Saturday, July 19, 2008

Jason in Europe - part one...

My brother and his family are in Ibiza at the moment, enjoying his birthday today in the middle of a two week vacation.  

It got me to thinking, that this is normally the time of year that we'd be heading off to Europe for a holiday either in the South of France, Portugal, Spain or probably our favourite - Tuscany in Italy.

The funny thing about living in L.A. when you're not working is that you feel you're on holiday every day.  It's strange but in the UK at the first sign of sunshine everyone rushes outdoors to enjoy a sunny day (which normally results in a lot of sunstroke and pink British bodies).  

Here, as every day is sunny (even when the day starts overcast) there's not the rush to lie out in the sun (although people do and there are enough orange perma-tanned folk here), because the sun isn't going anywhere and it'll be out tomorrow.

You also think that it's 'Pimms o'clock' every day and that you should be out relaxing by the pool with a Gin & Tonic or glass of ice cold rose wine.

Anyway, in honour of the fact that we'd normally be on holiday during July or August here are a few installments of Jason in Europe...

JASON IN CANNES

Jason in the Old Port in Cannes harbour
We're lucky to have some lovely friends who recently bought an apartment in the South of France in Mandelieu, near the city that hosts the International Film Festival - Cannes.  
Luxury boats in Cannes Old Port
Luxury yachts moored in Cannes Old Port
This coastal city on France's Cote d'Azur is a popular tourist haven with its sandy beaches of La Croisette, the Old Port with its luxurious yachts and cruise liners moored there and the history of Le Suquet, Cannes' Old Town.
Yachts moored in Cannes harbour
The yachts of the rich in Cannes Old Port
We've always had a great time there and enjoyed the fabulous shopping, dining out (although the French are not very accommodating of vegetarians) and great weather (aside from the odd thunder storm).  
Luxury yachts in Cannes Harbour
We'll miss spending time with our friends there this year, but hope to return there in the future.
View of the Mediterranean from the sandy beaches of Cannes
Fun on the sandy beaches of Cannes La Croisette

JASON IN GRANADA

The fountains and gardens inside the Alhambra in Granada
We've not been there for a couple of years, but we had a great trip to the famous Alhambra in Granada when we were on vacation with friends in Southern Spain.
Architecturally impressive buildings within the Alhambra in Granada
The City of Granada, in Andalucia, is renowned for the architecturally stunning Alhambra, which is a collection of beautiful palaces, fountains and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty and added to by various ruling Arabic Sultans of the province throughout the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.
The architectural splendor of the Alhambra in GranadaThe world renowned architectural splendor of the Alhambra in Granada
Funnily enough on the day we originally planned to visit The Alhambra, upon arrival we discovered that our tickets were actually for the following day - thanks to a miscommunication between our friends and the clerk booking the tickets at the tourist office in the local market town we were staying.  We had a villa in Orgiva, located in the Lower Alpujarras and around an hour's drive from Granada.
The amazing architecture of GranadaBeautiful buildings of Granada in Spain
It wasn't as problem as we had a chance to spend the day lunching and exploring the historic city of Granada, which was very impressive.
Granada is a great place to spend the day lunching and exploring
Fountain in Granada
The Alhambra was well worth the return visit the next day, with our pre-booked tickets, and that's from someone who isn't the greatest tourist in the world. Obviously a lovely sunny day helps too.  
The fountains and gardens of The Alhambra in GranadaInside the gardens of The Alhambra
The fountains of the Alhambra in Granada
Although I'm either the luckiest or most unfortunate person in the world as a pesky bird did poop on my shoulder in one of the palaces in The Alhambra.  It's not restricted to Spain though, I have been popped on by a bird in Bath, England, too. I'm just waiting for an authentic avian L.A. welcome! 
View of the Andalucian countryside from The Alhambra in Granada
Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed a few glimpses of Europe from Jason in Cannes and Jason in Granada.

Tomorrow you'll see some of Jason in Tuscany and Jason in Prague.

"Au revoir" or "Adios" for now...

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