Wednesday, 4 June 2014

... from Gaudi to the ice age ...


Days 48- 50 ... Canet de Mar through the Pyrenees to Engravies and surrounds

1, 2 and 3. La Sagrada Familia (Gaudi's unfinished cathedral in Barcelona)
4.  For Maudy
5.  The pool...Engravies
6.  This morning's breakfast
7.  No photos allowed inside the caves...this was from the exhibition at the entrance to the caves

On Monday we caught a train to Barcelona .  Then we walked from the train station to a cathedral designed by Gaudi a famous architect (who died in a car crash ).  The windows were made of stained glass........they looked really cool.  One of the doors was full of religious words on it and one of the words in gold spelt Gracies.  So Mum got out her camera a took lots of photos of me next to it.  After we got a lift up the nativity tower up a few steps across a little bridge then down near the bottom we got to go down spiral stairs............ I felt like I was going to fall through the middle.  When we finished looking around the cathedral we went looking for lunch.  
Yesterday we drove from Canet de mar to Engravies.  We stopped at a little cafe on the side of the road.  We are staying in a B&B.  The lady who run the B&B's name is Sarah...........she's really nice.  
Today we drove up to the caves on the way we stoped at a little town called Mirepoix was really pretty.  It took about an hour to get to the caves from Mirepoix. When we got there we all put our puffs on (and go to the toilet ).  We had to wait about half an hour for the tour to start. In the cave it was really slippery.  We got to see some of the drawings that the people in the ice age drew. The drawings were of animals like bison and horses.

Chased out of Spain with the abdicating King, Juan Carlos , due to the stick figure confusion. My only defence is that I had just seen Salvador Dali's art and that does make your mind do funny things.
The pleasure of the quick exit was the drive through The French Pyrenees back into France, with snow capped mountains, waterfalls and ski slopes covered with grass.
And some great tunnels;Europe does the tunnel perfectly!
The arrival back in France delivered two unexpected delights. Domaine Thompson , a B and B run by a entertaining Scottish lady, Sarah, who provided a prefect oasis . Great food, a log fire and a swimming pool. Sarah also recommended the second highlight, Grotte de Niaux, an unforgettable experience of ice age artwork.
It is great to be back in France( on the way to Italy).

Yesterday we drove from Barcelona to Mirepoix in France. The drive went through very tall mountains and on some of them there was snow.
Today we drove to The Grottes de Niaux and before we went in the caves we had to get the torches.Then we went into the cave with a big group and it was very dark. In the cave there was graffiti from hundreds of years ago. There was a black chamber where there drawings of animals that were from thousands and thousands of years ago.
I liked how they drew the bisons.

I like France better than's prettier and neater (and we can put the children to bed earlier!)
Today's excursion was fabulous. The Grotte de Niaux are one of the few painted caves you can still visit ...I felt like I was with Ayla and Jondalar...who else remembers those books?
The paintings are about a kilometre inside the cave system...through slippery floors, narrow openings and muddy puddles. We had torches to guide us until we got to the main salon and there the guide darkened the space completely and illuminated small groups of paintings at a time - to oohs, aahs and gasps. 13900 years ago is not a number easily grasped by 3rd generation Australians. 
Tonight we are cosied up in a French farmhouse ... in front of the open fire in the room where the dairy cows used to be kept. We've had aperitifs, a 3 course home cooked dinner (all local produce and home grown fruit/veg) and I know there are croissants for breakfast ...really not sure I'm leaving tomorrow. 

On Monday we went to see the Gaudi cathedral. It was so amazing almost every window had stained glass on it. It looks funny, the new bits of the building against the old. There was a mini model near the entrance that showed what it was going to look like when it was finished. It looked quite impressive. Mum said that we had to do a quiz about the  cathedral to get an ice cream at the end of the day. All of us won a nice cream with a little bit of help from others. 
Yesterday we drove to back to France through the mountains. Jack said some of them had snow on them but Mum and Dad weren't so sure. We did get to see snow on the mountains in the end. I think Dad was a little bit scared of us being so high up. We stopped for lunch at a sandwich place that looked like it was closed but he let us have sandwiches. 
According to Dad's amazing French pronunciation we are now in Mirapoo (Mirepoix). We are staying at a nice B&b place with a pool! We had a swim in it, it was cold when you got in but nice afterwards. Today we drove to a cave. We went in with torches in a big group. The drawings and signs on the walls on the rock were amazing. We had to turn of the torches in the black chamber where all the drawings were because they were warm and the heat might damage the drawings. My favourite drawing was one of a horse.


  1. Sounds like you're having a great time! :-)

  2. Are you going to blog Edie?? we'd love to read it

  3. Yes, we are going to blog.

  4. I like the GRACIES photo! :-)