiday snaps but it is so picturesque here it's impossible not to try to capture the moment. Our recce up the mountain yesterday was really scary. Think hairpin bends and precipitous cliffs and you'll get the picture. I wasn't driving which is just as well as I had my eyes closed most of the time. How the Tour de France cyclists manage the inclines, descents and bends is anyone's guess! Despite being in the back of the car I had braked so many times by the end of the trip that my calf muscles were in permanent spasm!

Even in July the waterfalls are spectacular - it's a pity you can't hear the roar of this cascade for the full effect.

Back in Tarascon the ancient La Castella is the venue for the Bastille Day firework display. As evening approached the crowds gathered to wait for nightfall. The atmosphere was celebratory with families filling the bars and lining the roads below the tower.

This is the third time we've been there on the 14th July and it was as spectacular as ever. No one gets to sleep early this night!

Once the fireworks are finished the band starts up in the square and the dancing begins. There's no sign of English reserve here and everyone joins in whether they know the dance or not.

We may have had a late night but we were up bright and early this morning for the market in Foix. As someone who loves to bake I found these magnificent loaves very impressive.

What good is bread without the specialities of the region?

And maybe a little garlic for added flavour!

I'm sorry if all this sounds as though I work for the local tourist board. I'm sure there must be a downside to this way of life but I confess I haven't found it yet!

We have everything we need for tomorrow's picnic on the mountain. The roads approaching the route will be closed in advance of the tour passing through so we plan an early start and are taking plenty of provisions just in case we get stuck for a while! It should be exciting!!

Talk to you again soon - bye for now,


  1. Your tale has brought me back to the Grand Prix of Europe in Nurburgring which I watched in 1968. We had to camp out next to the tract in our VW bus. Those were the days. Peace!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your vacation. I have only seen the newspaper photos of the Gran Prix and in black and white. You photos and stories add so much to the event. Your writing adds a flair of the excitement to being there. Judy Haas in South Dakota.

  3. I love these sausages!!!!
    gr. Marjolijn

  4. Wonderful photos! And such potential for your art -- I see such textures in the waterfall and stitching fun in the fireworks...

  5. What spectacular photos! The bread, oh my gosh, the bread, and I know there must be some to die for cheese and wine nearby. Have a wonderful time!

  6. The bread and pastries want to make me rush over there. The flowers are gorgeous and I would love to see a stage in the TDF.