Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Once You Are In

I don't have vast experience of traveling overland on the continent of Europe. Most of my trips have been made via the gift of air travel. This means that when I travel from the UK to other countries, I'll have to go through immigration and customs each and every time. This trip was a little different as we were making the journey by car.

We weren't stopped by French immigration when coming into Calais and during our holiday, we crossed over into Spain a couple of times. One day we made a day trip to The Principality of Andorra. Although we had our passports on our person, they were not needed for any of these trips across country borders.Here is the now redundant border crossing between France and Spain. Henry and I were thinking wars that had been fought between France and Spain and how fiercely these now open borders had been fortified. Now we don't even have to slow down. Amazing! We just ran around taking photos and it was a non-event. No guards, no guns or offical stamps, just a lot of sun and wind and happy holiday makers. With the introduction of the Euro, this Bureau de Change is no longer needed. Its a shame because it has a great view!

This is the big public beach in Llansa, Spain. We preferred the quieter, rocky beach. Tucking into the picnic!
There was a nice view point on the rocks above the beach. We could see these knucklehead kids jumping off the rocks into the sea. It made my stomach lurch every time they jumped. In the end, I just stopped watching.

Here he is looking out to sea!

This water is the reason that we just don't ever travel without our snorkeling gear when we're on holiday. I don't want to be stuck looking at warm clear water like that and not be able to get in it with a mask and snorkel!

Torreilles Plage where we were staying sort of marks the end of the long golden sandy beach area of France. The coast becomes much rockier as it approaches the Pyrenees. It doesn't mean that there are no beaches, it is just that the beaches that are on this bit of the coast are smaller, pebbled and much more intimate.

It was on these smaller beaches that I collected all my sea glass. I just love those bits of broken bottles that have been made safe and opaque by the action of the sand and sea. In addition to the very common green glass, I found some amber glass and a small bit of the very excellent cobalt glass! I turned it into a fish on our caravan's kitchen table. I have all these bits of smoothed glass in a plastic container with the best of the shells and other seaside treasures in the kitchen here at the house. I always think I'll do something creative with these things when I get home. Sadly when I get home, I never have the time.

This is a placemat from a day when we didn't pack a picnic and had lunch under umbrellas.
I think it is one of the most joyful works Picasso made.
On our way home from one of our days on a Spanish beach and back over the twisty roads where there is NO overtaking, we were stuck behind this motorcylist and his girlfriend. I don't know if she had an ipod stuck in her ears or if her helmet was wired for sound but this lovely creature was dancing on the back of this bike, waving her arms about, jabbing the sky with an index finger and obviously enjoying the day. She mirrored my mood, but I was driving and couldn't dance.

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