I’m told that the weather in London has been its customary gloomily rainy for the last week that I’ve been away. On the Mediterranean coasts of Spain and France, conversely, clear skies and balmy temperatures prevailed throughout my latest jaunt.
We spent the last few days on Costa Brava just as we started, alternating between beach, pool, strolls around picturesque villages and lengthy repasts with friends. We squeezed in one bit of “true” sightseeing, by visiting Dali Theater-Museum in Figueres. While I do not count Dali among my favorite artists, I have to admit that he possessed incredible imagination and inventiveness. The museum puts that to the fore, and more; among the things that impressed us most, for instance, was the jewels collection made according to Dali’s designs, displayed in a separate wing of the museum.
The first leg of the grand tour eventually came to an end, and on Saturday we made the supposedly easy 500-km trek to the French Riviera. Except, it took us much longer than we had expected. When the traffic slows to a standstill on a 3-lane motorway every 50 kilometers or so, you tend to lose a lot of time… The problem is one that we noticed a long time ago: While French motorways themselves are built to handle vast quantities of vehicles easily, the interchanges are not; they are often manifested in a single lane exit leading from one motorway to another, and when half the cars on the road aims for an exit to another motorway, the traffic tends to back up for miles.
Anyway, by the end of that day we moved into the villa with sweeping views of the coast below, and picked up Natasha’s brother and his family from the Nice airport.
In the next couple of days we again alternated between the beach and the pool, with some light sightseeing thrown in. We explored some of our nearest environs in Roquebrune-sur-Argens, gawked at the gazillion-dollar yachts in St-Tropez marina, walked the narrow streets and small leafy fountain-adorned squares of Aix-en-Provence… I am out of superlatives by now to describe our holidays – it is magnificent in every way.
But a separate praise is due for the sea. I have not swam in such warm and calm waters in a long time (which partially is a function of my choice of holiday spots). A tad fewer people on the beach and it could be heaven!