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Wednesday, 3 August 2022

A day out in Spain and a local walk

Let's have a pause in the holiday photos and go to Spain for a change! After our return from holiday, we headed to Roses in Spain with Malcolm before he left. The last time we had been there was with him, on Xmas Eve 2019! We had been itching to go back, and also to go to a Spanish supermarket to get some things we can't get here in France.

The weather was lovely, not too hot so just perfect. We headed for a restaurant near the beach for tapas, of course!

Keith and I opted for seafood and Padron chillies and my brother who is allergic to anything that comes out of the sea, apart from fish, chose whatever else they had.

This was an amazing sandcastle!

We've seen some lovely sand sculptures on the Mediterranean beaches, but this castle was really cute. There were candles in all the windows so it must look beautiful in the dark.

We then went to a supermarket where we found Padron chillies, which are not hot by the way but are really delicious, huge peaches and sherry which you can't buy in France (yes really!!); other things which are cheaper are olive oil and shower gel. What we couldn't find there which was surprising are salted preserved anchovy fillets. We have on occasion found them in our local supermarkets here in France but they are not something that is regularly found, only anchovies that are cooked whole, like sardines. One wonders then, how one is supposed to make a Salade Niçoise without the anchovies? 😞 After that we headed up into Cap de Creus where luckily on the way up into the hills there was a place to pull over to look at the view. This is looking back at Roses and to the south.

We drove all the way to the lighthouse at the end as we wanted to make the most of being in the car. You can't do the last leg of the journey in a motorhome - the road gets narrower and they are banned beyond Cadaques anyway.

It must be idyllic being on a boat being able to stop in all these beautiful coves!

Looking up at the lighthouse - there is a cafe here too around the other side, and a restaurant to the right up the hill. From here it's about 2 3/4 hours to get home via the motorway, so we came back that way, as we have already done the more scenic but much slower Corniche route with Malcolm.

One day after Malcolm had left but before the very hot weather arrived, we went for a walk on the route called the Tramway, which goes around the village along the old railway route. At the beginning of the 20th century trains ran from Fanjeaux to our local town of Bram and beyond carrying people and agricultural produce all the way to the Montagne Noire, and in turn, bringing other kinds of produce back here. Fanjeaux station was situated below the old town, about halfway down the hill, and the route winds all around the village taking a less steep gradient this way.

This photo was taken before the sunflowers (field on right) started blooming, although they did flower quite early this year. Because it has been so dry in recent months the plants were a bit stunted and some fields have big gaps with no plants, but they all flowered eventually and looked fabulous as usual!

Scabious was still flowering at this time and at one point I noticed a bee hanging below a flower - now I know what that means. 😀 A crab spider! Poor bee had met its maker but the spider was happy.

Going back to sunflowers, we often see rogue sunflowers growing in other fields, most often in fallow fields, but sometimes, like below, in a field of crops. It always makes me smile.

Here they are closer up. There's something strange in this image though. One of the sunflowers is pointing in the opposite direction to all the others! Now sunflowers nearly always point in the direction of the sun, which is why they are called Tournesol in French, which means 'turn [towards the] sun'. I'm very happy this one decided to point in the direction of the camera. 💕

This is the same field but I wanted to show you something - where a road or farm track has been cut through the chalky rock you can see how white it is here. The rockface is where we find Mediterranean/garrigue plants growing in amongst the more northern flora which grows elsewhere here. On the chalk tracks and banks we have thyme, curry plants, sedums, sometimes rosemary and sometimes lavender, plus other plants which I don't know as yet.

I still have about three more holiday posts to go - maybe next trip I'll stick to one or two overview posts instead! 😂


  1. Glad you had a great time Mandy ,great write up😀

  2. Lovely post Mandy and what a feast!!!! Those sandcastles are amazing and must look so magical at night. The scenery is wonderful it really is. I do so enjoy seeing photos of France and Spain as I have never been to either.

    1. I'm so pleased you enjoy seeing the scenery etc, I hope other people who don't comment do as well. I'm not doing so much in the way of macro/insect photography/blogging any more (although I do have a buggy post coming up some time soon!), or the gardening really as there is so much less here, thankfully, to deal with. So outings and hols it is. :-) Thanks very much, Caroline. xx