Category Archives: France

Fete de la Muguet

muguet

Several years ago when we used to live in the south of France, I received a sprig of “muguet” (lily-of-the-valley in English) from a dear neighbour who, despite losing his wife a while back, went on with the French tradition of muguet-giving, and me, being a recipient of one on that very special day buoyed my heart immensely!

On 1st of May 1561 a bouquet of muguet was given as a lucky charm to King Charles IX of France. From then on, he continued the habit of offering the tiny and delicate flower to all the ladies of the court as a sign of good luck and happiness. This started what today as one of the most beautiful traditions of the country, that of giving muguets to one’s friends or loved ones every First of May.

The Flamingoes in Palavas les Flots

Here are my repeated attempts at photographing the flamingoes, not so brilliant because it’s been grey or cloudy since we arrived. Wish the sun comes out tomorrow then perhaps I might be able to capture clearer details of these pink beauties!
We count ourselves lucky to find this little gem of a coastal town near Montpellier. Called “Palavas les flots”, it has the fishing village charm with the Mediterranean sea on one side and natural ponds and lakes on the other, a nature reserve attracting many migratory birds and wildlife. We saw an otter last night, just under the bridge, a lot of strange looking birds and of course the flock of flamingoes! We just love this place!

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and more…

flamingoes

Full moon as seen from the campsite

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I went out this morning to go to the campsite’s dishwashing area when I saw something like a spotlight. What is that, I wondered. It couldn’t be the moon as it’s already 7:30am and besides, it’s a bit low in the sky. Oh well, I went on with my washing but the presence of this ‘spotlight’ kept bothering me. What date is it today, the 13th…yes, it could well be the full moon. I quickly went back to the campervan, turned on the internet and googled ‘full moon January 2017″ and it gave the answer ‘ 12 Jan 2017! Holy cow! How could
have i missed it last night (supposedly the time it is lowest in the horizon). I immediately searched for my tripod wasting a total 30 minutes and in the meantime, lady moon is quickly disappearing from the sky.

Thank goodness it waited for me and despite the howling wind that kept shaking my tripod I got this shot, bit blurry but I got the thrill of the moment ???

Argeles sur mer

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The beach where Charlie goes galloping like a horse and the three of us soaking in sunshine and frolicking in the sand, daily, all to ourselves. We are in one of the most beautiful beaches in the #Mediterranean, almost haunted in the Winter but the town’s 9000 population is multiplied by 10 in the Summer. The Pyrénées mountains in the background is the natural boundary between Spain and France and though it exudes a perfect postcard beauty, it played silent witness to the horrors of the Spanish Civil War when, nearly eighty years ago, half a million refugees fleeing Franco’s Fascist regime crossed these mountains in the middle of a harsh Winter in search of freedom and refuge….

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The snowcapped Pyrénées mountain range forms a lovely backdrop to our campsite in Argeles sur Mer, France.

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Enjoying an espresso in the terrace at Argeles sur Mer at Wintertime