A DIFFERENT Kind of Tour de France

Whatever you may think of Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, which takes place every summer in July, is an absolutely grueling endurance test.  Three thousand, four hundred, ninety six kilometers…that’s 3,496 km! (2,173 mi), pedaled over 3 weeks, up mountains, down valleys, through small villages and across France…I am exhausted every time I watch it.  These men cycle all year in preparation for, what I would call the ultimate competition of strength and perseverance.  I watch with great enthusiasm as I learn the names of the individual cyclists, pick a favorite team, open my fridge and reach for a bottle of cold water as the thirsty, pedaling cyclists reach for theirs, held out to them by a team member standing along the road.

City Hall, Bagneres de Luchon, Summer 2012, end of Stage 16

Proud Sculpture…Le Tour de France Dans Les Pyrenees

But I want to talk about a different kind of Tour de France…the kind not relegated to elite athletes or needing months, nay, years of training.  I’m talking about the Tour de France centered in the wine country of southwestern France, sharing a border with Spain along the Pyrenees, from the Mediterranean to the Bay of Biscay…

THAT Tour de France!   Continue reading

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Day in Collioure

I cannot argue with WordPress for iPad anymore at this time. If the geniuses at Apple in Barcelona were befuddled, this genius, now in Le Boulou, France can’t do any better.
SO,
It is text first, pics to follow.
Staying at Le Relais Des Chartreuses outside of Le Boulou, France, just over the Spain/France border. Don’t bother getting out a map…it’s probably not on there. Even the GPS asked ‘are you sure?’. Wonderful B&B owned by a charming couple, and he is a gourmet chef. We sit on the patio for dinner every night…food is outstanding and it sounds so wonderful in French!
Language comprehension has gone way up since crossing the border!
Yesterday visited many of the little coastal towns that figured greatly in the lives of great artists like Picasso, Matisse and Dali…towns like Collioure, Port Vendres, Banyuls sur Mer and Cerberes…charming coastal towns we visited with
EVERY Frenchman in the country (it is August in France!)
So we come back to our refuge here in the mountains for the pool and wine service before dinner.
Very civilized…j’aime La France.