We’ve tucked the caravan up and left it snug to come south for a week. Getting on a plane no longer feels like travelling – it’s too easy and too quick. Part of me can’t believe that we’re in Spain. It’s like a peculiar jet lag.
The streets of Barcelona remind me of Paris, they are lined with tall, graceful, old apartment buildings, like Paris, but here, there are whimsical details mixed in. Fancy doors, curved rooftops, complex wrought iron railings. Lots of curves and organic forms even on modern buildings – the legacy of Gaudi and Moderniste, I suspect.
On our way out of Denmark, we stopped by the sea for the first time. We’d swum in the harbour at Copenhagen and Stockholm (in designated swimming areas, not in the shipping lanes) but we hadn’t yet been faced with the whole sea, wide blue water. The weather was stormy and rainy, but cleared for long enough that we could have a quick dip.
The caravans near ours were embedded, with full awnings, canvas fences and even canvas garden sheds. We were passing through, but I can see the appeal of stopping, of spending the whole summer in this place.
I love being in or by water, and it is a real joy and a luxury to be able to go swimming, outdoors, in the evening. In Cambridge, a dip in the Cam or the Jesus Green pool was usually a chilly affair, saved for the hottest days of the year. Here, lovely beaches abound, by river and lake, and the light and heat fade slowly. The shadows get longer and longer, stretching out so far you’re in shade wherever you go, and yet the sky is still blue and clear and the water, if not exactly warm, is temperate.
Sometimes I feel like I’m doing things in the wrong order – usually I don’t care though. As I write this, K’s packing for our trip to PinkPop and when the post goes live, we’ll be packing to come home. It’s our second festival this month, fourth this year, although we only stayed a night at the other three. Hopping from festival to festival is the sort of thing you’re supposed to do when you’re 19, not 29, but honestly, who has the cash at that age?
This shot was taken at Caribana, and we’ve also been to Caprices and Balelec.
This is an entirely gratuitous photo of a green and pleasant Switzerland. The low point there is at about 700m above sea level so the hills in the background are Ben Nevis height. We drove up, climbing 400m in 20 minutes, to go on an adventure tree-scramble thing at Signal de Bougy. As we drove up a mountain in order to get some exercise running around at the top, I felt enormously grateful for engines. If I’d lived here when the main form of locomotion was foot traffic, I would never have seen this view, never mind the one from here.
We’re setting off on a mini-adventure – a short hop up to Zurich to see an awesome band (Dragonette) and give the caravan a bit of a shake up before we take it on a long trip. We haven’t moved it since December, and we’re planning lots of fun things for the summer, so we need to get it ready.
Zurich is really not that far away – about 250km – but far enough that I haven’t been there since the summer of 2005, when this photo was taken. A close friend took me and we had a brilliant day.
This shot is taken at one of my favourite beautiful places. Here, I’m standing at the top of one of the lifts in Villars, a ski resort I’ve been going to since I was tiny, looking out at Leysin, another resort I’ve been skiing at forever.
The two peaks so close together make Leysin easy to spot from much further away. They are the Tour d’Ai (2295m) on the left and the Tour de Mayen (2331m) on the right. You can see the village (1350m) spread out on the left – it’s been a tourist destination for over 100 years.
2012 has been a rough year and although I put it behind me with mixed feelings, I’m happy to welcome 2013.
It’s a good time to start a new project: A Picture and a Hundred Words is a way to show you more photos. I tend to only blog pictures I’ve just taken, so if I’m busy (e.g. travelling) I don’t share all the photos I’d like to.
This shot of the sun rising over the Alps and Lake Geneva, taken a couple days ago, doesn’t do the scene justice, but was nonetheless well worth getting up for.