Nearly all the tourist information and publicity for this region talks about the Med and Mountain aspect – the fact that the Mediterranean sea is just a 2 hour drive from the ski-slopes of the Pyrénées. The most adventurous of tourists could be skiing in the morning and then swimming in the Mediterranean in the afternoon – but probably in full ski-gear as the water is pretty cold in winter. I can’t claim to have done that but here are a couple of photos taken just 24 hours apart:
On Saturday we took the dogs up the mountain to play in the snow! The temperature when we set off was 15°– and just 1° when we arrived at Les Angles. The dogs were having such a great time that they didn’t even notice a herd of wild deer crossing the path just 100 metres in front of us – and yes I did manage to take a picture but there is no point publishing it as they just look like rocks in the distance. But they were definitely real deer! We also saw 3 eagles flying slowly just over our car. A fantastic day out – also helped by a delicious lunch in front of a warm fire at l’Ermitage (just before Font Romeu).
This next picture is taken the following day – Sunday lunch at the port of St Cyprien. 20° of sunshine. T-shirt weather. Incredible to look back at the snow-capped mountain in the distance and remember that we were there just the day before, wrapped up in coats, hats, gloves etc.
But the main purpose of this blog-post, apart from boasting about what a great place this is to live, was to give credit to an excellent friend of ours. Halfway through our snowy walk we found a children’s park and spent some ‘silly time’ playing on the swings. Then we got back to the car to discover that the keys had dropped out of somebody’s pocket – and I am here to tell you that it wasn’t me! Luckily we had left the car unlocked (not many car-thieves in the middle of nowhere) so while the guilty party retraced his steps in an attempt to find the keys in ankle-deep snow, I sat in the car with the dogs, quietly panicking and going through the options: a) He finds the keys and we drive home, b) We walk miles to find the main road and hope to see a bus/car/taxi to take us back home, c) We spend the night in the car and they find our frozen bodies the next morning, or d) Phone a friend. I chose Option D and rang our ‘closest’ friend at the time – Robert who lives 1 hour away. What a hero he is – when he had stopped laughing he said he would set off immediately. Luckily for everybody, Option A miraculously happened and I was able to ring Robert and try to convince him that we hadn't had a problem, nobody had been silly enough to lose the keys and that it was just a test of his friendship – which he he had passed with flying colours!