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Old 04-22-2017, 11:26 PM   #281
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Your very welcome Brian.
Andorra's well run, neat, clean and tidy, the people are very friendly, helpful and a delight to visit for a cruiser crew.
We understand many people from all over the world may never get the chance to experience it, its still part of our cruising adventure and we like to show what's within reasonable reach of cruiser skippers/crews to avoid the crew getting 'cabin fever', rather than just arrive in port and be unaware of what's available on your doorstep.
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Old 04-23-2017, 02:57 AM   #282
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I drove from France to Portugal via Spain, and vv, crossing the Pyrenees. I remember going through Pau in France. We overnighted In Burgos,both ways, the cathedral is massive and contains the tomb of El Cid.
Going through the Pyrenees feels like being on the very top of the world. I suspect it`s more fun in a nice MB than a rented Peugeot, but it was lots of fun for an old ex rally driver.
Thanks for the great pics.
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Old 04-24-2017, 12:25 AM   #283
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Your welcome Bruce.
I was a bit afraid that if it wasn't strictly 'boaty' it might annoy the TF team.
I know that part of the country and you're spot on its very nice, I didn't see El Cid yet but its on the list.
The electrics on my old MB died so I treated myself to the 320 with 'sport' mode, yup ! couldn't resist playing a bit on the switchbacks, there's teeth marks on the passengers side and I now know some new French swear words, had to go easy to stay married.


I'm trying to show readers from other parts of the world there's lots of interesting things to see close to the waterways when cruising get the most benefit and make the whole experience interesting.
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Old 05-18-2017, 12:58 AM   #284
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For all the kind people on TF who've given their support and followed 'Windmills and Wine' I'm pleased to say that after a few false starts from slick salesmen we ended up doing it ourselves and now have a book version available from Amazon.
We were at bit shocked at the publishing costs and I can assure you that my rewards are small.
The main thing was to get it in print and available as a good read but more importantly as a reference book for others wishing to do something similar. If you are kind enough to buy either the e book or the paperback a 5* rating would be greatly appreciated.


Now I have to fess up to dropping a monumental clanger !
As you know I'm trying to show you things which are easily available to anyone cruising this area to make the whole experience enjoyable for all the family and any friends who visit.
I laid out an itinery to see the Gypsies shrine, Roman theatre, Roman amphitheatre, Pont du Gard Aqueduct, filled the car and off we went.
300 kilometres later we arrived at the first place of interest and I said to the missus 'Bring the camera cherie' to which she replied 'No dear you get it, you packed it'.
Silence as reality set in, camera was still 300 k's away on 'Snow Mouse'.
A few choice words under the breath.
But I promised I would so I will.


Ever been to Spain ?
A favourite place for British package holiday tourists for many years as they head south for a little sun and a very popular place for 'stag' and 'hen' party's getting up to all sorts of antics on their last days of freedom. For us this resort is one of the places we haven't visited on our cruises down the Spanish coast in our boat as there's no marina and she who must be obeyed doesn't like anchoring out.
Here's a few photo's of a resort called Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava.


1, Early season and not many on the beach.
2, ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
3, The Spanish people are devoutly religious and this is the pretty church in Lloret de Mar.
4,
5,Sangria is Spanish red wine mixed with fruit juice, served chilled with chunks of ice and fruit.
6, Wherever you go there's an Irish bar and yep, I went in and enjoyed a taste of home, couple of pints of Guinness.
7, Narrow streets mean that car aren't allowed into the town centre and the locals use scooters to get around.
8, the usual tourist gee-gaws
9, As well as this lovely model of the Titanic this shop sold a wide range beautiful brass sextants, clinometers, old blocks and memento's of sailing ships, compasses and lots of model ships.
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:55 AM   #285
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The kind people who followed our journey last year will remember we came down the Rhone valley and followed the Rhone a Sete canal.
At that time we didn't get time to explore the Rhone delta but a super summer cruise shows our route, the grey line on the map.
We visited Les Saintes Marie de la Mer (Saint Mary of the Seas) there is a church holding the remains of saints.

According to legend the Romans cast out Mary Jacobea and Mary Salome and their servant Sara putting them out to sea in a small boat with no oars, apparently they were many days at sea and their boat was cast up on the shore and once ashore they dug for fresh water. By a miracle on this dry sandy shore they found an underground vein of fresh water, thought to originate from the river Rhone.
Mary Salome was the mother of St's John and James, Mary Jacobea was the mother of the other James and Jude. these ladies were sainted later.
Their servant girl Sara, known as the black saint was adopted as the patron saint of the Tsiganes people, known variously as Gypsy's, Romany's, Guerrier's or Pikey's, some of the names these people of no fixed abode are referred to. They all gather here once a year on the 24th and 25th of May for a pilgrimage when the statue of Saint Sara is taken down to the sea along with the saints boat.
A church was built on the site where the fresh water was found, it is now surrounded by grill and has a glass top, this water is used as holy water.


