It’s so French!

The minute I stepped out of the shuttle bus from the airport, arriving in Toulouse, I could recognize the sense of France I remember from last winter and spring that we spend in this region.
All of a sudden it was clear that I actually do know and remember quite a lot of French words (in writing), and I was even able to order my lunch in French, with a little translation help from the English menu.

The lunch was a French love story in itself with taste of rosemary, fresh locally grown vegetables and a superb coffee afterwards. High quality products and good cooking does make a huge difference.

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Green grapes

Now I’m back at one of the places we were house sitting at last winter, with people who have become our friends and now host me while I help out with a little work on the farm. Here are horses, cats, sheep and chicken, and today I get to work on a renovation project in the old stable.

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Fresh eggs every day

These people are so sweet, hugging me time and making sure I am doing good all the time. And they too serve food to die for! Lots of it is grown here in their own vegetable garden.

Next week Anders arrives, and then we’ll be house sitting at this place for two weeks. It’s very quiet and calm out here, and a lovely view over the Pyrenees and I am so happy to get to see this view now, when it’s green, sunny and beautiful in another way than last winter.

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French country house

When living a nomadic lifestyle it’s wonderful to come back to places and people, to recognize and be able to actually continue a conversation and not always start a new one.

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Work outfit

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Four new eggs per day

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The sheep love beeing fed grain

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Hills and valleys

Take care and enjoy this day. Who can you take up a conversation with today?

//Wivan

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Off to the Azores

It was an early start, alarm set on 3.30 am, and then a 10 minute walk to the Blagnac airport in Toulouse. We’re so early not even the shops or cafés are open yet. Lucky we had some fruit left in the bag.

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Free wifi at the airport

Soon time for Paul to open, and maybe, just maybe, we grab a coffee before boarding.

Enjoy your day! Next time we write will be from the island of Flores.
//Anders and Wivan

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Paul coffeeshop at the airport

From France to the Azores

Early tomorrow morning we’re off to the island Flores in the Azores, the westernmost post of Europe! We have a house- and dog sit booked for two months, and look very much forward to meeting the spring at the island.

Picture of Flores, from casasacorianas.com

Picture of Flores, from casasacorianas.com

First time we looked at going to the Azores was around 2007, but then decided on going to Madeira instead. So now we’re really excited to be able to go!

Waterfall in Flores. Picture: geocaching.com

Waterfall in Flores. Picture: geocaching.com

So, what have we learned/seen/remembered after several months in southern France? Lots and lots of things of course! Some of them we’ve written about here on the blog, some are still only for us, and some we’d like to share with you now:

* It’s lovely to be in a country where dogs are allowed to go in to shops, cafés and restaurants.
* We love meeting with new people and to rely on that things are solved to the best.
* A lot of both the Swedish and English languages origin from French.
* It’s great to be able to be outside, to breathe fresh air and to see a lot of day light in the winter.

Picture from nature-volcano-tours.com

Picture from nature-volcano-tours.com

Since last Tuesday Wivan’s mom and extra dad have been visiting with us here in France. It’s been some really fun and lovely days together with parts of the family again. Now they’re on the road back to Sweden, in our car and we’ll fly off early tomorrow. So, this afternoon we have tried a few different ways of walking from our hotel to the airport, to be sure we find the way and have an idea of how long it takes! And after almost a full day in a room, it’s always nice to go outside for a while.

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Yesterday we turned the keys over to our parents

Tonight we’ll have a burger at another hotel in the area and then try to get some rest before our 6.15-flight tomorrow morning.

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Sightseeing in Vielha, Spain, last weekend

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Layndry in Les Pesques last week

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It's easy to see who's mom this is...

Towards 4000 K

We had a good drive down to our new house sit and have been here for about 24 hours now. Getting to know the place and the pets. It surely is more tiring to adjust to new environments than we had imagined. It’ll be a calm and quiet night.

On the road from Nice to Toulouse

On the road from Nice to Toulouse, getting close to have driven 4000 K since we left Sweden

 

Alfie, the dog of the house

Alfie, the dog of the house

Sunday morning inspiration

Toulouse (1)

In the car

 

After a three and a half hour drive yesterday, we arrived in Toulouse last night and checked in at a small Best Western Hotel in the city center. It’s such a nice treat to stay a night in a hotel after our first “official” house sitting assignment on the countryside of the Dordogne.

The Capitole square in Toulouse - a little bit like Malmö ;-) Picture: international.isae.fr

The Capitole square in Toulouse – a little bit like Malmö 😉
Picture: international.isae.fr

 

On the way to Toulouse

On the way to Toulouse

This afternoon we’re heading east, to the area around Nimes to do our first Workaway session with a family. Since this is another first for us, we’re reading up a bit on what Workaway is, how it works etc. And it really strucks how well the thoughts behind this website and “matching service” is matching our thoughts on life and the world. Especially Anders is talking a lot about this after hearing doubtful and scared thoughts from others before we left Sweden.

Any interaction we have with other humans depends on trust, whether we are driving along a motorway or leaving all our valued possessions in a hotel room. Travel tests our capacity to trust others to the max. Being a long way from home, we rely on others to show us the ropes and re-direct us when we get lost. In fact it would be impossible to leave our homes unless we had an implicit trust in the rest of the human race…or the majority of them.

Workaway works on trust!

From the Workaway website.

After reading this particular part of the website, it feels even more compelling to try out the Workaway-way of living. And hopefully do good work and get some new knowledge and meetings with people along the way.

Looking forward to update you all on how it’s working. Thanks for reading!

// Anders & Wivan

Place du Capitole, Toulouse. Nighttime and lots of people!

Place du Capitole, Toulouse. Nighttime and lots of people!

 

Downtown Toulouse Saturday night

Downtown Toulouse Saturday night

 

Sunday breakfast at Best Western Hotel Athenee

Sunday breakfast at Best Western Hotel Athenee