Stick to your knitting

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 20/10/2014 by Sheree

On Friday evening I indulged my two great sporting passions football and cycling.


Velo Magazine had assembled two teams of cyclists for what they called the inaugural “Le Grand Match” in Nice which coincided with the announcement of the Velo d’Or prize winners.


The boys had arrived well before kick-off so that they could warm up and familiarise themselves with their team-mates and have their photos taken with local racers, including my “little cup-cake” (second from left).



Prior to the start, the Velo d’Or prizes were presented to “Best French Rider” Jean-Christophe Peraud, who fought off stiff opposition from Julien Absalon and Pauline Freenad-Prevot to succeed his team-mate Christophe Riblon – coincidentally playing in goal for Les Bleus. Best Junior was Rayane Bouhanni, the younger, taller and – it has to be said – better looking brother of Nacer Bouhanni, the latter also turning out for Les Bleus.

No expense had been spared. Les Bleus and the “Rest of the World” teams filed onto the pitch hand in hand with their mascots, children from local cycling clubs. Someone obviously had a bit of a sense of humour as both the diminutive Samuel Dumoulin and Bryan Coquard had mascots who towered above them. Each of the players had their names writ large on the back of their blue or red football shirts.


After being presented to the crowd of largely local cyclists and the great and the good in cycling in the region, we sang “Nissa La Bella,” the anthem of local club OGC Nice, and play got underway. The boys got an “A” for effort and clearly more than national pride was at stake but by half-time Les Bleus led easily 3-1 after impressive goals from  Thibaut Pinot, Remi di Gregorio and Nacer Bouhanni.


Urgent action was needed in the second half and the trainer for the reds, Oscar Pereiro, took to the field. You may recall that after retiring from cycling, Oscar played  football for a third division side in Spain. He has a nifty pair of feet.

PereiroHis play proved decisive and the rest of the world mounted a stout defence finishing 5-4 down at the final whistle. National honour was preserved and a good time was had by all.


When I interview riders I often enquire whether they’ve played any other sports and I’ve discovered scratch golfers, artistic ice-skaters, ice-hockey and tennis players and quite a few footballers. In truth, their attitude and competitive spirit serves the well in whatever sport they choose to pursue. But I was impressed with the play from FDJ, particularly Pinot, Bouhanni and Vichot. I learnt later that another of the French team, Jerome Pineau, had a trial at FC Nantes.

After the match Velo magazine put on a splendid spread for the players and guests and I took the opportunity to chat to a number of the players, including Europcar’s Dan Craven who had played for the rest of the world. He agreed he wasn’t one of their star players and I ventured to suggest that he might be happier with an oval ball. But no, it appears he’s much more content with pedals.

It was a great idea from Velo Magazine and I hope they do it again next year and I’m sure the participants would agree with me.

Les Bleus: Riblon – C Pineau, Blain, Cherel, Chainel, Di Gregorio, Soupe, J Pineau (c), Vichot Subs: Engoulvent, Reza, Corbel, Coquard, Dumoulin, Jurdie

Rest of the World: Fumeaux – Hutarovich, Craven, Baggio, Rebellin, Guttierez, Gatto, Agnoli, Capecchi, Van Avermaet, Nuyens (c) Subs: Van Hecke, Siskevicius, Camano, Pereiro



Postcards from Ponferrada II

Posted in Favourites, Hazards, Live Racing with tags , on 15/10/2014 by Sheree

Strictly speaking our vacation is over and we’ve been back home for a while. Embarrassingly, it’s been almost three weeks since we left our delightful Casa Rural some 50km from Ponferrada and started our slow exploratory journey home via the Mediterranean coast. Of course, I’d been meaning to put finger to keyboard while we were there but spotty WiFi and little time spent in our hotel bedroom, other than for sleeping, rendered that well-nigh impossible. In addition, the weather improved immeasurably allowing my beloved and I to cycle around the Leon Hills most mornings and the course itself. I should add that a couple of times was enough. No need to go the full 200km+.

At this point I should say that I have no idea who decided Ponferrada would be an ideal course for the likes of Messrs Cancellara, Boonen and Sagan when it patently wasn’t, hence the reshuffled Liege-Bastogne-Liege podium for the Men’s Road Race. The Germans and Australians, as usual, seemed to dominate the podiums though it was good to see new talent emerge and existing talent confirmed.