Photos,
1, Route
2, Apologies, bad photo in the crypt.
3, Saint Sara, the black Saint.
4, The Saints Mary.
5, The church.
6, Saint Sara.
7, Bells.
8,The coffin containing the bones the two Saint Mary's are kept up here and once a year they are brought down with great ceremony for the pilgrimage to the sea, and returned afterwards and secured in place.
9, looking seaward from the church roof in the direction the Saints arrived from.
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:18 AM   #286
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The Rhone delta was formed from silt washed down and much of the area is covered in salty marshland. This region in general is called the 'Camargue' and is famous for its white horses and semi wild bulls, being marshy there's quite a lot of rice grown where possible.
Yes I know technically there's no such thing as a white horse, they're called greys, but to everyone here they're white.
These horses are also semi wild and roam free over the winter and then rounded up, many are used for pony trekking and herding the bulls. Horses form a significant part of the culture, unusually they are born brown and the turn white around 5 years old.
The bulls here are lighter and more agile than the Spanish bulls and their horn grow vertically as opposed to the Spanish horizontal.
Bull fighting still takes place and supposedly none are killed, instead they hang trinkets on the horns and the matadors have to hook them off the horns.
Both the horses and bulls meat is eaten locally and because the animals adapt to the marshy salty vegetation the meat is stronger than normal cattle beef..
When the Saints Mary's coffin is taken to the sea (previous post) its escorted by these Gardians on horseback in full local costume.
Photos,
1, Gardian.
2,3, Camargue bulls.
4, Camargue horse.
5, Poster advertising a Camargue horse festival.
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:31 AM   #287
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I'm pleased to say that Amazon.com have just made available 2 print on demand paperbacks, 'Encore' covers the trip from Ireland to Dunkirk, see the post 'Ireland to the Mediterranean Part 1' here on TF.
'Windmills & Wine' covers Dunkirk to Narbonne, just type book name ' ' by Geoff Woolley, search.
I hope you enjoy them, a 5* rating would be very much appreciated.
Thank you everyone for your support.
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:36 AM   #288
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When we came down the Rhone last year the P'tit Rhone was shown on the charts as being blocked to navigation below St Gilles lock.
I didn't wish to experiment with the current behind in case I got into trouble, determined to have a look I tried another method.
Leaving the port of Le Sainte Marie a la Mer we entered the river by the sea entrance and cruised up to see what the obstruction was and it turned out to be a ferry cable across the river.
We were able to keep to the side of the river and limbo under it.
This free ferry service is a small paddle wheeler.


Photos.
1, Ferry cable across the river.
2, Ferry,
3, Peculiar shaped local house, the rounded end is built to the predominant wind direction, logical in a way.
4, Horses and bulls dominate life here and the cross local to this area.
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Old 06-12-2017, 05:49 PM   #289
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Hi Irish Rambler.
Have tried to find your book on Amazon and it does not appear anywhere I can see.
All I get are people trying to sell me windmills or wine Help please.

John
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:09 PM   #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
Hi Irish Rambler.
Have tried to find your book on Amazon and it does not appear anywhere I can see.
All I get are people trying to sell me windmills or wine Help please.

John
I found it...

https://www.amazon.com/WINDMILLS-WIN...mills+and+wine

and

https://www.amazon.com/Geoff-Woolley...ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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Old 06-12-2017, 07:47 PM   #291
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Thanks Al.
Bought it!!

John
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Old 06-12-2017, 08:29 PM   #292
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That's never going to work; Aussies driving on the wrong side of the canal, going into the wrong side of the locks, complaining about the lack of Foster's...Gawd it would be a shambles!
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Old 06-17-2017, 03:05 PM   #293
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Following on from our visit to St Marie De La Mer and then up the P'tit Rhone we arrived at the junction with the main Rhone river, there we turned South wards heading back down river and towards the sea again.
En route we arrived at the town of Arles which is the limit of navigation for hire cruisers, having moored safely out of the main current we set off to explore this fascinating town.


As we're art lovers we wanted to see 'Van Gogh's bridge' as its known locally.
Its proper name is Le Pont De Langlois Aux Lavandieres
So first we went by ships bike to visit the bridge made famous by the painter Van Gogh (photo).
Many artists came down to the South of France to paint because of the clear light.
I'm told it had nothing whatsoever to do with cheap wine, pretty girls and the easy living lifestyle.
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:58 PM   #294
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Now for the piece de resistance of this trip.
The Roman theatre in Arles.
It was built in typical amphitheatre design for acoustics and featured even that far back moveable scenery.
This was done with a series of blocks, pulleys and slots large enough to handle backdrop scenery. The required scenery was slid out of its slot on rollers and then hoisted into position.
They even had a curtain which unlike the modern version which comes down the roof, the ancient Roman theatre's came up from a slot in the floor.
The aristocracy sat in the front circle and depending on your station in society, further back.


Photo's.
1, Arles Ornate cathedral.
2, Exterior wall of the Roman theatre.
3, Interior showing the stage area (still used today for outside performances)
4, Size of the theatre,
5, If you look at the exterior wall of the amphitheatre you will see several arches. these were built in such a way that different classes of people were segregated in the theatre, they never mixed either arriving or leaving.
6, Preserved outer wall
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:14 PM   #295
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Just a short walk from the theatre is the Roman amphitheatre, probably one of the best preserved in Europe.
These photos are for the benefit of anyone who may not otherwise have the opportunity see them.


Photo's.
1, Roman arena.
2, Internal structure. The slots in the stones were used for scaffolding during building and repairs.
3, there are any passages like this for entry/exit to various levels.
4 & 5 general structure.
6, Arena seating.
7 & 8 The arena.
9, Structure.
10, Description.
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