I left Paris for the Pyrenées on Saturday, and am currently writing from a smokey bar in a town called Luz-St-Sauveur. I had planned on spending at least a week in Paris, possibly longer, but a few days in I realised I needed to scrap that idea. Given that I was only able to get one night’s decent sleep in my hostel since completing my 25 hour+ plane rides on Monday, and that I felt like all the steps I was going up and down was going to be my main memory of the city, it really was for the best that I came to the country.
Stepping off the bus, heartwarming scent of horse shit in the wind. Cherry blossoms and magnolias in full force, which really goes beautifully against the grey houses and clear light blue sky.
I’m also totally delighted with my accomodation, a small hotel and creperie right by the town’s fortified old church. Periodically throughout the day the bells clang gently, and sound more like birds having a leisurely sing than thick metal on metal. My room looks very close to what my ideal olden-times writer’s room looks like. Simple wooden desk and chair beside the large window, simple bed, view of grey rooftops of the neighbouring buildings with some sky and a bit of mountain just to make you appreciate that you have it at all. And though I wasn’t the most adept at manoeuvering them at first, I have a great love for the big wooden shutters and their nifty inner windows.
As I arrived in the weekend and the area had experienced its first decent snowfall on Thursday my first impression of Luz was that it was a very busy snowfun-profiting town. When I had decided that this was where I would go to unwind, anytime I mentioned it to someone in Paris they would invariably ask “Where???”, and still look completely baffled after I repeated myself and described its location. This made me feel good. So I was slightly taken aback to find it dominated by teenage hoodie boys, I mean I was at one point stuck behind this young guy ambling up the ruelle, presumably ambling so slowly because the crotch of his pants was down to his knees. He was wearing a massive jacket so no unsightly sights were seen… though I was curious about where and how his pants were being held up. I feel like I’m about 80 saying things like this but… is it really comfortable? I like lowriding myself but I am always worried about it. And… I kind of feel that having the crotch, intersection region of the pants actually covering the crotch is a key raison d’etre for pants.
But now it’s the week and there’s a nice moderate amount of life around. I took a walk around the outskirts of the town yesterday, and it’s the happiest I’ve been since getting here. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been happy. But this was happy ++. OH OH!!! And I saw my first squirrel ever!! One of the good things about travelling alone is that it enables you to engage in pointless babytalk when you see an adorable woodland creature that you’ve never seen before. Mine was of the variety of “Ohhhh! Look at you! Climbing up the tree, running around like that! Awww! Who’s a cutie!” OH and and, I thought I was going to have to wait until Switzerland to run into bell-wearing animals, but no, yesterday I heard a lovely ting-tinging far off in the distance and a short while later a herd of sheep came trotting past onto the next hillside. 🙂
I have a bit more to say yet but I have to go now, I’m catching a bus soon to go try my feet on the slopes of Luz Ardiden.