I the Miss had the fortune of growing up in a large family, three brothers and two sisters. One of my brothers was also my twin. (Lucky mum hey!) As a kid, having a twin brother was fantastic, I got to be my own person but also got to share everything with my best friend.
Age has changed our relationship but we still have many things in common. How and where we live is not one of them.
My brother lives in the middle of NO where “up in the lakes” of Tasmania at the bottom of the world. His home is wild, beautiful, basic, isolated and in winter time absolutely freezing. He can go weeks without seeing anyone if he so chooses.
This isolated place is his home of choice. On reflection he may seem a little anti-social but I understand this notion. I too am never completely comfortable in masses of humanity. I usually refuse to go to the local market because I hate that random, pushing, shoving and movement of people as they shop. Shopping and crowds – a perfect reason not to go out.
(Plus I detest dreadlocks but that is another story altogether.)
Time To Build A Bridge
Yet now I am in Europe and if I am to see anything worthwhile or in fact hunt and gather food from a supermarket I need to build a bridge and get over my dislike for crowds.
People are in plague proportions in this place.
On the roads, on the beaches, in the shops, markets and in the bread shops. You queue for everything. Then you go to a place like Collioure on a hot Sunday the amount of people in one small place is mind boggling.
Some Places Are Worth The Discomfort Of Sharing
It was a beautiful day so we set off early to sail to Collioure and show our niece why it is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the south. We did not know that the day in Collioure would include a public day out for the local garrison of SAS army soldiers. The day included helicopters speeding overhead, soldiers hanging down below and I presume holding on for dear life and then dropping out of the sky to the castle below. Impressive.
If you were into crowds, history and fit young army men and women then Collioure was the place to be last Sunday. Lucky us we were sharing it all with the rest of the visitors. Thousands of them.
There were people everywhere. Moving at times was difficult and finding a space on the small beaches was like hunting for treasure. It took effort. It was crazy. It was like Christmas eve shopping multiplied 100 fold. That is until we decided to visit the Royal Chateau. The big building in the middle of everything and the reason we all go to this place. There was no one inside except us and a couple of pairs of sisters, (sisters not the religious variety on this day appeared to move in packs) and a couple of American families. For two hours we moved around almost completely alone.
If this is all it takes to step into historic air conditioning from dungeons to queens chambers crowd free I am signing up to visit every historic place in every town I go to.
It was brilliant
Viewing Others Holiday Snaps Can Be As Much Fun As Getting A Poke In The Eye
I have the photo evidence of our day in Collioure but to ensure no suffering takes place, the below photos are in a format that you can gloss over in a nano second and if you are interested in any particular photo click on to enlarge. Make sure you zoom in on at least one beach photo to see what sharing the sand is about.
You are in control of the holiday snaps – nice.
Quote Of The Day
Maddy “Everything is wrong today, men in the sky and fish in the ocean!”.
Maddy said this in shock. She had just jumped into the water to be surrounded by hundreds of bright coloured fish looking for a free feed, unexpecting she popped up to share. Only to be greeted by a string of people dangling from the sky flying by.
We Were Starting To Get Used To Living On Our Own
It’s been really nice having the energy and joy of a teenager on board. Surfing the trampolines as we sail, sitting on the front seat to ride the waves and get the occasional dousing of water, snapchat, facebook and talking on skype till you fall asleep are all features that remind me of my three. Maddy has had the first nights sleeping outside on the trampoline and it looked pretty cool – literally.
A bonus of Maddy’s visit is her French is excellent and such an advantage to be living with a family member who can be understood by the locals. Also very interesting as I still try and speak first on every occasion so I am practicing and learning as much French as I can. At times what people say when they think you don’t understand them is very insightful!
PS the best antidote for crowds is to arrive in your boat, park without hassle, and go home for a cup of tea or wine in peace minus the maddening crowds. Place seeing your home from high above is a pretty nice feeling.
Sailing at times is bliss…