Things that make you go 'hmm'…
Rain, rain, go away…
Well, I’m back. Thank you so much for all your kind wishes and comments, I will reply as soon as I have drawn breath. I’ve had a very interesting trip despite a lot of very dodgy weather that seems to be afflicting all Western Europe at the moment. We arrived in Geneva at lunch time and after our 2 hour train journey to Sierre then a taxi ride up the mountain, we finally arrived in Crans Montana in the early evening. It was surprisingly warm and sunny (we had expected to be cold!) but by the next day, it had become grey and misty and that set the tone for much of the rest of the journey south.
It was really interesting to see the same places I photographed a couple of months ago – minus the snow. It’s quite astonishing to see how quickly the grass and trees recover after being covered in snow for months on end. The snow covered hillsides had become meadows filled with wild flowers and the cows were out to pasture, each wearing a huge cow bell which rang constantly. The poor creatures must be deaf with the noise.
Our journey was not going to be a leisurely sight seeing trip unfortunately. We were booked onto a ferry leaving Barcelona the next day so we had a lot of driving to do in a relatively short time. We set off in drizzly rain and and drove to Geneva and then down to Lyon. This part of the journey was through a region called the Jura and the scenery is quite beautiful. I managed to take a few shots as we drove through the mountains and through many tunnels.
After that we headed down the motorway which runs down to the South of France, (called the Autoroute du Soleil – the Sunshine Motorway) heading towards Spain when we reached Orange and bypassing some wonderful places like Montelimar, Avignon, Nimes, Carcassonne and Perpignan. The weather did improve as we drove south but as we were in the car, it seemed a waste! Just after we crossed the Spanish border, we came to Figueras (which has a famous Dali museum) and we stopped for the night in a pretty little fishing village called Port de la Selva.
This was the night that my team, Manchester United played Chelsea in the Champions League Final in Moscow. I managed to watch the last hour or so, in my hotel room on Spanish TV (so no John Motson or Alan Hanson – every cloud has a silver lining) The match was very close and even after playing extra time, the match was still drawn. The penalty shoot out which followed was unbearably exciting and stressful – I could hardly stand to watch it. Luckily, we won and I expect my screams of joy could be heard in Barcelona. Oops! Sorry! Manchester United knocked Barcelona out in the semi finals….. :-) Anyway, don’t let anyone say that we Mancunians weren’t pleased to win the cup!
We were heading for Barcelona to catch a fast ferry over to Palma in Mallorca. When we reached Barcelona, after only getting lost once (and that was because we had a duff road map and the streets had no names or road signs – honest! Maybe it was revenge for the football) we just about had time for a quick lunch before catching the Sea Cat, so I only had time for a quick look around the harbour near the port. (Click on thumbnails for a larger image)
I have stayed in my friends’ apartment in Puerta Pollensa many times and the weather has always been brilliant, so I suppose I was due some bad weather. Friday wasn’t too bad. We did manage to sit in the sun for a while but the three days after that were awful – very unseasonal rain, high winds and storms.
Having said that, I saw THE most amazing thunderstorm which happened whilst there was a spectacular red sunset. Even after many efforts, I didn’t manage to get a photograph of the lightning but shortly after I took this shot there was a HUGE bolt of forked lightning. With the building site in the foreground, this photograph reminds me of Mordor in ‘Lord of the Rings’ :-)
I arrived back in the UK yesterday after our grey, wet week to rain, rain and more rain. Marvellous. Welcome home.