Tuesday, April 30, 2013

93% are happy to live in Aquitaine

According to an article in the French paper Figaro (read here), the inhabitants in the Aquitaine region are the happiest of them all.

A whopping 93% are happy to live there!

Guess I already knew that...

Erretegia beach, Bidart

Friday, April 19, 2013

Summer before time....

A heat wave made us feel like it was summer already!
We went to the beach of course.... but we were not alone to have that brilliant idea.... some kids were swimming but really, the water is still too cold.

Pictures from Moliets, our favorite beach.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Great skiing in Saint Lary!

Only slightly off topic and almost after the season is over.... just wanted to share that we have spent a total of six totally wonderful days in Saint Lary this year! The children are getting more and more confident and we even went to some red slopes... great fun for me!

Saint Lary is just outside the limit of Aquitaine, but there are others like Saint Lary that are inside the boundaries.... if you are looking for cute mountain villages, good food and smaller, more family adapted stations, you should have a go in the Pyrénées!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Off topic: Amazone adventure

Björn with a jacaré, the brown one that can reach three meters as an adult.

Just being in the Amazonas is an adventure. The humidity of the air, the incredible greenness, the sounds.... the jungle feels like it has a life of its own, a living green....

The hero of our trip is our guide Antonio. He comes from one of the indian tribes, 8th out of 15 children, and learned to hunt and fish with his father who taught him all the secrets of the forest and how to survive there. He showed us so many plants and fruits and animals.... when the boat made an u-turn, we knew he had spotted an animal. The monkey or bird that we had problems seeing even after he pointed out where to look! He made us look closer at all those details that make the Amazonian rain forest so fascinating!

We stayed in Juma Lodge, an eco lodge situated 100 km south of Manaus in Brazil.

I had almost 1000 photos after our days here.... so choosing a few of them was difficult...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

PS: Jämtland, up north

We went further north too.... to visit my family in Strömsund and östersund. The winter is long, cold and dark, but when summer comes, it's like nature tries to compensate. Summer is so lush, so overwhelming, so full of sun!

My uncle and his wife took the trout they had fished and warm smoked it for us. Delicious! I had tried warm smoked salmon on Ålö, this was something different!

When you look at the landscape here and all the pine trees, you might have a guess to why Les Landes and their pine trees feel so good to me...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Off topic: Ålö in the Stockholm archipelargo

We spent a week on the island Ålö..... in a small cabin of 15 m2, with no running water and no electricity (solar panels to give us light for the lamps) and a dry WC outdoors...

Maybe the lack of modern facilities was part of it, the magic we lived that will make this week such a happy memory.

No TV, no Nintendo, no times to watch, just wake up with the sun and spend time together, discover the island and play cards in the evening.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Midsummer at Bassilour

Sometimes you find small ethnic groups that hang on to the traditions from their old home land. Like the group of Swedes (and French) that gathered at Bassilour to celebrate Midsummer, hosted by Charlotte. A tradition that is maintained by her since 23 years now!

Everybody brought a traditional Swedish food item which made for a sumptuous buffet... afterwards we danced around the flower decorated pole and sang the best we could....

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cazenave pastry

When I pass the Cazenave bakery in Saint-Paul-les-Dax, I always stop to take some bread. And pretty often I will pick up some pastry. Like today, to celebrate.... that is is Sunday ... the weather is great ... that on Thursday the summer vacation starts for the children?

Any excuse is a good one!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Co(o)rniche, design restaurant in Pyla-sur-Mer

La Co(o)rniche in Pyla-sur-Mer has been on my wish list for a while, since I heard about this place designed by Starck and set by the sea next to the Dune de Pyla... so when our friends suggested lunch there I was thrilled! And as you can see by the photos, we were not disappointed...

(Smart with a mirror so everyone can have a view of the ocean!)

Afterwards we went for a windy stroll in Arcachon.

When only the best is good enough

My sweetheart husband prepared a Valentine surprise for me.... a romantic getaway at Hotel de Palais in Biarritz. I've dreamed of going there for such a long time, but I was more hoping for a coffee or lunch, just to get a look inside that impressive and beautiful building... not to stay the night and have dinner...  So if you have  the budget, it is definitively worth it. The service is excellent, they know how to be very attentive and still put you at ease and all the rest is over the top.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gourmet hiking with donkeys in Irouléguy

We had such a perfect day in Irouléguy with Charlotte and some donkeys!

First we went to pick up the donkeys, then she showed us how to prepare them. Björn got Craquette, a very hungry donkey that kept munching whatever flower or herb that passed by, and Clara got Caramel, a very calm and gentle donkey. 

The weather was overcast and not really warm, but this was perfect for us out walking. There was no wind and the calm of the hills was very soothing. The scenery was as lush as it ever is here in the beginning of summer. I was very happy to get to know this little corner of the Basque country... so beautiful...

Walking with donkeys is perfect in many ways. They can carry your things or picnic or child... for us it was lucky, because Bjorn would have had problems walking the whole 15 km we did in one day. (You can also chose to take off on your own with a detailed map).

After about half the distance we stopped to have lunch in a cidrerie. I love picnics, but this was indeed the luxury version of hiking! Many thanks to Charlotte who was an excellent guide for us. She loves this place and she loves her donkeys! 

You find her on this site: Escapanes.

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