Saturday, February 13, 2021

Mid-Winter Outings

The groundhog may have seen his shadow on February 2nd, but spring is fast erupting here in the South of France. 
Some things haven't changed much. Restaurants and bars remain closed. We have a 6 p.m. curfew every night, which means we can't gather with friends in the evenings. (Yes, this is what it is meant to do.)
The vaccine is being given out at a very slow rate in France, which is a bit disheartening. 
Still, we find ways to occupy our time. 
My time is complicated because I work most days from 11-2, taking only Wednesday off work. But when I have the day off, we try to have an adventure.
This Wednesday, thanks to friends who recommended it, Earl and I traveled with Jack and Jules to Roquefort les Cascades. That's roquefort like the cheese, but not a cheese in sight. Instead, the end of the name "cascade," which means waterfall, is what we went for. 
Our friends Jim and Theresa had been earlier that week and said the waterfalls we're at peek from the melting snow. 
Several cascading jets of water made their way from the top of the hills

Each rise we climbed showed us more waterfalls.
 If the temperature had been warmer, I might have suspected a tropical paradise. 

My perpetually crooked sunglasses on top of my head as we attempted to pose in front of a waterfall. 

There's a short video of a waterfall at the bottom of this post. I couldn't get it to move up 

A week ago Sunday before, I had seen a sign advertising a honey festival. I grew up with a honey festival and continue to dream about the deliciousness of honey ice cream. I wasn't expecting that, but still decided it was worth a trip. The day was gorgeous and our friends Sue and Steve agreed to join us. 
The honey festival was in Tautavel, famous for an ancient skull discovered there proving that human ancestors lived in the area 550,000-400,000 years ago. 

The sunshine convinced us to show Sue and Steve the gorge near Tautavel. 

 The honey festival couldn't hold a candle to Lebanon's honey festival that I remember as a child, but we enjoyed looking at some bee basics. Earl and I bought a jar of honey to support the local beekeepers, along with a loaf of fig bread. Everyone who bought honey got a free sprig of mimosa. 
The mimosa blossoms were gorgeous.
Too bad I learned they can be toxic to cats so had to throw it out. 

The Wednesday before that, we had to travel to the "big city" of Perpignan to pick out new tiles for the half bath on our first floor. Since we were in Perpignan, we decided to take a trip to the beach, the Mediterranean. 

Glorious sunshine. The sand was soft, no wind blowing. But the water was cold. 

Jim came prepared, as always, wearing shorts.
Earl just walked in with his pants rolled up and they quickly unrolled. 

We didn't stay on the beach long, but it was nice to remember that warm weather and more outings will come our way as winter turns to spring. 
Theresa and I didn't spend much time in the water. 

On another Sunday morning, we went to the market in Esperaza with Jack and Jules. 
The market is in full swing, including little cups of take away coffee. 
So we'll consider having outings with our friends and exploring this beautiful country we live in. 

Here's a video of the waterfalls at Roquefort les Cascades


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

What a lovely time you had!

Kiwi said...

Great to see you folks finding ways to keep up your sense of wonder and joie de vivre during this difficult period. Road trips and the great outdoors seem like the answer. I read in the NYT that the far-right mayor of Perpignan has opened their museum in spite of the national prohibition. While I don't approve of his politics or his attempt to gain notoriety through defiance of the well-intentioned regulations, it is hard to disagree when he says he does not see how it could be more dangerous to go to a museum than a supermarket.

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