You never quite know what to expect on travels. I’ve been here before, I had a rough idea what I could do in the area. That there’s a pretty old town and a long beach. Now I understand what my geography teacher meant when he said he doesn’t want to return to places he’s been to 10 or 20 years before. Change is inevitable.
On my first afternoon here, I went to see the old town. Already on the drive there, multitudes of people were frequenting the beach promenade. I had to squeeze my way through the groups of tourists on the remparts, the walls surrounding the old town. My host tells me that tourism has exploded in the last couple years, Parisians are buying holiday houses here, prices are on the rise. I know, it was also a long weekend, but still, I was a little disappointed at the end of the day.
Not quite sure where I wanted to go the next day, I asked my hosts in the morning if they had a bicycle they could lend me. They did and I was so happy to be able to simply ride.
Through fields of flowers and grazing horses and traditional stone houses. Towards the sea. Equipped with a little map of the area I tried a few different streets and ended up at a beautiful coastal walk with only the odd jogger passing by.
It couldn’t have been a more perfect scenario. I was sitting in the grass on top of the cliff, surrounded by twining bushes and wild flowers. The birds singing in the background and my eyes resting on the vastness of the ocean. And I couldn’t help being so grateful for life’s beautiful surprises, as silly as it may sound now.
I constantly have to remind myself that optimism and readiness to discover new wonderful places are the most important ingredients of travel.
To be continued …
Have you ever been disappointed in a destination? What’s your best advice for a successful holiday?