Everyone staying at our Casa Rural was, like us, there for the cycling. Two couples had sons riding against one another in the Juniors and another was the Hungarian national champion of Hungary who was self-financing her participation in the Elite Women’s road race, though Hungary had provided her and her trainer with kit and a track suit!


After a long, tiring day watching the racing we were all only too happy to return for a delicious home-cooked dinner washed down by a bottle of local wine and enjoy a lively discussion with our fellow guests about the day’s racing. On our day off, Thursday, we drove into Leon, home of Velonews reporter Andrew Hood who kindly provided me with recommendations of what to see and do in Leon – Cathedral, San Marcos and San Isidoro. We followed them to the letter and weren’t disappointed. Architecturally, it’s a beautiful town and, like neighbouring Astorga, boasts a Gaudi building. This one was now a bank but my beloved felt it wouldn’t be out of place in a Harry Potter film.

We were able to thank Andrew personally the following day. I also finally met up with Jose Been who was commentating for television with Phil Liggett. She’s a lovely, bubbly lady who should be awarded much more commentary work on the basis of her knowledge about and enthusiasm for cycling. As usual, I also met up with a number of former fellow volunteers who had once again offered to help out and were royally enjoying the Spanish hospitality.

Ponferrada 2014

Like all World Championships, Ponferrada had its plus and minus points but, on balance, was very positive from a spectator experience. Now if only they could have only solved the issue of the road-crossing pinch point…………they’d have gotten a far higher mark. Richmond 2015 promises to be a very different kettle of fish.


Our first stop on the way back from Ponferrada was Zaragoza. A charming old town, well worth a week-end visit. I felt we were unable to do it justice with our evening whistle-stop tour. Thereafter, we spent a couple of days living the high-life as the sole guests in a small château in Argeles-sur-Mer. The old town was quite charming but the beach area, fronted by miles of golden sandy beach, was a purpose-built, inexpensive, French, family holiday resort. That was not a ringing endorsement. The small villages in the hills above Argeles were however charming as were the smaller coastal towns nearby which put one in mind of Cornish rocky coves. The château had its own vineyard and a very acceptable range of wines which we tasted in its nearby restaurant. That’s the advantage of hiring the Kangoo, plenty of room for bottles of wine.

Sete edit

As we wend our way back home, we popped into the wholly charming town of Sete. My beloved has been wanting to visit for some time as I have a pastel painting of the area and he wasre able to identify the buildings in the painting. Not too much had changed in the 15 years since it was painted.

We’ve discovered that it’s an excellent idea to get back from a longish vacation on a Friday evening. That way one has all week end to catch up with various bits and pieces, ready for work on Monday morning.

Home Sweet Home

The end of the WorldTour cycling season usually sees us putting dates in diaries and making hotel bookings for next year, particularly for the Worlds, the Tour of the Basque country and La Clasica. We’re also thinking further ahead to 2016 when we won’t go to the worlds in Qatar but might well follow La Vuelta. Something to look forward to!

Postcards from Ponferrada I

Posted in Live Racing with tags , on 24/09/2014 by Sheree

One week into our almost three-week vacation, how am I faring? I confess that a week of sharing a bathroom with my beloved is stressful but plenty of exercise and fresh air has meant I’ve slept for well over nine hours per night and am feeling positively chilled.

It’s just what I needed after a hectic run-up to the holiday. Ideally I like to completely clear the decks the day before any vacation so that I have enough time to do all the washing, ironing and packing, ticking off my various lists as I go. Despite hiring a Renault Kangoo for the trip, which easily takes the bikes, our luggage and the kitchen sink, I like to travel as lightly as possible. My beloved, on the other hand, likes to cater for every potential occasion. If we’re travelling for 15 days, then he needs 15 of everything!

This time I had a day long business trip to Amsterdam on the Monday followed by an entire day spent editing. By the time I collected my beloved from the airport on Tuesday evening, I was too tired to even start thinking about preparing for our holiday. Instead I got up really early and did it all the following morning.

We had a great drive down to the Basque country and arrived just as the heavens opened at what our Garmin GPS and Michelin route planner insisted was our hotel. It wasn’t! Unfortunately neither the owner of the hotel nor some English guests could explain exactly how to reach it. They kept telling us to take the left-hand turn out of Getaria but they should have said “after” Getaria. Our hotel was at the other end of a very long road which snakes around the headland and is now partly impassable other than on foot. So the road has two properties numbered “4” and we were at the other one.

