Oh, I think we’re in France…


We left Girona this morning and headed to the Pyrenees mountains to a place I found while looking for a “casa rural” (thank you, Damian). We have a map but mainly we rely on GPS (Garmin) to find our way, so although we put in a little scenic route we let the GPS do the work. Consider how surprised we were when it started to bring us back over the border into France. And then I remembered booking it…..


The “casa rural”‘s are Spanish homes who take in guests, like a B&B. there are lots of sites on the web that help you find one or book one, but they were all written in Spanish (the ones I found were). I have been doing fine communicating in Spain so far, due completely to the kindness of the Spanish people. I was a little surprised that I could count to five in Spanish and I know how to say please and thank you and goodbye and now I know it’s thanks to my little sister, Moira. She was about three when Sesame Street began on Irish television and her big brother (11 at the time) and sister (me, 12 at the time) used to watch along with her. We were so proud of her when she could recite her alphabet before she was even old enough to go to school! Now I realise, thirty seven years later, I was also learning. I learned all my Spanish from Sesame Street!…



Anyway, despite my knowledge of the language I only looked at Casa ‘s that had a translate into English button. And so that’s how I came to choose the one we’re in tonight. I put tin he GPS co-ordinates and thought no more about it.


We left Girona, had a little detour to a Spanish village for brunch and planned on arriving at our casa at four o’clock. The closer we got to the French border the more surprised we were. When we arrived back in France, we were amazed (we’re easily amazed). Possible scenarios about mountain roads and such were batted back and forth as we arrived in the French town of Perpignan and took a left turn for Andorra. Well maybe that explains it, we’re going via Andorra? We continued on. And on. Through amazing countryside, Galway-like, Kerry-like, beautiful.



At this point it was about three o clock and we would be there in another hour and the scenery became even more dramatic. Through the intercom Denis says, “II think it’s this turn, but it seems to be a factory?” You know, he was right, it was a factory. Something was not right. So we retraced our journey looking for the right turn and as luck would have it we came to a tourist office. Long story a little shorter, the GPS co-ordinates were a little out… 50 kilometers out. Never mind, plenty of time ’till dinner at eight.


We set off again, along the mountain road as the helpful tourist man said. And it was…… well amazing, again (need a thesaurus here). You know those roads you travel along and there’s a sign with a picture of rocks falling down a steep mountain? And you think … well I think, “Sure, right, rocks are going to be falling on a public road, not likely.”. Well… although rocks weren’t falling as we passed, there were plenty of rocks ON the road. And in case you didn’t know, rocks on the road are bad for motorbikes!


I spent most of the 50 km switching between being in awe, taking photos and indicating loudly to Denis to slow down (his max speed never went above 35K/h!)


When I was booking it, t turns out I wasn’t paying much attention to what language the web site was translated from. It was French, we’re back in France for the night! We are high in the mountains, we can see snow up further and the temperature dropped to 7 degrees as we rode in at 6.30pm. Turns out there’s a fine big public road with no rocks on it that we can go back to Spain on tomorrow, phew.


Will tell you about dinner and the people we’ve met tomorrow, night, night.


Be well, Mairead.

2 thoughts on “Oh, I think we’re in France…

  1. OK this explains quite a bit. Moira’s main concern when she first discussed moving to Canada was “Do you get Barney and Sesame Street?”. I know Caoimhe is far beyond those shows, but dutifully looked them up on the TV listings. Now I realize it was actually for Moira!!! Geez. Now she can learn French because Sesame Street here is in English and French 😉


  2. And I learned French from the Sunday morning programme on RTE, having only one channel I watched anything!

    Sounds like a fantastic holiday and yes, it’s me who is always scared in Barcelona…

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