the delightful Miss K

the delightful Miss K

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Le Tour!

Ahhhhhh southern France. Home of the Route de fromage, Route de vino, bursting beaches, rolling hills, dramatic gorges and the biggest bridges in the world!

Loved this sign on the train to the boarder. No smoking fags or pipes, just in case the distinction needed to be made!
Le petit train jaune. 5 hours, 60 k's, Puffing Billy meets the Pyrenees: Bliss!

First stop: Collier. Paradise by the sea, French style! Check out the hoards, they just cant get enough of those rocks!
Beach-side frames to take tourist shots in... we'd never get sucked into anything so tacky! 

We were sitting at the edge of the rocky outcrop and I commented that we could be in Australia right now, somewhere on the Great Ocean Road... till Barks pointed out the shadow that made things a little bit different....
...Of this fella! Only in France eh... and probably Italy... and many other parts of Southern Europe
Moving on, lunch on the road. Just a small spattering of meat!
....and onto this little village. Cant remember its name but I do remember it was voted one of France's prettiest towns, there's a long list....
It also brought on a rare moment of rain... but we turned it into the best fashion statement we could; with bright umbrellas!
The longest bridge in the world. Such an engineering feet that they had a whole info centre dedicated to it at the other side. Hilarious!

...and to the Gorges Tutarn where we were to spend the following day kayaking down the river. One of my favourite days of my entire trip. Chrystal clear rapids, blue/green pools perfect for cooling down in, totalitarian German families chanting their kids through paddling and a new French word gained. It was necessary that I learnt how to say desolate, the French word for sorry. Lets just say I wasn't great at steering!
The next morning, Barks pondering how to fit his over-flowing luggage back into his backpack.
A never ending problem for back-packers everywhere!
Breakfast spread Cham bre dot style. Everything homemade, everything amazing. I pocketed most of the food for later, much to Bark's embarrassment. No one can eat all that's on offer in one sitting can they? I thought the French taught me that!?
To market to market to buy a fat cheese (Fromage) or on some cases, a freshly battered fish killed by the callous woman on the back of a truck! Brutal!
Our final night before heading to Bark's mates in Burgundy. We chose this town for the fact it had Mary looking over it from all angles. That has to be good luck doesnt it?! We found incredible spring water coming out of the ground at the top of the hill and we nick-named it 'Virgin's Tears'. They should be bottling that shit!
Our final mission; the Route de fromage or Route of Cheese which lead us to this tiny farm. We wondered what we were going to get, and once the farmer started leading us down into the cellar, if we were going to come out alive or turned into French sausage instead. But no, we came out unscathed and with a wheel of cheese in hand. it was the strongest, bitiest, most interestingly sought cheese I've even tried!
The cheese cellar!
Tiny town #475!
The welcome man seen at most towns upon entering. We found them both amusing and also kind of creepy.....
OK, next and last stop for this blog, Burgundy and gay Paris! TBC!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Basking in Barcelona

Barcelona; home of hedonism (as we were to discover) and hangovers, Negros paella and cava, Gaudi and terracotta views, not to mention little leather-clad gnomes fondly known as Arse Midgets!. It was much more fun the second time around with partners in crime, I mean check out this guy, he's cartwheeling for joy!!

 Gaudi's Sagrada Famalia. His most famous achievement, still incomplete but looking quite stunning. Mind the hoards of tourists and just look up I say....

Holy water vessel, maritime style...

Terracotta Town!

Gaudi was all about styling his buildings around the lessons he'd learnt in nature. What better tried and tested source than what has been working in the natural world for.... well, ever! Here's one of many spiral staircases in the cathedral, both beautiful and functional and if you need to speak to someone down the bottom, you merely need to hang your head over the side and shout!

 ...and in one of his apartments, he build a little mushroom-shaped fire nook complete with snuggle seats. One (on the right) for the amorous couple and the opposite for the chaperon. Boooooooring!!!

 The front room in the apartment, all looking a bit Neptune influenced. I'd live there if you wanted me to!
The centre light shaft that ran the six floors of the apartment was designed to send light in and heat out. Note the darker blue tiles up higher where there was plenty of light and paler tiles down low where it was sun-poor. He was a sustainable genius way ahead of his time!

