Reflections and images from my travels

Farewell to France……

I am back! I know it has been about 2 weeks since I last posted. What can I say? I continue to have fun.

Last time I blogged, I was in Florac and had to make my way home to Bormes. It was going to be by bus and train. Just before I got on the bus in Florac I snapped a picture of the mountain above the town. A fond memory after my wonderful trek.

Mountain coming out of the mist, Florac

Mountain coming out of the mist, Florac

I returned to Bormes without incident but did witness a very drunk woman on the train from Marseille to Toulon. Despite what we think of the normalization and appropriate use of alcohol in France, alcoholism is a problem.

I was picked up at the train station in Toulon by Glenn and Maysan (after an interlude where we sat across the street from each other for 1 hour!). At that time they informed me that their son would be playing a soccer tournament in Sweden and they were going to attend. They would leave that Saturday July 25th and would return on July 30th with their son Iskander. I would drive to Nice early on the 25th to drop off Glenn and Maysan and I would spend a half day there to tour and then I would have their car (yes!) and the run of the villa. The next morning the 22-year-old son of an acquaintance of theirs, Jeremy, would arrive to spend some time after touring Europe. Also, another friend of Glenn’s, Nic, would be arriving from Calgary on July 27th AND their daughter Yasmeen and her first cousin Nigel were arriving from Calgary and Vancouver respectively on July 28th. I did wonder if they really were going to Sweden for a factitious tournament (just kidding).

I was a little tired and beat up after the trek, so, it was going to be a relaxing week. On July 23rd I blogged and blogged to catch up as the internet at the villa is “temperamental” and I seemed to have it’s attention and I was able to finish the blog about Corsica and the trek (you are welcome). I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and now I could just……relax!

Relax I did! I had plenty of pool time and we attended a nice birthday party for a friend of Glenn’s and Maysan’s at a lovely beach side restaurant and enjoyed a huge plate of lobster and spaghetti. Yum! It was quite a late evening and their was a little too much wine.

The next morning came too early. I drove Maysan and Glenn to the airport in Nice and had a nice tour through old town and up to the panoramic overlook for a picture of the very long beach and promenade.

Promenade des Anglais, Nice

Promenade des Anglais, Nice

I drove back to Bormes and Jeremy and I went to a kickboxing championship in Le Lavandou. We did have a glitch. It was advertised to be on the main beach but when we arrived there was no one there! I went to a local retailer trying to find out where it was being held and after a rather comical demonstration by me of kickboxing he was able to tell us the location. We arrived a little late but were surprised by the flock of Ferrari’s just outside the venue. It was an “interesting” evening. I am not a fan of men beating each other senseless. However, it was entertaining and I was impressed by how the referees controlled the match and stepped in to stop a couple of them because of injury, and in the case of the headline match, because one opponent was getting pummelled.

All went well with the pick ups early the following week. The subsequent days involved getting up early to do a bike ride before it got too hot, hikes to Notre Dame de Constance and lying around the pool and reading as well as stretching on a pad in the back garden in the afternoon. Now this is a life I could get used to! It was a pleasure having all of the company around and especially the younger guests. Nic and I were like parents cooking dinners and arranging the days for all. I just wish we had better luck finding and buying take away roast chicken for dinner (private joke)!

 

 

Glenn, Maysan and Iskander returned mid-afternoon on July 30th. We were one big happy family and had a great dinner that night on the patio with take away roast chicken (YES, it is possible). It was nearly a full moon and the sunset was beautiful that night. What a great way to end my time in France.

Almost a full moon (97.2%) on my last night in France

Almost a full moon (97.2%) on my last night in France

The next morning Glenn and Maysan drove me to the airport in Hyeres and I was off to the United Kingdom. They were such great hosts and did so much arranging and driving ensuring that my time in France would be memorable. It certainly was!  I am forever grateful. Thank you so much.

I wondered if Wales could live up to the high standard set by France! Read on to find out.

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