“THE END IS WHERE WE START FROM”

In my last post about my visit to Cinque Terre I tantalised my readers with the following words :  “I was on the home stretch of Journey 2.   I had one famous sight to see (i.e. Cinque Terre) then it would be a slow return via Italian countryside to Courcheval, through the Mont Blanc tunnel, … Continue reading

LUCCA – LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT

For me, Lucca was a love at first sight that grew and grew into total adoration.  Rarely has a town captured my heart so and filled it with joy.     Part of its appeal is that Lucca is small, compact and self-contained within its city walls, full of history and beauty at every turn with … Continue reading

THE SURPRISING GIFTS OF ASSISI

In Assisi I was to receive a soulful gift, a joyful gift and a life lesson. But not in the way you might expect. For these events did not occur in one of the many churches there, nor in the famous Papal Basilica di San Francesco – one of the most impressive, expensive and art-abundant … Continue reading

A CHANGE OF TEMPO AT LAKE GARDA

After visiting the historic towns of Turin, Pavia, Cremona, and Mantua and totally filling up my mind’s cultural capacity on grandiose churches, cathedrals, palaces, frescoes and other art, Lake Garda was a complete contrast.  It was time to slow down. I found a cheap little studio which had a fabulous view of the lake from … Continue reading

TRAVELLING LIGHT

On the coast just to the East of Santiago de Compostela I crossed some dunes on a long wooden boardwalk and found Carnota Beach stretching out lazily in the sun. It was unlike any other beach I had visited and a day there felt like a day spent in Heaven. The curved beach was wide … Continue reading

LA COSTA VERDE CONTINUES TO CAPTIVATE

I left Cantabria and travelled further along the north coast of Spain into the Province of Asturias.  The surroundings were so lush I could understand more vividly why this is called the Costa Verde.   When I was not crossing precipitous high ground I drove low between green-brown mountains on my left and a turquoise sea … Continue reading

MULTIPLE MEMORIES OF MUNDAKA

Warning : This is a  L O N G post, make a cup of tea! Those nerves crept in again as I left France and set off driving into Spain alone. There was something about leaving my adopted country, with all that was safe and familiar, that gave me a slight sense of trepidation. As … Continue reading

ONE DAY, TWO TEACHERS

I  head south-west through Poitou-Charentes, the Cognac, region and decide to make a convenient stop-over at Saint-Hilaire-de-Villefranche.   On the way I call in at Saint-Jean-d’Angély because the name sounds so pretty. I park near some splendid civic buildings then enter the old town and stop by the ‘office de tourisme’ for some information. The lady … Continue reading

Serendipity strikes again

The night before I leave Bourges, heading for Chartres – a special destination for me – I look at the map and let fear into my heart.  It is clear that the autoroutes would be quicker and easier.   I would prefer a route nationale but I know I cannot drive for long periods due to … Continue reading

My Cultures Converge in Cumbria

I am in Cumbria experiencing a coming together of my two personal cultures whilst the Tour de France takes place in Britain, passing a few miles from where I am staying with friends when the riders traverse the daunting Buttertubs Pass in Yorkshire. The locals in Yorkshire and Cumbria have embraced Le Tour warmly, bunting … Continue reading