Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Luberon

On the way back from Barcelona, my daughter and I spent a couple of days hiking in the Luberon. It's not very far from where I live, but it's different - more Provence and less Alps. Warmer as well, with no snow! 

It's an area made famous by Peter Mayle (via A Year in Provence) and the countryside is very cute. It all seems a bit gentrified, with hardly any run down buildings. A bit like the Cotswolds, but with better food and weather!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Barcelona Visit

My daughter and I spent a very enjoyable few days in Barcelona. After the snow in St Andre, it was very nice to stroll around in shirt sleeves and admire palm trees. Wonderful architecture, good weather, a big city with a beach and very welcoming locals! Maybe because the local language (Catalan) isn't spoken anywhere else, the locals spoke really good English and enjoyed doing so. Highly recommended! A few pics.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible...

After a few non-flying days (wet and windy) the weekend might just be flyable so I started checking the forecasts tonight. One of the sites is undergoing maintenance and had a rather nice way of saying so...

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Start of the End of Winter - I hope!

February has been very cold but mostly clear and sunny. All very scenic, but I've been getting fed up with all the snow and ice - winter has been dragging on. The last couple of days have been a little warmer and today was positively spring-like. Even better, spring-like with a decent flying forecast at the weekend!

I considered flying locally but I wasn't sure if the road to the top was clear of snow. I would walk up anyway, but if the road was blocked I'd be flying by myself and that feels pretty lonely in winter. So I headed to Greolieres, where I met a bunch of Nice based pilots and also Frode, a Norwegian I've flown with a couple of times.

Greolieres is a very special site; you can read more about it here. It's a hard site to get away from (because of airspace restrictions), and most flights are rather relaxed affairs and mine was no exception. I flew E along the main ridge, with lots of lift and wonderful views (snowy mountains to the L, the Med to the R). On one side of the ridge it's almost springtime, and warm air is coming up the Loup valley from the Med; on the other, skiers are waving at you and there's a cold meteo wind from the N.  After almost 90 minutes I landed for lunch before catching the last flight of the day - 30 minutes ground skimming in much lighter conditions.