January 2014

Written by on August 5, 2014 in Blog with 0 Comments

Well Happy New Year!! Not sure when you should actually stop saying that but as it’s the first you have heard from me this year I think it is acceptable.

Christmas seems ages away now doesn’t it – well it should except for the fact that there are still some households and shops in the area that still have their Christmas decorations up and will do apparently until the end of the month! No NO!! I have had enough. I was a bit smug before Christmas and proud that the French seem to start things relatively late here i.e. Christmas starts here in December as opposed to September as it does in the UK. But now I hold my tail between my legs as they continue to celebrate it here! And of course if we were in Spain our Christmas present exchange day would have been the 6th January.  Here this date is celebrated also, known as the Epiphany, the day the 3 Kings were supposed to have visited the baby Jesus and bring him gifts. I was always led to believe it was on the 24th or early hours of the 25th, but who actually knows and as it’s all a bit of a mystery I reckon just celebrate every opportunity then you can’t miss out. It does however put pay to the New Year diet plan as you have to eat cake.  Les Gallettes, which are a bit like sugary dry sponge (best drunk with a cup of tea or when in France maybe some Muscat!)

The lucky individual that finds the hidden china figure in the cake and doesn’t actually die from swallowing it is named King for that moment.

January in the Languedoc can be surprisingly pleasant. Weather wise we have had lots of sunny days and compared to England right now, barely a spit of rain. So yes right now we made the right decision to move here! Yes it can be cold but nothing that a chocolate chaud can’t put right. But cold brings snow to the nearby mountains and living just under 2 hours from the Pyrenees means that skiing is a very viable weekend or even just a day trip away.

Les Angles or Font Romeu to name just a few of the nearby resorts are stunning places to be, even for a non-skier (which I am) the Après Skiing is as good as you want to make it and there are some fab restaurants and tres charmant shops to visit . There are plenty of runs and it is very family orientated and not as expensive as skiing in the Alpes.  As a non-skier I took myself with a friend to visit the Hot Natural baths at Les Bains de LLO (there are several to choose from) http://www.bains-de-llo.com/anglais/index.php

With a number of indoor and outdoor pools to relax in there is always a hot bubble jet for one to perch upon!! One of the pools even has underwater music!! With a Hamman and a sauna as well you come out feeling thoroughly cleansed and purged ready for other nights full on Après ski!!

In fact I got so into this bubble jet lark I also recently discovered the amazing spa at Gruissan known as the  Espace Balneoludique  http://www.gruissan-mediterranee.com/univers-balneo/balneo-hd

I personally recommend going after 6pm, enjoying 2 hours of sheer relaxing bliss for just 10 Euros and then going to one of the many restaurants at nearby Gruissan Marina for dinner afterwards!

The only thing I should warn you, is that men HAVE to wear those tiny weeny speedo-y type swimming shorts.  You might want to leave the husband at home and go and watch the scenery with a girl friend! All that was missing was a glass of champagne!!

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