Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vacation in the Ariège!

As promised (even if it took awhile), here's a recap from my vacation in France's Ariège department and it's surrounding areas! :) In France, they get about a week and a half off for All Saint's Day, and, since I hadn't seen them since I was in France in 2008, I decided to go visit our family friends Marie-Hélène and Gérard. I always love visiting them because they take me on day trips and Marie is an amazing cook, so we spend a lot of time chatting around delicious food as well. This time, I visited them at their house in Varilhes and we took a day trip to Andorra to pick out Christmas presents and another near the Spanish boarder on the Mediterranean to the cities of Collioure, Port Vendres and Banyuls-sur-Mer to see the see and to pick up some AOC Banyuls apératif wine. Yum. Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, the entire population of Andorra could fit in Jordan-Hare Stadium with around 4,000 seats to spare! That's either a really small principality or a really big stadium. Actually, Jordan-Hare is also bigger than the State de France (the country's biggest soccer stadium). Impressive, eh? War Eagle! Anyway, here's some photo proof of my long weekend with Marie and Gégé:

The Spanish side of the Pyrenees in Andorra

The French side... A view from the gas station

Gérard's (left) and my shadows. I think distance on the right you can see the huge outlet mall-esque shopping area where we were

Gérard and Marie-Hélène in front of the church in Collioure

Collioure... I love Mediterranean villages

Huge Olivier (olive tree) outside the church in Collioure

The beach... I couldn't believe their were actually a few kids swimming!

The back streets of Collioure... so colorful and pretty!

A view of Banyuls-sur-Mer

A view from the car... I swear you see the prettiest things from the car and you can't really get a good photo! No fair!

At the feet of the Montségur château, look at all the beautiful autumn colors!

Montségur château. We didn't attempt the climb.

The medieval city of Mirepoix. I loved all of the arcades!

Fresh mussels for dinner! Yum!

They really did feed me well. All local French food... They spoil me!

Anyway, that's a brief re-cap of my weekend with them. I think it was especially great because it really shows how diverse France is, even though it's such a small country. With just a few hours drive, we got to see both the snowy mountains and the beach!

As far as the 50 day challenge is going, today is Day 42 and I'm attempting to do that vegetable soup cleanse, though so far I haven't had a single day where I stuck to it 100%. That said, by eating the veggie soup for at least one meal a day, I've been better at staying within my points, so we'll see how it goes! First check in is on Wednesday so stay tuned for that! :)

1 comment:

Lisa said...

These pictures are gorgeous! It looks like you had an incredible trip. I would love to travel to France one day. I was there many years ago and only for a short time, it's such a diverse country, as you've shown here! Thanks for sharing!