Watching the sun rise over the Mediterranean from a front-row seat on the broad beach at Argeles Plage.
There's a sequence of photos on my FB timeline: facebook.com/rick.adams.39589
D-L's version can be read at: http://theexpatwriter.blogspot.fr/2013/08/magic-morning.html
We had talked about going to the beach all week but hadn't yet made it there. Despite a late evening, we awoke early, and Donna-Lane pointed at the skylight: "It's still dark." I said, "Let's go watch the sunrise." She readily agreed, we pulled on our bathing suits, grabbed the cameras and keys, found Barbara's car in the library lot, and covered the 5 or 6 kilometres to the beach parking in a few minutes.
At 6 in the morning, there weren't many other people around (though the sand would be elbow-to-elbow by afternoon). There were a few joggers and cyclists, and they increased in number with each hour.
We practically had the beachfront to ourselves, except for a couple of young couples who were clearly coupling on their beach towels (sorry, no photos). And some kids who splashed out to a floating dock about 50 metres offshore.
When we arrived, the horizon was a dark blue and gray with streaks of pink. Gradually the pink hues increased, the blues high in the sky became brighter and more vivid. Then Jonathan Steroid Seagull flew past and landed behind us in search of anything the metal detector men had missed.
As we turned around, the sun was making its grand entrance.
How does it get any better than lying next to your âmes-soeurs on a near-private beach, listening to the waves crash against the shoreline, welcoming another beautiful day in a petite paradise in the south of France?
We eventually decided to stroll down the promenade toward Argeles Port in search of something to eat. Along the way there was an amazing photo exhibition depicting whales, dolphins, turtles, and other marine life in the region.
The port was just awakening - people getting their boats ready to sail or cruise, amateur scuba divers donning their gear and listening to their instructor's guidance.
We found an open boulangerie at the far end of the port, and enjoyed a fresh-baked croissant, juice, and tea as we watched the promenade steadily wake up.
After breakfast, we wandered back along the beach, now quite alive with umbrella-packing fathers, teens and tweens racing for the water, ski-doos racing parallel to the shoreline, parasailers soaring behind power boats, and more joggers, walkers, and cyclists. An occasional dog. And three ferrets.
This would be a great vacation ... but what's even better -- we live here!
Life is good.