16 July 2010

My google blog page is now in Spanish!

I am in Girona, Spain

Right when I got used to logging in and using google in French, my blog now opens in Spanish. My google search results are now in Spanish. I looked at the keyboard, tired from a day on the road, and thought,"what language is this?" Oh I'm in Spain, that is right!

I am at the Hotel Cuitat de Girona Spain. I got scared so bad from a bad accommodation choice outside of Revel that I fled to a 4* hotel in Spain. A total and complete change to my itineray (which I have been following less and less of lately). I had planned to set myself up to be poised and set for the Tour de France to arrive tomorrow into Revel, but after arriving at my intended B&B, I promptly left. After my last bad stay, I was not doing it again, this time I left. It was 7:30pm!

This was the second time while visiting France that I have called my brother in Laguna Beach, California to report, "I need a hotel, tonight".

The last time was in 2003. That was the year I was driving down from Provence on my way to Lourdes and my brother found me a great hotel in Perpignon. Last night he successfully located a hip little place on the outskirts of Carcassonne. I couldn't believe I found the place, arriving at 9:30pm, and of course they could still serve me dinner, and of course red wine out on the terrace with and a brownie (which was pronounced as broony, but I figured it out) would be perfect.

That was a close one. The change of plans also left 2 days open and I couldn't decide where to go. Provence or Dordogne? A strange thing has happened; I have green hill fever. It is like cabin fever, where I just need to be somewhere other than in the middle of green hills. So yesterday I took off for Albi. I toured the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, walked around the real city, and had 2 scoops of gelato. This morning I woke early and entered La Cite of Carcassonne as the shop-owners were opening and setting up. No one was around, I took pictures galore (with no tourists in the shots!). I don't care what Rick Steve's says, Carcassonne is not a nice city to hang around for long. The lower city is ugly and crowded. I enjoyed the architecture of the upper city (La Cite) - at 9:00am.

I took off on the big peage heading to Spain. I felt like a local stopping at the rest-stop, using the wi-fi to book a hotel, buying coffee and an ice cream bar. I stopped off to see the ruins of Queribas and Peyrepertuse on the way. Between the 11th and 16th centuries these castles and fortresses saw war after war as the area was claimed and reclaimed in the wars between France and Spain, and France and France. The monuments sit high atop the rocky mountains looking across to the Mediterranean. It is thought that the holy grail was hidden in Queribas.

Girona is much bigger than I thought, it is modern and it is hot here! Right now I am in the air-conditioned hotel room listening to Brad Paisley music (that was my choice, he speaks my language) and drinking a bottle of Champagne I bought in the wine country I drove through today west of Perpignon. I am trying to remember my 7th grade Spanish now that I am in Spain. I was hoping Brad Paisley could help me with the transition from French to Spanish. If he doesn't do it, the Champagne should.

Because I parked my car in a garage so tiny I may never get it out, I plan to do the Spanish thing and stroll the streets tonight, and look for dinner beginning at 10:00pm. Which reminds me, at my last B&B in Guchan, we spent two and a half hours in the evening at the dinner table (all in French!). The French and German guests asked me if Americans really eat ham, eggs and big pancakes for breakfast. Also when the hostess asked the guests if they could place Colorado on the map in the USA - none of them could. Not one knew where Colorado was located in the United States. "Next to California", they asked. I am no longer going with the ignorant American label. We are all in this together.

Images from the past day(s):

Leaving the B&B in Guchan
Morning Snack (this was so good!)
Miles and miles of sunflowers, on the drive south of Castres
Thank goodness for this funky hotel. (I almost slept in the flower field above).
Looking across from Peyrepertuse to Queribus