Saturday, May 19, 2018

Travel Plans

I have just realized that I have spent zero time writing these last two weeks. Well, I have been (mentally) busy planning, thinking, booking my new trip that will take place in June!
It's my annual "big" trip, you know, my once a year 2/3 weeks away kind of trip. Last year, I went to Costa Rica and Mexico City. Two years ago it was Washington DC and the Delmarva Peninsula.
This year it's gonna be America's (as in USA) Southwest. And this year as well, I have decided for the first time, to do all the booking by myself. Flight, car, hotels, etc. Usually, I plan and book part of my big trip with a travel agency but this year? I don't know. I felt like doing everything by myself.
It's time-consuming, I have to admit, and there are a lot (and I mean A LOT) of decisions to take. But it was also very exciting to do the research and to decide on every detail!
As soon as I will have put everything together, I'll let you in on my plans! It's gonna be ... oh my. I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

May Wish

The blooming flowers and trees in May always make me think of abundance. May is, par excellence, the synonym  for abundance. I wish for abundance in our lifes. Not necessarily abundance meant in the sense of more money in the bank account (well, if that is important for you ... go for it!).
I meant more abundance for the immaterial things in our lifes: love, compassion, appreciation, awareness (just to mention a few ... you'll pick what's important for you!)

Have a wonderful May!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Arcachon. Cap Ferret. Some Pictures

As always when visiting a place which touches my heart, taking pictures is difficult. Because feelings are so hard to put on picture :-) I tried anyway.

To start though I thought about adding this map that I found on Pinterest. It may help understand the geography of this special place. Arcachon is located on the Bay of Arcachon and only in Cap Ferret you get the access to the Atlantic Ocean. The Dune du Pilat is located a bit south. I chose not to take the bus to go there but to visit "from the water" ... hence the boat trip. I didn't want to wander the dune but to look at it from the sea.

Here some pictures for you but I suggest that you travel there and go see for yourself :-)

town of Arcachon

the lighthouse of Cap Ferret

Dune du Pilat seen from afar

we got nearer...

The southern tip of Cap Ferret

more Dune du Pilat

It's the biggest dune of Europe with its 110 meter. It grows wider every year and 1-5 meters of land are covered by (or lost to the sand) every year. 

Atlantic Ocean on the western side of Cap Ferret


Dune du Pilat from afar ... again

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Arcachon? Where is Arcachon?

Many people asked me how I came up with the idea of visiting Bordeaux, Arcachon, Cap Ferret. To answer their question, I had to go way back ... more precisely to my first big trip. 

I was 17 when my BFF of that time and I decided to go on an Interrail trip. The Europeans amongst my readers may know what Interrail is, the others may not. Interrail is a railway ticket that is valid on all European railway lines for the duration of one month (I don't know if it's still the case today). We paid 400 Swiss Francs (which was a fortune for me!!!) for the ticket and off we went, the two of us: to Stockholm first (too expensive, we left two days later), Amsterdam was next, Paris, Cap Ferret, Madrid, Porto, Lisbon (where we spent most of the four weeks because ... it was far less expensive than the north!) and back to Zurich.

Of all places we visited, Cap Ferret, honestly, was the one I never forgot. Not that I still had any precise picture in my head. It was more ... a feeling that I never forgot. A feeling of wonder, of beauty, of magic. Of WOW...
My first thought getting off the train in Arcachon last week was indeed one of wonder but not the wonder I'd expected. It was more like ...  
How the hell were we even able to find this town in the first place???
No Internet back then. No interconnected world like today.
How did we even know to take the train from Paris to Bordeaux? Then the train to Arcachon and then the ferry to Cap Ferret????
I re-read my diary from back then just today and apparently we stayed in a Youth Hostel in Cap Ferret.
How did we even know there was a Youth Hostel in Cap Ferret???

I suppose that we talked to other travelers or that we were helped by the railway employees. We certainly figured out the whole traveling business "en route" because we managed the whole thing just fine! :-)

And BTW, the 17 year old me was totally right.
Arcachon and Cap Ferret are places of wonder, of magic.
Places that won a permanent place in my heart. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Bordeaux: Some Words

Spending a couple of days in Bordeaux made me realize how many wonderful "unknown" cities we have in Europe. When talking about Europe, usually the more famous cities like Rome or Florence or Paris or Barcelona (usually the capital cities of our countries) are mentioned. We tend to forget that there are many other smaller cities, not well-known to the traveling public, that are worth visiting.
Bordeaux, in my opinion, is one of those.

I particularly liked the "Quartier Saint Pierre" (the historic part of town) with its old streets and its shops and boulangeries. Most of the shops sell stuff or food that has been produced nearby and you easily find everything to be organic. I loved that. I also adored that in many of the small shops I got to talk to the person who actually "made" the stuff he or she was selling. I loved the friendliness, the openness, the willingness to talk to strangers. That was pretty cool.
What I also loved were the bistrots and cute little bars and restaurants. Oh my, food-wise I could have spent a week there and not been able to try them all out!

I was told that the water front hasn't always been what it is today. There was no boardwalk and the river didn't "belong" to the Bordelais (French name for the people living in Bordeaux). Nowadays though the Bordelais have access to their river and all day long there were joggers and people on their bikes or strolling along the Garonne. Not tourists, mind you ... or at least not many. I saw grandparents with their grandchildren, couples, people sitting on the benches reading the news or a book. Really cool.

If I had to recommend one museum worth visiting, I'd say go to the Musée d'Acquitaine. Wonderful place. It shows the history of Bordeaux (also the not so nice bit with them shipping slaves to the New World). Wonderfully done and very interesting!

And last but not least I was astonished to find the city so biker friendly. I have rarely visited a (French) city where there were so many people on their bikes (and appropriate bike lanes!).