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Flint’s Travel Diary

Friday, 15 May 2009

Location: The Pyrenees, France

MapSo, the Pyrenees. In short, we crushed them in a day and a half. I,m not sure what all the hype is about. I mean beautiful? Of course, absolutely stunning. But where were all the massive hills we were promised, the trecherous 15 deg plus slopes streching on and on. Aching calves begging for a rest from hills so steep your hardly moving. Tour de France, bring it on, we'll do it in a day.

Amazing how as soon as you enter France your arrogance just increases on the spot, just like that. Suddenly you no longer need to say please and thankyou, you walk around like you've been dressed by a fashion god/ess and your culinary prowess would make Jamie Oliver look like the tuckshop lady.

The other amazing thing about entering France is that you immediately develop a French accent, just like that.Just as we rode over the final pass into France (with not so much as a Bienvenue a France, Au revoir Espagnol or anything of the sort, just a lame road sign telling us that French people are allowed to drive 10 kilometres faster on the freeway than Spanish people) our accents immediately shifted (and Ive got a video to prove it) The other thing which automatically changed was the language everyone else speaks. It might seem obvious but there is somethign very weird about riding down a hill and suddenly realising your not in Kansas any more Dorothy (or even Spain for that matter) and you can't understand a word anyone says, while 5 ks before you were chatting with the locals like you'd lived there for years and toasting the victory of Barcelona on the weekend.
Seriously, even with our incredible French accents we STILL didn't pass as Frenchies. Weird hey.

The other weird thing here is the keyboards. Clever Frenchies have taken your standard keyboard that the rest of the romanesque languages use and modified it just slightly, not too much, but just enough to make you THINK you can still type like normal qnd qnnoy teh shit out of you zhen you find out thqt your elail hqs co,e out looking likd this1.

But assside from that, and the fact that everything costs even more than it did in Spain, France is really aa cool place and French people, despite the stereotypes (which I have shamelesslely added too above) really are very friendly.Oh, and the other thing, you know all the stereotypes about little french stone villages, old french ,en cycling to the bagueterrie every day; stripey shirts and beautiful meandering country roads withe vineyards on every side;;; They're absolutely TRUE! Really, its stunning.