Arcachon: Last 2006′s moments

After Paris, Jia and I went to my hometown to spend the Christmas holidays and New Year’s day. As you may know already, I’m from the south of France, precisely from the « Bassin d’Arcachon ». The city where I (used to) live is « Le Teich », and except for cows, horses, birds, and a few humans, there isn’t much else!

A few years ago, my mother stopped setting up a Christmas tree in our house since it involved killing a tree, so now she puts up some simple decorations, which, you’ll notice, happen to color-coordinate with the rest of the family room…..

My house is right by the forest, and there are a lot of fun things to do there! Like hunting for cepes (porcini mushrooms), the best mushrooms on the planet, or going there by night with girls and spooking them! Ho ho ho…..

The Atlantic Ocean is not far from my place, only 20 minutes by car. We went walking along one of the beaches, which is a huge swath of sand, empty, undeveloped (except for a small snack shack, closed in the winter) and pebble-free. The beach is far from commercial and residential development so you can really appreciate its natural beauty. We can’t swim in the winter, but it’s really nice to be here without all the people there are during the summer. Very tranquil and relaxing !

A drunk or lazy bird ambled by…

Jia met my whole family in only two meals, a lot in one shot ! But she managed it very well, aided by the flowing wine and foie gras characteristic of this region, and tons of extremely fatty things. Aside from the mild and uninterrupted indigestion that lasted the entire trip, we were very gastronomically content!

In order to digest, nothing is better than a bracing walk. So we decided to go to the « Dune du Pyla », a famous natural landmark of my hometown.

This Dune is located off of the Basin of Arcachon, between the Atlantic Ocean and the forest . Although it was winter (and there was a very cold wind atop of the Dune), it was still a nice place ! Though we were dressed in sweaters and walking barefoot, everyone else was in winter coats and proper footwear, ha ha … Some of you may think of a dune as just a mound of sand, but you can see from the third picture, it’s alot bigger than that ! The Dune is the highest in Europe and is almost 2 miles long !! What’s even more fun than climbing it is running down the side ! Because it’s all sand, it’s alot harder to fall and even if you do, it won’t hurt 😉 .

We also went to a place called « la corniche », which is a path that leads from the city of Arcachon to a point at the base of the Dune .

Lots of « Arcachonnais » go here to watch the sunset . There is an amazing panel of colors .

Great smile baby

My grandfather did a weird thing this evening ! In addition to subjecting us to a slideshow of my old baby pictures, he brought back a really old film projector, and played for us my parent’s wedding . It was more than 30 years go, so … actually the more interesting thing than the reel was this bizarre and noisy contraption from the past which took 15 minutes to figure out . That night and the next few days we stayed in our Arcachon apartment that overlooks the pier you see below . Like the beaches, it’s teeming with people in the summer but it’s dead calm in the winter ….

Around my hometown of « Le Teich », there are a lot of meadows and small rivers . My mother takes walks there almost everyday . You can meet lots of animals like horses, big rats, hundreds of kinds of birds, and if you are lucky, wild boar and deer !

Along one of these walks, we met a very pregnant horse ! You can see her bulging belly below. 😯 Maybe because she was « with child », she wasn’t very friendly ! After approaching her, we finally got the picture and moved away. Didn’t want to get horse-kicked while on vacation…

There is a very strange tree in that picture, it has such a phantasmagoric look ! And just next to this photo, a … mushroom… that we probably should not eat :???:… Too bad it’s not a cepe !

And as I was home, I had a look at my old photo albums, and I took pictures of these two pictures. 🙂 I was around 2 and 4, I guess, mmm, i look so different now 😯 ! No more bowlcut, thank goodness …..

And by the way… (Almost forgot it…)

Happy New Year

It’s amazing to think that, one year ago, I was having drinks & partying in Hong-Kong, with a lot of people
from all over the world, whom I’ve only met this one night …