We did eventually find it and, despite not having a dinner booking, they managed to rustle up a meal for us. Which was nice as it was our wedding anniversary. To be honest, I’d thought it was the day before which is what happens when you’ve been married as long as we have! We slept well thanks to a good bottle of red wine and exhaustion, awaking to sunshine and glorious coastal views.


Fortified by a hearty breakfast, we headed along the coast to Asturias but not before a sighting of Haimar Zubeldia, out for a morning training ride. We laughed because there were all those jokes on Twitter during the Tour about whether anyone had seen him. He seems to achieve top ten placings in most races from beneath the radar and here he was. To be fair he does live in the town just up the road.

We were keen to further explore the Cantabrian coastline having previously visited Noja, a start town in the 2011 Vuelta a Espana. It lived up to expectations, apart from the stretch between Santander and Torrelevaga – far too industrial. But our overnight destination was near the Asturian coastline. The entire area is a very green and pleasant land with lush green grazing for its cattle and apples trees aplenty. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many. The air is perfumed with the sweet smell of drying apples.

We spent a couple of days in Gijon in a stately home, now a hotel, parts of which date back to the 17th century, which has been in the same family since 1850. It was a bit like stepping back in time and delightfully restful. Just what the doctor ordered.


Have bike, will ride. The roads of Asturias are practically car free. I joked on Twitter that we were giving Lagos de Covadonga a miss but still managed plenty of climbing. The roads are undulating, not perhaps as steep as the Basque country, but steep enough. I was disappointed not to have a sighting of Samu though I did keep my eyes peeled for a tell-tale flash of red and black with gold highlights.

After a relaxing two days in Asturias, we set off for Ponferrada on the motorway. The vista was very different to Asturias, clearly showing the area’s heritage to be one of opencast mining. The first of our challenges in Ponferrada was to find the ticket office. Our GPS once more fell on stony ground but clearly we weren’t the only people experiencing difficulties as the organisers sent us a series of emails concluding with one with a map. The road to the ticket office, a portakabin parked in the middle of nowhere, was blocked but we soon circumnavigated that hurdle and got our tickets..

We then headed to our hotel on the Camino de Santiago. I’ll be honest; it’s not a challenge that holds any appeal. Even less so now that I’ve more time to fully appreciated the enormity of the challenge. Our casa rural and home for the next nine days is in one of the small villages part-way between Astorga and Ponferrada with six delightful rooms, run by a mother and daughter team. After a delicious home-cooked meal, courtesy of Mum, we happily retired to our spacious bedroom and were soon fast asleep.

The following morning we were up early for a post breakfast ride. We saw five cars, hordes of walkers and 24 cyclists, eight of whom belonged to national squads. The terrain was undulating, the vista vaguely Scottish and you could see for miles. I was also grateful I’d packed my ¾ bib tights and arm warmers! Yes, it’s a wee bit chilly first thing.

The outlook for the first few days of racing was mixed. I’d bought tickets to the uncovered grandstand and as per usual, volunteers outnumbered spectators by a factor of ten to one. Fortunately, our more mature volunteers saw sense and let in a crowd of people otherwise the camera shot of the finish would have featured empty stands.

Ponferrada TTT

We’ve now had two days of rain and the outlook for the next few is more favourable so we’ll be back out on the bike. I noted that the British elite women didn’t field a competitor in the individual time-trial. I’d have been happy to oblige if only they’d given me a call. The races have thus far been dominated by the Americans, The Germans and the Australians.

I confess that most of the attraction in coming to the Worlds is watching riders I normally don’t get to see, such as the women and the young guys and gals – stars of the future. I also visit places I’d never normally think of visiting. For example, just down the road is Astorga which dates back to Roman times, has a castle designed by Gaudi and is renowned for its chocolate. I’ve been round the castle but have yet to indulge in some chocolate.


Just around the corner

Posted in Live Racing with tags , , on 11/09/2014 by Sheree

Life-is-like-a-box-of-chocolates-620x440I’m going to have to disagree with Mr Gump. Life isn’t like a box of chocolates. They come with a guide so you can avoid the fillings you don’t like – and there’s plenty I don’t like. No, the wonderful thing about life is that we never really know what’s around the corner.  When I gave up my job in the City over 10 years’ ago now, I didn’t know what I would do but was excited by the prospect of getting well out of my comfort zone. I feel I’ve finally arrived.

