#8 NEW YEAR, NEW STORIES TO TELL ! OUR ROADTRIP THROUGH FRANCE...

Dear ones,

I know you haven't read from me in quite a while. I'm so sorry about it because I actually wanted you to stay updated and to read our roadtrip adventures straight away...but somehow I couldn't and didn't feel like writing at all.

Actually my boyfriend and I wanted to start our trip way much earlier but in the end things turned out differently than planned.

 

 

So we started on the 6th of November after Mr.Brown's little unexpected breakdown, after something so incredibly sad und unbelievable happened in my family, that I can't put my pain in words. That's probably what made me so damn speechless and simply out of words that it became very calm around me.

I don't want to tell you more, because it's really private but the ones who know me better and are close to me know what happened. 

 

Except from Instagram I didn't share anything on the blog with you guys.

 


Somewhere in the north of France...

 

 

 

That is now set to change. I charged my batteries so far on our roadtrip down to Tarifa, where we are already the second month. And although it will take much more time to process what terrible happened, I'm feeling ready now to tell you about our first part of our journey- from Germany all the way through France.

 

 

It was a Sunday when we started on a quite cold day. We wanted to escape as fast as possible the german winter, so we drove all the way from north to south Germany within two days and just one overnight stop. Passing the border to France was different than expected- like a drive thru in one of these fast food restaurants. Quick and easy. As some of you know how we like to travel, we didn't make any big plans. We took the route as it came and decided pretty much spontaneously where to go and where to stop.

We followed the sun and the good weather, so we didn't take a lot stops along the route in the french mountains because it was almost freezing cold there. The first part to get to France we drove quite parallel to the Swiss Alps. The landscape was just amazing but that meant also driving on narrow and winding mountain roads.

Having a few doubts first whether Mr.Brown, our van, can deal with that, I was so impressed and proud that he did it in the end, without any problems. He turned out to be a real little mountain climber and gave us a feeling of safety. By the way we avoided all toll roads on our route to save money on one hand, on the other hand we thought on this way we're gonna see even more- and it was true.

To give you an idea how cold it was sometimes driving to the mountains, I'm gonna tell you about that one night. After another day of just traveling we stopped in Castellane as it slowly became dark. We were looking for a nice spot to park and sleep, so we found 'Lac de Castillon'. It was up the hill, quite in the middle of nowhere. Pure silence, starlit sky, total darkness and us having a beer and enjoying the moment before heading to bed early. At this time it only was a few degrees over zero, so we had to cover up ourselves with loads of blankets and of course to heat up by each other. At night noises woke me up- reassuring it was just my boyfriend wanted to start the van as the cold woke him up before. By looking at the thermometer inside our van it was minus 5 degrees!!! Minus 5! As quickly as possible we both got ready and started our route to the Côte d'azur at 5a.m. in the morning. It was still dark, but at least we were back on the road again, driving towards the sun. We saw the sun rising and just a few kilometers away from Cannes we stopped for breakfast by watching the sunrise. A M A Z I N G ! 

Sunrise...a few kilometers away from Cannes...

Arrived at the Côte d'azur it was warmer again, finally! We took our route as close as possible along the coastline and did a stop here and there.

For me as a big fan of Louis de Funes and his old 'gendarmerie' movies we had to see St. Tropez for sure. So we did and strolled around the city, passing by the old 'gendarmerie' building (police office) which is nowadays a museum to remember Louis and his companions.

Exploring the harbor and the little shops around we recon that there wasn't so much going on. Maybe it was because St. Tropez's best time was long gone or simply the fact that off-season began. Anyway it also had its advantages, as we both are not a big fan of crowded cities.

 

 

 

 

So we took our route further south until we discovered a little lovely town called Giens, closed to Hyères.

It was not only a great spot for kitesurfing, also it was a place where some artists settled down which gave it a vibrant atmosphere.

One night after we found the perfect parking spot, from where we had an awesome panorama view of the ocean and Hyères, we went for a walk, bought ourself some wine, baguette, olives and grapes for dinner.

On the way back to our van we came across a little ceramic atelier (Myriam Belhaj Céramiste) hidden in a corner. It was already after 8p.m. but they were still open and working. We were impressed by their artwork and would have liked to buy everything.

Later on we enjoyed the evening with a lovely dinner, wine and awesome talks.

The next morning we went for a typical french breakfast- coffee and a croissant. Along the way I saw such a lovely little boutique store called 'Merci Marius'. I'm actually love shopping but haven't done it for quite a while. Some reasons for this are that I got very picky with buying clothes and also changed my mind about consumption. But this time I HAD TO GO inside and look around. Et voilà- I found two sweat and unique pieces! A shirt and a raincoat for which I was already looking for quite a while. The fact of buying clothes with a story behind just doubled my joy every single time!

So Giens became even more attractive to us and would there have been a camping site open, we would have stayed longer, I guess. But as it was already off season, there wasn't any. So we picked up our route again, this time with a certain destination: Leucate, one of the places to go in France, if you're a kiter and looking for good conditions. 

Passing through Marseille, Montpellier and Narbonne we made it quickly, because we didn't want to miss the awesome wind in Leucate. Already a few kilometers ahead the famous spot we've seen so many kites in the air, that we couldn't have driven the wrong way. And there we were- on an eldorado for kitesurfer. Not even parked the van yet, my boyfriend was pumping up his kite and went onto the water. Although I'm not kitesurfing yet, still in the learning process, I just love to sit on the beach, watch him and all the others riding and jumping high, and capture these moments with my phone. It's always a zoning out for me, it's the time when my thoughts can wander away and I have to catch them. I'm really enjoying it. Every time my boyfriend is happy after a session, it simply is infectious and makes me happy as well.

Another impressive moment was discovering all the flamingos around this area. They are so beautiful and delicate. I haven't seen them in open nature before, so it was truly something special for me. Unfortunately I missed it to take pictures of them- but I'll keep them in my memory forever. 

As we were leaving Leucate and surrounding after four days, we actually left France as well. It was Tuesday, the 15th of November when only less than one hour drive separated us from the spanish boarder. For you it means reaching the end for now and being excited what expected us on our way through SPAIN! This I'm gonna tell you in the next post. 

So stay tuned!

Bisous, bisous!

Hanna Mietz.