Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Sea! The Sea!

I've always found the Mediterranean very disappointing as a sea. I grew up on various Atlantic coasts, and spent quite a lot of adult life not far from the North Sea, so the tranquil Med, with its hoards of people and lack of waves, has never cut the mustard with me. Until this time, I'm happy to say! We headed to the coast on our second afternoon, as cousin 3 was complaining that she hadn't even SEEN the sea yet. Despite the lowering clouds and occasional crashes of thunder, she and our two boys had a quick dip.
Our second visit to the sea was in the very different conditions of a baking Spanish headland. Those mountains you see in the background are the other side of the same Pyrennean peaks you saw in my first photo.
Son 1 headed off enthusiastically to assess the bay we'd seen - was it fit for bathing, and could his grandparents get down to it? So, OK, he was a bit optimistic, but in the end everyone did scramble down to it and it was marvellous for bathing and snorkelling.
The wind was roaring in, but that was rather invigorating in the heat. And it's very hard to get our two out of the water, once they get in. Ben took them, one at a time, right out around the rocks and off to some interesting shoals of fish, partly to assess their swimming skills, which he deemed very good.
This assessment gave us the confidence to go, on another day, to the Banyuls snorkel trail, just on the French border. Ben and Son 2 headed off and read all the underwater pannels which gave them information on the different coastal environments they were swimming through. Son 1 was really tired after an early morning fishing trip, so he gave the snorkel trail a miss, on the understanding that we'll go back there one day! You can see the yellow buoys of the snorkel trail below the cliff on my photo.
But what really convinced me that the Mediterranean can truly live up to my expectations of the sea was a bracing walk on the windy headland just south of Banyuls, and therefore on the border of France and Spain.
The wind was roaring in off the sea and whipping our hair, our clothes and the white-tipped waves.
It was everything I hope for the sea to be.
So I can live for a while longer in the relatively land-locked (land-locked for a Brit, anyway) region of Toulouse now.
I have had my fix of the sea.


marigold jam said...

Those last few photos are lovely. I know what you mean about being land locked we were 3 hours from the coast at La Rochelle and it seemed too far to me being a Brit!!

Jane x

beck said...

Gosh Floss, you do get up to some exciting things! I can hardly keep up with you. I loved this gorgeous post and the pictures of the wild ocean and your dear ones bobbing around. I thought one was a seal! Enjoy the magic xo

Country Girl said...

That looks like a great place - my two would love that as the love snorkelling. Personally, I'm more into paddling and poking about in rock pools!

Jane and Chris said...

Hi! I'm new!
I spent the first 27 yrs of my life in England and Scotland, then emigrated to Ontario Canada, about as far from the sea as you can get. I miss misty winter days scrunching along the beach, the wind whipping at my face and that incredible salty air.
Thanks for the sea photos; nothing beats the sight of a wave crashing onto a rock!

annie's abode said...

it looks wonderful - very exhilerating!

Lorrie said...

I grew up away from the sea and have learned to love it as an adult. Now I find that going to the ocean in all kinds of weather is restorative and invigorating. It's so full of life.

Princess and the Pea said...

If I had the choice between mountains and sea... I'd go for the mountains every time - there is something so cleansing about the mountain air! Mind you, the sea around Hawaii is pretty amazing - especially with the mountain back drop!

Lavender hearts said...


Thanks for commenting. That was really useful advice, I do think it's a combination of slight jealousy because I know she doesn't have much money etc, but I am 10 years her senior and I've been in her boat and totally sympathise. I think some people forget that it takes time and hard work and that I wasn't born in this position. Also, I think she's got quite an angular face (she's Eastern European) so perhaps there are occasions when I don't think she realises how bad her facial expressions are. I will defo try to rise above it and ignore it though!

Sian x

Sarah said...

Well it sure was worth the trip down by the looks of things. I'd never seen such beaches until I went to Greece. Ours are all at ground level. I bet the snorkelling was fun. You must also remember that some of us think anything French is amazing and beautiful!

Lola Nova said...

So glad you had a good trip to the sea. It sounds as though you would enjoy the Oregon coast, though it is much too cold for swimming.