Monday, 9 May 2016

Campsite in Annecy - Swimming and Snow

The lake and the snow
Mama had been really looking forward to going to Annecy but she says she was a bit disappointed when she got here as it was so busy.
Tree Climber
But we found this really great campsite called Camping Europa in St Jorioz.  It had heated swimming pools and a jumping castle and lots of children for me to play with.
Off swimming
There is a cycle path with runs all the way round the lake and one day we cycled into Annecy.  It was a very pretty town but ever so busy.  Mama said she had forgotten what a crowd was.
Annecy Central
 So we scarpered off back to the van and did some more cycling.  There are some people going very very fast on the cycle lane but I ding my bell at them and try to catch them up.
Road to somewhere
I spent ages trying to charm the girl next door.  She eventually gave in when I started to stroke her face.  I think she liked that.
Making Friends
I made friends with everybody on the campsite except for a Swiss family who didn't want anything to do with me.  I kept trying though.  I eventually won the Mama round by giving her a balloon.  She tried to refuse it but I insisted.
Swimming in the lake
We even had a bit of a paddle in the lake.  Mama said her ankles had gone numb but I was OK.  We are leaving tomorrow to go and see my Aunty Jackie in Germany.  She is having a birthday party and I am very excited about seeing her and her daughter - Big Girl. I am also very excited because my Uncle Joe is coming too and my Uncle Giorgio and we are all staying at the same campsite together.  We are going to have a party!



Sunday, 8 May 2016

All the Curly Cs Castellane and Chichilianne

 

Climbing to the top
Castellane was a bit of a disappointment after magnificent Moustiers but then we decided to climb to the chapel on the top of the rock and it was amazing.
View from the top
The chapel was surrounded by lilac blossom and it smelt fizzy.     
The chapel
We could see Nona parked below us and when I went to bed I could see my mate's mama lit up on top of the rock through our roof window.
 The chapel was very special too.  Instead of it being full of my mate being poked with spears it was full of people's paintings of his mum with him as a baby.
The Chapel
We drove from there to a place called Chichilianne which was in the middle of nowhere.

Chichiliane
Mama said it looked like Switzerland.  There were lots of brown cows with big brown eyes and flowers and mountains with snow.

Our Camping Spot
We parked on the green in the middle of the village. There was a great bakery opposite us and this crazy snowy smoke stack mountain behind us.

Marvellous Moustiers Sainte Marie and Gorgeous Gorge de Verdon

My favourite waste of time
So we stopped in this aire below a village on a cliff and across the gorge was a chain with a gold star in the middle.  I spent ages explaining how it got there.  We climbed to the top of the gorge.


View from the top
And there was a really beutiful chapel there with my mate in it.  Mama said it nearly made her believe in God.
Upto the chapel
The next day Mama found a hike for us to go on and we walked and walked and walked.  I skipped a lot of the way. 

The walk
We could see a huge lake in the distance and there was a big rustling in the bushes which Mama said was wild boar and daddy said deer and I said bear.
Don't jump
We got to the very top and I ate pistachio nuts.        

The top
Mama said she would take us for a fancy meal when we got back so we went in this restaurant overlooking the gorge which was all tinkly glasses and white cloths. Daddy could see a snake in the water below.  When the waiter came over to ask what we wanted to drink Mama said un kir and daddy said une biere and I said an agua con gaz and then I did a little buff.  Mama and I ignored it but when the waiter left I said he could bring the agua and I would add the gaz.  And then we all rolled about laughing for about an hour.
Pudding
The food was very nice.  I am a big fan of tapenade.  The black one.   The town is great.  There are loads of fountains for me to play in.  Mama and Daddy love it here too.
The town
We spent a few days here and then left to drive round the gorge.  Gosh it was cold.  It was high too. Mama says it is Europe's largest canyon.
The gorge
I noticed that Mama didn't go too close.
A long way down
The water was this amazing green colour and we saw an eagle.
More view
Daddy parked the van up and we walked part way down but didn't get to the bottom.
Our lunch view
Daddy said it was some of the best scenery he has seen which is big stuff coming from Daddy.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

