Seventh September Blog.
Getting away from writing for the moment, I want to tell you about an old holiday. It was to Spain. Nothing new in that, some of you might say! Well no, not these days but when I decided on a Spanish holiday, it was not quite the norm. Early days in the Spanish (and other European getaway sites), holidays before the flood gates opened and it become the favourite, certainly of British holidaymakers.
The reason I am bringing this up when I have just posted about writing new things, is that never discount previous holidays, events, places you have visited, use them as research for your current and future projects. There may be anecdotes that can be used, in some form or another, to highlight parts of your novel. Something that may make it sound more real. In that regard, you take it from a memory and use it, however much you might change it to fit in with characters and settings. So, never discount these memories, images. They will all disappear when you get very old and leave this world, so if you want to leave lasting impressions for others to enjoy, be a part of, imagine, this could be a way to do it.
So, this was only a Ten day hoiday. Starting off in an aeroplane possibly only used as crop dusting these days. The tail was much closer to the ground, so, in boarding, you walked uphill to your seat. Not only that, but the flight never exceeded much more than eight thousnd feet above sea level. You can see the waves on the Channel, (English Channel , for those not of these islands). Luckily, the weather was good so, I was quite happy to look out of the window. Only about an hour and the aircraft was winging its way towards Southern France. Toulouse, to be precise, in the Languedoc region; Cathar country.
Our hotel was on one of the outer walls that surrounded this part if the town. My bedroom looked out over a steep precipice, overlooking the countryside beyond. The town here had tiny winding streets and was an interesting diversion, exploring the petite shops. We were only there overnight.
The next day we travelled further south into the Pyrenees, staying at another hotel in Perpignan, whose rooms were named after famous cars. Lovely hotel, lovely place. After breakfast, we drove down to the coast. I was glad to get down off the mountains, as the roads were narrow and steep. Finally we arrived at our hotel in the small Spanish town of Lloret de Mar.
Here we were to spend about six days. The beach was golden. But it was not so much sand as a kind of silica. Quite large particles that made it a bit unpleasant to walk on barefoot. The hotel was at the top of the town on a hill that overlooked the town and beach. The sun shone every day and about halfway down the hill was a church, its domed roof was tiled in several colours and a half circle pattern that glinted in the sun.
I had teamed up with another lady and we shared a hotel room where the room floor level was about four feet below the outside ground level facing the sea. This allowed geckos/lizards to enter the room or sunbathe on the wall surrounding our small patio.
I do not remember much about the quisine at the hotel,
One night, there was such a storm over the Mediterranean. A group of us had been to a bar where they had Flamenco dancing. Lots of vino, we enjoyed ourselves so much, it was four a.m. by the time we climbed the hill back to the hotel. This is when the storm came closer to the coast. One of the waiters opened up the small Spanish Bar and we continued drinking. The furniture was classic Spanish, like going back in time. Here we sat, the large doors were open, watching the tremendous lightning arcing over the Med. A little rain, but then it passed on by the time we left the Bar.
I do not remember all I did during that week. A boat trip along the coast to a more famous town called Tossa de Mar. We had an evening meal one day in another hotel/restaurant . It was Spanish Paella. The real deal, not what is served up here as paella. There were mussels, full size langostines on the plate and baby octopus, never had that before or since. This trip was in 1961, and all new.
The big trip was to a bull fight. Yes, I know. Times were different then, I know the folly of it now so I will not go into details. Loved all the colours though.
After that, it was aboard the coach again and head towards Barcelona, arriving in the evening. Some went to see the Fountains. I was too late to catch everyone so stayed at the hotel. We moved on next morning going through a special place of houses built to represent homes all over Spain. Then up through the Pyrenees, crossing the high pass, oh how cold that was. On through Andorra la Vella and back down again. This was the longest, all in one journey, of the holiday, back to Toulouse, and a flight home.
One last ‘treat’. Though some may not think it now, but it was lauded to us travellers then as a treat from the area, French bread with Pate de Foie Gras. I liked it, but it was much later that I realised just how it comes to be. I am not a vegetarian but I am beginning to have doubts about us humans, and what we do to animals just to feed our stomachs.
So, that was that trip. Plenty of fare to use should I ever want to use any of this information as a backdrop, for characterisation or anything really, so search your own memories should you ever be in need.
I am posting the site of a friend here.
Do have a look in.
Be careful out there, people,