Sorry, this is a backwards blog and ive been in this cafe a really long time. will try for more tomorrow
It's so very very hard to describe what it's like to look and look at a place online, research all of its strengths and weaknesses, it's neighboring villages, landscapes and other options altogether and then...be there. We are in an abandoned-as-of-yet compound of tall white villas with red tile roofs that perch on the very tip of cliffs falling down to the sea. The glorious Mediterranean. If only we had five years to circumnavigate its shores, its ancient cities and trade routes, it's modern urban centers and bucolic pastoral settings. It is quite unbelievable to behold. As if we might be in a virtual postcard of some sort where everything is exactly as shown.
We had an uneventful drive from the Perigord..very sorry to leave what we all call “home”. We dove past Cahors, past Toulouse and screeched to a stop at Carcasonne. Its mighty fortified walls and fairytale looks swung us over on a siren's song. And what a song it was...do not go there. Instead, pull of on the Aire Belvedere de Carcasonne, the highway restop that overlooks it and snap your shots from there. It is truly the Disneyland of the south of France..total garbage. There was actually a “native American Souix” wearing a full headress playing the theme song from Last of the Mohicans on a pan flute. Huh???
The first clear view of the Mediterranean shocks you with its trueness. It is a sea..there is something different about it than an ocean. It is a jewel that changes its blue depending on the time of day, the heat, the diffused nature of sunlight. The cliffs here are covered with succuclents, covered in buttery yellow, magenta and red flowers. These are interpersed with giant aloe vera and Spanish Broom and Potentilla, also wearing buttery cups. So. Bambooo greens, limes and sages mix with the blues of the sea and whatever flowers are about and then there is the dome of the sky, which arcs over all and mirrors the sea's color, but allows puffy and alien ship-clouds to pass through, the sun tinging them golden, now pink, now blood red
Today was Mossy's birthday. A roundly wonderful one. We spent the morning at our little beach which is accessed by a long, winding steep set of stairs set along the cliffs edge (no guard rails, no handrails..you gotta love the French). We gingerly eased ourselves into the ice cold sea..oh the salt was glorious..which grew less cold in conjunction with the arc of the sun. The cliff rocks have a strange resinous look but must be just salt-eaten and sea-beaten, with many crevasses and cracks and crisp holes in them. Henry climbed all over and up them..they hae impeccable grip. The beach lasted for hours until Moss stepped on some spiny creature and had to be carried screaming up the cliff. He took it like a little 5 year old man, though, and was up and running for our trip to the Banyuls aquarium. Short, interesting. Ice cream, playground, hot dragging around. Then to a partisserie, where Mossy picked out his birthday cake (please forgive me out there)...a beautiful strawberry mousse/genoise cake with some sugary thing on top that suspiciously ressembled cornflakes. They also sold the most incredible b-day candle, which amounted to about 10 sparklers jammed into a small tube that lit on fire. Wow!!
We went home for a short breather to determine where to go to dinner. We had not yet attempted this and so expected the worst. We had sun infused, tired kids that may or may not act nicely. We had the best meal of our lives as a family at La Vieille Cave, with their homemade pasta (me, with salmon, Ruby with a cocktail of seafood...mussels, clams,shrimp, squid, jason, anchovies and capers) and gorgeous pizza ('hawaii” jambon, pineapple, fromage-for H. , sausage, fromage, olives for boys). A bottle of Rousillon red and four syrup drinky things, where they bring out a tall glass with a shot of grenadine (or mint) syrup, a stir stick and you pour your water in.