A day in Provence - Fountaine de Vaucluse and L'isle sur la Sorgue

The town
 Mama decided that she wanted to see the mysterious source of the River Sorgue and so daddy drove us up into the mountains.  Mama said that it is the world's fifth most powerful spring and that Jacques Cousteau tried to get down to the bottom.  Whoever he is.
The light
Anyway it was beautiful.  Everything was the greenest green I've ever seen.  And water came gushing out of the rocks.          
Gushing water
 But it was very strange because higher up the river was dry and the water disappeared until we found it again in a deep dark cave.
The source

 We spent quite a while by the river and then drove into L'isle sur la Sorgue for the night. 
Mama said it was like living the French dream.  The town was full of arcades and yellow tablecloths and water wheels and shops selling strawberries and straw hats and olives and lavender and Mama said oh.  Why have not been here before?
An Arcade
 She bought some tapenade and a box of strawberries and a small slice of saucisson and we ran out of money.  Mama said maybe that was why she'd not been here before.     
Me and my hat     

 So I picked her some flowers. 

Flowers
Spring is here and it is gushing forth.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

And so to St Jean de Luz.  There is a great campsite there with a heated pool.  Mama likes to sniff at the sea.
A cliff
It was strange to be back somewhere where we were 7 months ago but it is a really beautiful place.  It smells of the sea and it is green and damp and has wild strawberries and brambles and damp air.
We spent a week on the campsite and then headed off to see Tatie Suzy in Capestang.  On the way we stopped at this amazing Parc Prehistoire at Tarascon sur Ariege.  It was wonderful.  There was trackjing.  I love tracking.  Footprints and animal poo.
Is that a bear coming?
 And they had old huts.
An old hut
 And cave painting run by a very nice lady who knew a lot about cave painting.  When I asked her where I could paint she said anywhere so I started painting on her easel and she said not there.                 
Cave painting
 But the very best thing was hunting.  I got to throw a spear at a plastic rabbit.  I missed but I am now on a spear mission.
Hunting plastic rabbits
 There was a great big whirl pool which was black with tadpoles.
The whirlpool

Tadpoles
 Mama was a whiz at catching tadpoles.  She let me hold to spawn too.  It vibrated like electricity was running through it.  Mama said she thought it was toad spawn as it was in long tubes.                  
Wooly Mamoths
 There was a fabulous wooly mamoth which wasn't very wooly and lots of cave paintings too.


Me in a cave
 Mama said it was a replica of the Grotte de Niaux and that they were really beautiful paintings which were painted 2km underground in the dark.  I preferred the plastic rabbit.  We spent the night in their car park and it was a beautiful place surrounded by mountains.                    
Morning Walk
In the morning we found an artists trail opposite the carpark and found loads of bits of pieces in a field.                  
Art in a field
 Mama thought it was great but I had very wet feet and the cows kept staring at me.  Daddy said that you always get artists in mountains.         
Our parking place

Monday, 18 April 2016

Aires and Graces El Burgo de Osma and Sierra de Cebollera

Another view of a Cathedral
So we stopped the night in an Aire at El Burgo de Osma.  Another old town.  Daddy saw Mama reading a sign about the town.  She was reading it for about ten minutes.  When she came back he asked her what it said.  She looked blank.  Just a load of dates and names she said.
Cold
It was very cold here too.  And empty.  And in the middle of nowhere.  But pretty amazing.  
Amazing
 Daddy said that if it were the only place we had visited in Spain, we would have been blown away.  Mama said yeah yeah yeah.  Take me to a bar.
The pub
We went in a bar which was just like an English pub.  All dark furniture, fruit machines and adverts for Coca Cola.  (Mama is horrified that even though I have never drunk it and I don't watch television I can point out Coca Cola from a mile away). The place even smelt of wee and air freshener.   Mama said take me to the sea.  So we set off for St Jean de Luz.
On the way we stopped for lunch
Sierra de Cebollera was just beautiful.  A mountain village with snow and rushing gushing steams and sheep with bells.

But it had a playground
Mama wanted to stay here but Daddy said you wanted to see the sea so get back in the van.
Bye bye Mountain Village


Bye Bye Spain.  We will miss you.  Adios.