Thursday, 11 February 2010

Heading south for the winter

Heading South for the Winter (well, just for a few weeks)

Not a good start- we had to postpone the ferry crossing by 24hrs because of yet another outbreak of snow. What seemed like a beautiful decoration of snow on Christmas Eve had evolved into an Arctic blast throughout the Xmas period. But wasn’t it gorgeous- bright, blue sky, crisp white covering and sunshine. OK by the week after Xmas the snow still hadn’t melted, and we were all getting a bit fed up of the stuff! A brief respite- grey, mild days, green fields and newly pot-holed roads were again visible. But here we go again more of that abominable snowy stuff!!!

Anyway, we finally set off in search of milder and hopefully sunnier weather. We’d arranged a rendez-vous with our friends, Glyn and Caroline in the S France near Toulouse. We spent one night in Beaune on an excellent aire/car park, surrounded by restaurants, equipped with electricity, and then a second night on another aire, directly under the ramparts of the medieval city of Carcassone- this time no facilities, but at this time of year and almost empty aire with superb views. During the summer, we would stand little chance of staying here. The ancient streets of the Cite’-clos, with its magnificent church , and castle, are normally thronged with visitors jostlingthrough the narrow streets, lined with a profusion of souvenir and craft shops. But this pm most of the shops were shut for the winter, with just a couple of bars determined to stay open. All a bit bleak and very cold, even this far South. I’d done it again. I’d packed a number of t-shirts, where a good chunky jumper would have been more useful. I never learn! I do it every year, mesmerised by the promise of winter sunshine, and every year I end up wearing the same stupidly-coloured, white sweatshirt, which gets grubbier and grubbier!!

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