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Trip through Spain and France

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Offline SueMac

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« on: September 26, 2007, 13:13 PM »
Because of our protracted stay in UK and taking back the cava for the wedding we drove back to UK via Biarritz, Le Havre and Portsmouth. We travelled 2000 kms from door to door finishing with a total mileage of 5500 kms. Very easy driving with the two of us taking turns albeit expensive on French auto vias.
One of the the most noticeable characteristics were  various plants that had come and gone in our home area were at varying stages of growth as  we travelled north.  So we got to see the glorious broom again and again. We use the Murcia-Albacete road initially........

La Mancha  - to talk of tipping at windmills as anyone travelling through this area must do we  found ourselves in a world that  Cervantes would not have recognised immediately  but would have soon brought his creative mind into 21st  century focus pretty  fast.. Wind turbines everywhere marching over the hills reminiscent of the hordes, or the romans or some other group of invaders.
Then my mind' s eye did a retake and likened then to  flocks of giant silver birds anchored to the land but free to stretch toward the winds or sleep in the air's quietude.
The whole of the journey's length there is differentiation in the landscape – at times Summer's stamp on the land providing a range of golds, textures of large cut fields  relieved only by the odd single oak. Vistas of sunflower heads stretching toward the blue heavens.  Fields demarcated from each other by patterned apricot-hued ploughed  earth. If you think I am trying too hard then think again  I just dont have enough words that come to mind to describe the undulating scenes we are now wandering through.

Madrid -  Moving on we hit the plain plains that appeared to surround the environs of Madrid - such a disappointment I think and then out of nowhere we are snaking down into a gorge filled with trees.
My eyes rove from left to right and back again reflecting the many new images that made my camera shutter finger twitch. Then we come upon a snow sign which provides the timely reminder that of the harshness of winters up on this high plateau.

Guadalajara
As we move east toward Guadalajara there is a striking change again. Outcrops of high  rock formations lead us into a gorge , the hills covered  with trees that are so different from the area in which we live. This area is known as the Montes de Encinas.
We strike north to Medinacell and onwards to red wine country a veritable who's who of Spanish wine – Ribeiro, Rioja and Chivite

As we approach the border crossing at Irun  which takes ages to get through would you believe it starts to rain and isnt to  let up until we get to Normandy the following day. So they hadn't been exaggerating.......
France was pretty boring the next day in comparison I have to say. Hints of chateaux all the way up but never to be seen from the road. The most stirring thing for me was to see large quantities of heathers beneath the pines in the southern regions.

The Return.
We are two very tired people by the time we prepare ourselves for sleep on our return ferry.  All had gone very well -  wedding, photo show -  all had been great fun but now the pressure has eased on us. Time for us.  We get off the ferry at breakfast and fulfil one of my longstanding wishes to visit Honfleur. The mists are swirling
as we cross the suspension bridge leaving the uprights hanging  in the air apparently separated from the land.
By the time we hit Honfleur the morning sun is just breaking through. Perfect light for a series of photos. And then breakfast at the little  harbour.
Our  journey down through France is improved by the better weather and this time we turn south east to Toulouse and onward toward  Carcassonne to visit a friend for a couple of days..
Michele is living in the forests of the Pyrenees above Limoux. We strike the road to Limoux but the last difficult stretch is done in darkness. Tiredness is taking its toll by now and when we finally find our way up the mountain along dirt tracks I am faced with quite a bumpy climb to Michele's strawbale house and the infamous compost toilet. Daylight shows what a beautiful area of woodland – mainly oaks – we are staying in. By now we have been introduced to Blanquette de Limoux. Now this has nothing to do with my falling down in the middle of the night and breaking my finger!
We discover a four week kitten who has been wandering around apparently without mother or sibs.  Steve falls in love with her at first sight and having checked around the local community we decide she is coming back over the mountains with us. It certainly added an extra dimension to our journey down  past Girona and onwards for home.. We stopped to feed her cats milk every three hours but the toiletting got to be a little unpredictable....
We travelled through the mountains from Limoux to Perpignan – gorg-eous!
Spain again – yesss.
SueMac
SueMac

Now mainly blogging on www.suevista.blogspot.com Vistas from Afar - A European Garden Blog

Offline lisa

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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 14:55 PM »
Words just right SueMac. Lovely description of the turbines/windmills/giant silver birds, I wonder what Quixote would have made of them too.
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline lisa

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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2007, 21:43 PM »
Trip through Spain... :biggrin: geddit? (I only just did), hope the hand's getting better SueMac!
www.picos-accommodation.co.uk
Accommodation, ski touring, snowshoeing, walking and info on the flora and fauna of the Picos de Europa.
SAVE SPANISH BEARS!
And now,
The Picos de Europa
Your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Offline SueMac

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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2007, 23:08 PM »
 ::) - that's reaaally corny Lisa - but hand geting better altho two fingers still cant be bent yet. Working on it including typing. Thanks tho
SueMac
SueMac

Now mainly blogging on www.suevista.blogspot.com Vistas from Afar - A European Garden Blog

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2007, 23:38 PM »
Greetings SueMac and Lisa,
Way to go, Lisa - it's chaff like that sorts the wheat from the chaff (pun intended) - keep it up! :clapping: :biggrin: With hot ones like that you'll get to be a Full 'Shroomy before we get to staging the 1st International iberianatureforum Summit :dancing:

As for SueMac, if you insist on not using the Traumeel I've been touting right, left and centre 'ere at iberianatureforum... typing, by the way, is an incredibly silly thing (sorry, but the truth often hurts - or is that a Sp. expression?) to do if yer tryin' to get better, as it sends thousands of short sharp shocks to the bones.
Honfleur? Light perfect for series of Impressionist photos, eh?

Regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline SueMac

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« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2007, 09:03 AM »
Quite right
- to see one of Honfleur piccies you need to look at the blog version at you know where....
SueMac
SueMac

Now mainly blogging on www.suevista.blogspot.com Vistas from Afar - A European Garden Blog