Saturday, 13 September 2008

3rd Sept 2008 - Ax

In the morning we set off for the small ski and spa resort of Ax. It takes about 40 minutes to get there and get parked.

The houses are a mixture of styles and some buildings remind me of Aviemore. We wander the streets. It is very hot but there is a cooler breeze blowing through the streets. On all sides mountains tower above the town. It has its own ski-lift, but the cable cars hang silently in space.

There are 80 hot springs dotted somewhere in the resort, but we don’t spot any. There is a huge thermal spa building, and a big casino building.
Here too, preparations are underway for a few days of festivities, featuring food. The marquees or stalls are up, but it will be 10 days or so before events take place.

There are many exciting outdoor activities available to the visitor.

We have lunch in outside at a pizzeria next to the casino building. We plump for the 3 course menu of the day for 12 Euros each. A small mozzarella and tomato salad, lasagne and I have a Basque almond desert with chocolate sauce while S has the ├ęclair. I used the word plump earlier because there are several people with healthy apetites eating in the restaurant. I will include a photo of one of them tucking into her pizza as though she hasn't seen food for days. Strangely she and her almost equally proportioned mother left a quarter and half of their pizzas respectively. She is also the proud owner of the a small white dog which gets fed tidbits and which she calls "mon garcon" (My boy)

The town has a river running through it and in places you can smell the sulphur coming off the water. Is that a centurion’s shield glistening in the water? No it is a car hubcap.
There are many signs advertising apartments for rent, but not many tourists around. The main road to Andorra and on up to Toulouse runs right through the centre of the town. Huge lorries and coaches thunder along the narrowish road and negotiate the roundabout. It is not much fun walking on the pavement.
We agree that although nice to visit, it is not as nice as our town. We had found somewhere to park across the river from the town. If you have a campervan this must be the place to be seen.

Heading back up the highway, we are accompanied by a never ending supply of mountains and hills, most of which are covered with vegetation of various shades of green. Oops! I spoil everything by missing the turn off for home and ending up in P.We go into Conforama and I come out with Philips mini hi-fi system which will rip music from CDs and cassettes. I note that at 3pm it is 31 degrees. When I return home, I look to see what temperature it is in Clevedon. Max 15 degrees and raining.

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