by Davie Pocstar, Greenheart Travel Language Exchange participant in France
vendredi le 16th novembre, 2012; 10:39
One of the great things about the French is the importance of living the good life. So the idea of 5 weeks holidays for working people and a total of 4 months for school kids certainly contribute to “joie de vie.” Recently, my host family and I took advantage of this time during the All Saints holiday, a two week school break for their two daughters, Alice and Juliette. So on October 28, we all filled the family car with the essentials needed for a one-week holiday on the northern coast of Spain!
Yes, that’s right, Espagne. I certainly have been placed with the best host family ever. The destination: Ajuntamente de Roses; a coastal town near the French/Spanish border. To pass the time in the car, my host sister, Alice decided it would be fun to do a drawing of me while I slept in the middle seat.
I love how she has emphasized my lips. The spelling of my name…well, I think I’ll save this for an English lesson.
Five hours later, we pulled into the town of Roses, a very French-friendly community where the living is easy, the sun abundant and the language bilingual. I just loved hearing the Spanish speak French with a Spanish accent! Our landlord was a warm and graciously welcoming couple who provided everything we needed for our week-long stay.
Our flat for the week, right above Si Tapas.
Our days would start with breakfast eaten at a leisurely pace. If we ran out of bread, we just headed downstairs, around the corner and picked up the freshest loaf at the local bakery. I can’t imagine a morning now without a fresh piece of bread along with my espresso. We arrived in Roses during the shoulder season so the crowds were manageable if not down right pleasurable – just enough holiday-makers to create a good vibe.
One beautiful morning, we packed a lunch and stuffed it into my trusty daypack for a light hike. As the trails hugged the coastline, we stopped every so often to take in the magnificent views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Views such as this:
As the midday sun shone brightly above us, it sprinkled diamonds onto the Med Sea, captivating us so much we had to stop and take another break. My two host sisters and I agree that moments like this is simply magical.
No proper holiday in Spain would be complete without time at the beach, especially when we’re on the coast. Since we were literally meters away from the boardwalk and sea, walks to the beach was as natural as carrying a baguette under our arm. With the crowds at a minimum, we virtually had the whole beach to ourselves.
One of my favourite moments – seeing my two host sisters having so much fun while diamonds danced before them in the sea.
Not only was I fortunate enough to enjoy a glorious week with my host family in France, Marc announced he would take me to the one museum I had been longing to see, the Museu Dali! This experience was a personal highlight for me as Salvador Dali is one of my favorite artists. I studied him in art school and he has been an inspiration for as along as I can remember. I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about this. It truly was an amazing experience. This museum was conceptualized, designed and painted by Dali himself.
Our time in Spain was filled with quality family time, including endless amounts of kisses, rounds of Rummikub – the nightly game after dinner, and sunsets on the boardwalk. Lots of laughter, sand in our shoes and bread crumbs in my daypack made for a holiday that was simply delightful. We didn’t want it to end.
I mean would you want a holiday to end when the days finish looking like this?
But alas, all good things must come to an end. After a relaxing week, we piled back into the family car to depart from this neighbouring country. As I had mentioned earlier, the French sure know how to set holidays because there was one more week of before the girls went back to school. And one week left before I start my French classes. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, I have sewn the only souvenir I care to acquire whenever I am in a new country.