I’m currently working having great fun on a newish project. Earlier this year, while skimming my Twitter timeline, I caught sight of a delightful painting. It was by an artist called Greig Leach, based in Richmond Virginia, the official artist for next year’s World Road Race Championships. I contacted him and asked if I could interview him for VeloVoices where we’re mightily keen on posters, paintings and photographs of cycling and cyclists. He agreed.

The picture that had caught my eye was one of his postcard-sized water colour and ink paintings. He produces a series of these during the year’s major races. I bought one of Peter Sagan’s (Cannondale) stage win into Montpellier in last year’s Tour de France and gave it to him for being voted VeloVoices Rider 2013. The picture now hangs in his entrance hall.

Peter and award2

Throughout the season, wherever possible, I’ve used these postcard-sized paintings to illustrate articles and frequently attach them to my Twitter and Facebook posts. Before the start of this year’s Tour, Greig approached me with a proposition. He wanted to turn his paintings of the Tour into a coffee table book.  He was going to raise the necessary cash on the crowd-funding site, KickStarter, following the template of a friend who’d successfully financed a similar project. Would I edit the book?

book du tour small cover for style v5

I’ve never done anything like this before but that didn’t deter me. My blogposts for VeloVoices are expertly edited by one of our three main writers.  No one edits these posts but then they’re just ramblings intended for friends and family. I often come back for a quick tidy up a week or so after I’ve posted. It is, of course, always easier to spots the errors of others. I should add that as an accountant I’ve proof-read many sets of accounts and, when I worked in investment banking, many legal documents. Editing’s a rather more skilled proposition.

Of course, I readily agreed. Who wouldn’t? I also helped publicise the project. I was advised to “bother the crap out of everyone you know!” Wise words. I took that advice to heart and pestered everyone I knew and lots I don’t. All in a good cause you understand.

Crowd-funding sites advise that projects which raise at least 30% of the required funds in their first week-end are more likely to be successful. We had barely raised 5%. But our target audience was watching a gripping Tour de France, with more highs and lows than the Alps. It all came together in the last week of fundraising, the week after the Tour finished!

Saying Farewell

As an editor, it’s rather tempting to superimpose what you might have written  but you shouldn’t. It’s not your tale to tell. Of course, it should be error free even though it’s written in a language not your own – American English. I won’t pretend it hasn’t been a challenge. I have cast my eagle eye over everything. And, I do mean everything. I have even checked that the racing numbers on the back of the jerseys correspond to the riders named in the narrative.

It’s only when you undertake such an exercise that you realise how many errors there are on most websites. You need to establish creditable reference points. Greig takes his Tour feed from NBC where the commentators are the much-revered pairing of Liggett and Sherwen.  Please don’t believe everything they tell you. I could find no substance for a number of their claims in my large library of Tour reference books.  It’s painstaking work and surprisingly time-consuming but then I’ve been on a steep learning curve and have gained plenty from the process.

The book is taking shape. Of course, it is all about the paintings but I want the narrative to do them justice.  I’ve also had to bear in mind that while Grieg and I are fans of the sport, it’ll be bought and read by some that are not. Just how much do you need to explain? More than you might imagine but not too much that it becomes tedious.

We’re on a tight schedule, the book is due shortly at the printers for its first blue-lined draft. We want that draft to be perfect – corrections cost money. The printed copies will roll off the presses at the beginning of November – just in time for Christmas. It’ll be the perfect gift for art-lovers, art-loving cyclists, cycling fans, cyclists and anyone else you know.

My work doesn’t stop there. I rashly promised Greig I’d get some signed by the Tour winner and he included this carrot in some of his crowd-funding incentive packages.

Safely Home

In recent days we’ve heard that the book is going to the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair. I’ve had to provide the publisher with a picture (cringe) and potted bio where I failed dismally to make myself suited to the job of editor.

Of course, we need to generate as many sales as possible in the window before the next Tour and I’m hoping that this will just be the start of Greig’s production line. Next up the Giro d’Italia, then the Vuelta a Espana, The Cycling Season and………………….

Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Book de Tour here!