That night we decided to do a bar crawl of as many groovy Catalan bars as we could find. The first (and our favourite) was Barcelona's oldest cocktail bar complete with penguin-clad bar staff and fabulous cocktails called white ladies... I figured, considering my dress, I should indulge.

Another of Gaudi's apartments, this time situated in Park Guell which we reluctantly dragged our sorry arses around with the weight of the white-lady-induced hangovers and the beating sun on our shoulders. This 'busker' is really a live man inside. In my state, I felt sick at the thought of hiding in that suit and hanging out in the street all day. I took my hat off to him, as he couldn't do it himself obviously...

Negros Paella. Barks took the experimental bullet. It wasn't to my taste, certainly going on looks anyway, but he seemed to like it, even sporting purple lips for the rest of the afternoon in remembrance of the meal!

We were about to head out of town, Jan had hit the airport forced to face that dreaded institution commonly known as work and Barks and I were looking down the barrel of a week on the road in the South of France. We realised with shock at Barcelona Sans whilst waiting for our train that we had neglected to try the local cava (bubbly) so Spain being Spain, we bought some at the station. Salute!

Adios Barcelona, its time to get ourselves to the little yellow train and chug our way over the Pyrenees, old-skool style and into France! Ole!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012


The hustle and bustle of shopping in downtown Benacassan!
A train and two buses getting increasingly dodgy with distance to the city and altitude, I made my way up through the hills of Valencia country to the little town of Montenjos... This was a shot taken along the way...

I finally reached the town and was very proud of making it so far off the beaten track with nothing but Spanglish as my armour.  As I wheeled my little strawberry suitcase through the town smiling at the simplicity of it all, I realised I was slightly embarrassed by my modern luggage and city-chick look.. that was until I found my hotel that resembled something like the Hilton for oldies. You see; the appeal to the town, (apart from being somewhere I was fairly sure no one else I knew had been), was a thermal river. I found myself thinking I was on the set of that 80's movie Cocoon. I was the youngest guest by at least 30 years. Way to make one's self feel like the baby of the hotel; the baby that everyone thought quaint as she spoke a funny language that no-one understood. 'How cute, lets adopt her!'

View from my private balcony!

Montagnos by night..

One of the old codgers (who called me guapo, which I later found out to mean beautiful) invited me to a dance one evening. I got excited, thinking it was going to be some cool swing band in one of the art deco buildings tucked up the hill and even considered wearing my jazz dress to impress the oldies with my vintage appreciation. When I followed his mud map, I reached the plaza with a mobile karaoke unit and a singer screaming out the chicken dance and the square teaming with enthusiastic chickens! Not quite as classy as I'd previously anticipated!


Massive sunflowers, bigger than my head!


The chrystal clear waters of the thermal springs. Unfortunately 25 degrees Celsius doesn't feel that warm when the outside temperature is around 30 but it was still 'guapo' and worth the trek!


Sign on the door to my room... I couldn't help wonder, what does the other side say.. Do me?!


Ahhhh those hot springs... magic!

Dinner for one... again. I wonder who the beer sponsor is...?! Turns out I didn't get to spend that meal alone in the end, some guy circa 50-something tried to chat me up, with not a word of English and in the end, I realised, he was inviting me back for a coffee at his house, in his village 6k's away! What is it with these people and coffee meaning sex??!! The best I could reply with was 'mi gusta signore in Australia'.. it was close enough to saying 'I'm taken!'

And after leaving Montagnos on the only bus out of town per day, at 6.30am.... I made my way via many modes of PT again to a town just south of Barcelona called Tarragonnan. I liked the sound of the Roman Amphitheatre right on the beach.
Hated the town, loved the Amphitheatre. I've never seen anything so old before, except maybe some trees in Tassie. It was extremely humbling to think of the many people that had been there before me. I felt very small...

Good street art and an end-of-the-day celebration. 50cent Corona, or Coronita as they call it. Ole!

Spy photo of a man with dreads to his knees.. why not!!

Well that marked my final night alone, the following day I was off to meet my mate Barks and his girlfriend in Barcelona for a true party experience. I was done being alone, its not the same when you're not single; great for a while but in the end, what's travel without people to laugh with??!!!