Links:  Greig’s paintings of this year’s Tour de France and La Course (with unedited narrative) 



Maddening Men

Posted in Hazards on 08/08/2014 by Sheree

My beloved has always spent at least three nights a week away from home. Hence the longevity of our marriage. Just recently that time has been spent in the UK and he typically flies in and out of Gatwick with BA. During the summer months he tends to catch the last flight back on either a Thursday or Friday evening. A flight which is frequently always delayed. He can arrive at any time up to two hours after the due arrival time and well past my usual bedtime.

For the next two weeks, he’s catching an earlier flight. But as he departed on Tuesday there was some confusion on his part about what time he was due to land back in Nice. I asked him to send me an email to confirm the time. A not unreasonable request as my beloved likes me to be waiting for him as he strides out of arrivals. That way he wastes no time at all. Bollards have rendered the airport much less car friendly but the advantage of a Smart is that I can hover in places other cars can’t, though less so mid-afternoon.

It’s Friday, my beloved is due back shortly, and he’s failed to convey the required information. So I sent him a chaser asking confirmation of his arrival time. He sent back an email telling me the plane was delayed by 30 minutes. Yes, but which plane? I have an arrival time of 17:25 in my diary but there’s no flight from Gatwick arriving at that time, instead it gets in at 16:25. I’ll have extrapolate and see if that sheds any light on his probable arrival time.

My beloved is fond of saying we live 10 minutes from Nice airport – as the crow flies. Even early in the morning and late at night, a round trip takes me at least 40  minutes. Mid-morning or afternoon, you can double that thanks to the traffic. In the absence of clear instructions, I shall have to wait until my beloved sends me a message telling me he’s landed before going to fetch him. This does mean that he’s going to have a  bit of a wait. He’ll grumble, of course, even though it’s his own fault because once home he’ll either want to go for a ride or a swim while I prepare his dinner. You may well wonder what his last slave died of!


Another Postcard from the Basque Country

Posted in Favourites, Live Racing with tags on 05/08/2014 by Sheree

Another trip? I know. We’d only just gotten back from the Tour. Typically, we’d have gone directly from the Pyrenees to northern Spain for a further week’s vacation. But, as we’re taking quite a bit of time off in September for the World Champs, we came back home. With hindsight possibly not the best decision. I’ll explain why.

Last Monday I popped out to the supermarket to stock up on essential supplies. As I was leaving  the car park, a car reversed straight into my beloved Tom IV. I was too shocked to even honk my horn. It all happened so quickly.
The car, a swanky BMW driven by a Frenchman in his 50s, just shot straight out and hit Tom. After stopping, counting to ten, taking a deep breath and getting out of my SMART, I enquired, somewhat sarcastically, whether his mirrors had steamed up! But was rather taken aback when he freely admitted he never looks in his mirror (evidently) instead he relies on his obviously fallible reversing warning system. I pointed out that I could have been an old(er) lady or even a child. He had the grace to look chastened and asked if we could settle the matter privately.
I sympathised. Car insurance is expensive in France and it’s equally hard to maintain the maximum 50% “no claims” bonus. Also, the damage to his car was more extensive than the scratches inflicted on Tom IV’s paintwork which are being repaired next week at his local garage, at his expense – sorted.
Tuesday I ventured out to drop some papers off at the accountants before their summer vacation. When I returned to my car, someone, quite probably a white van man, had reversed into it and bust the lights on my bike carrier, which was now hanging on by a thread. Realising that maybe it wasn’t my week, I stayed home Wednesday!
Recently that’s not been my only challenge. I’ve been trying to bank a cheque made payable to me – to be split with my two sisters – as trustee, of part of my late father’s estate. Thanks to increasing money laundering regulations I’ve had no luck whatsoever and been made to feel like the sender of one of those spam emails from someone in Nigeria. Perhaps they could tell me what to do?
So it was with some relief I packed up my kit bag and headed to San Sebastian last Friday to enjoy one of my favourite races, in one of my favourite places.
View of Concha beach from the old town of San Sebastian

View of Concha beach from the old town of San Sebastian

We stayed in the Txacoli producing area of Getaria, just up the coast road from San Sebastian, in a delightful casa rural owned by a winery.
Home from home

Home from home

View from my bedroom window: vines and the sea!

View from my bedroom window: vines and the sea!

To be honest, any establishment that serves creme caramel and cheesecake for breakfast gets my vote.
Apple pie, cheesecake, flan, chocolate cake, tortilla...........

Apple pie, cheesecake, flan, chocolate cake, tortilla………..

As usual the trip was punctuated with catching up with a number of cycling friends over a glass of wine and tapas, or pintxos as they’re called in the Basque country.
Valverde celebrates his win with an embrace from his wife and son

Valverde celebrates his win with an embrace from his wife and son

Just like at the earlier Tour of the Basque country, it seemed odd to be there without the Euskaltel team though there were a number of its former riders plying their trade (thankfully) with other teams. The sun shone, the crowds were plentiful and a Spaniard won the race.
I even sat on the beach for an hour or two!

I even sat on the beach for an hour or two!

Now I’m back home with my nose firmly to the grindstone for several weeks until we leave for that extended trip to the World Road Race Championships in Ponferrada.

Postcards from Not Too Far Away

Posted in Favourites with tags , , , , , on 31/07/2014 by Sheree

In recent weeks, I’ve gotten to visit a few places I’ve been meaning to visit for some time. It’s not exactly a bucket list; I’m far too young for one of those! At the end of June, thanks to an invitation to a dental meeting, I finally got to visit Turin. This is a town we’ve driven around on numerous occasions. I had a trip planned back in 2012 to watch the start of the Giro which I cancelled at the last moment – pressure of work. I even passed close by when I was at this year’s Giro in early May.


So, finally I get not only an opportunity to visit but time to look around. Our hosts had organised a bus tour of the city and it’s truly delightful. Well worth a visit just to marvel at its splendid architecture but I would counsel against visiting in the height of summer. It’s hot, humid and the mosquitos have fearsome bites, as my legs will attest. After a delightful dinner at a restaurant on the river, I looked like someone with a severe case of the pox, despite a liberal application of deterrent. So, I’ll be returning again to Turin to visit its museums and splendid buildings when those pesky blighters have gone into hibernation.


Last week, during the third week of the Tour, I finally visited Carcassonne. Again, another town I’ve driven past on the motorway many times. On the last occasion, in early April, fog made the place look like something out of Disney. Sadly, despite being a UNESCO World Heritage site, the place it stuffed full of shops selling tourist tat and restaurants offering Cassoulet. The castle itself is a wonder to behold but the plethora of tourist coach trippers make it difficult to appreciate let alone look at the old buildings within its walls. Possibly, another one to visit in cooler climes. The villages surrounding Carcassonne are charming but there’s a wind that blows all the time in the Aude and which would really get on my nerves were we to spend more than a couple of days there.


After Carcassonne, we moved onto the Pyrenees and a delightful spot called Figarol which my beloved was much taken with. It’s very beautiful and out-of-the-way but – there’s often a but – with so few restaurants and amenities nearby, we found ourselves eating in the same place on a couple of occasions. The country’s fine for a day or two and then I find it’s scenic attractions (and flies) pall. I’m a city gal at heart.

While at the Tour last year, I visited Albi and Castres – both deserving of a trip – and stayed in a hotel in Najac, about a 45 minute drive from Albi. It was delightfully bucolic with some nearby walled towns such as Cordes en Ciel that are well worth a potter around.



As I discovered to my cost on the bike, the terrain is rather more undulating than I had remembered. My beloved and I have recently introduced a new system whereby we set off together and agree a rendezvous point, generally a watering hole but, in between, we’re free to cycle at will. This saves him having to huff and puff while waiting for me.


En route for home, we stopped off in the Luberon and rode along some familiar routes beside the vineyards in the hot sunshine. I made the serious (rookie) mistake of not booking somewhere for dinner and after countless trips into restaurants to enquire if they had a table for two, we had to settle for a little pizza place round the corner from where we were staying. A place, I hasten to add, we normally wouldn’t have considered. But regular readers will know that my beloved will die if he doesn’t have at least three square meals a day!

I don’t consider myself a big fan of pizzas and I always have a Margarita. I know, predictable and boring. But, this was the best pizza I have ever eaten! It had a wafer thin base, a delicious herb and tomato topping, with just enough cheese. It had been cooked in a wood-fired oven – I so want one of those – but the edges weren’t burnt. We also had a bottle of their finest red which was easily the best wine of the entire trip. So all’s well that ends well!

Clasica San Sebastian

We’ve only been home for a few days but we’re off again tomorrow, this time to my beloved Basque country, sadly sans velo and with our wet weather gear. Yes, a spot of rain is forecast.




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