One reason we moved to Les Courmettes was that Chris wanted rapid access to a decent airport for foreign trips. This week we saw how this worked out in reality as he went to the Czech Republic for an A Rocha international meeting. So last Sunday he left Nice airport for Prague via Paris and managed to get a half-day sightseeing around Prague before heading north on a long train journey to close to the Polish border. Yes he did enjoy Prague and hopes to take Alison there sometime in the future. Normally it’s just an hour and a half’s plane flight from Nice.
The conference was held in a small hotel with wonderful vistas of rolling hills very close to the Polish border. A Rocha meetings are probably like most business meetings these days, although they seem to be particularly friendly: one curiosity is that it’s common to see binoculars lying around on the table. After all you never know if a Lesser Spotted Eagle may fly over (it didn’t).
We had a particularly interesting day on Wednesday visiting some of the sites that A Rocha Czech is involved in. The most striking was the new field studies centre which when it is finished is going to be a real asset to the conservation movement in Czech. Given the pressures of an economy which seems determined to turn every piece of countryside into buildings or intensive agriculture, that assistance is badly needed. Then it was back on Friday to Nice, via Prague, and as an experiment the bus from the airport to Grasse to make it easier for Alison to pick him up. A one-hour coach journey for about 1.50€; about a pound sterling.
In the meantime Alison’s week consisted of shopping (with a list in French) for the communal meals, some cleaning, some admin work and various other things. At the weekends we have a ‘buvette’ open at Les Courmettes selling hot and cold drinks and small snacks, all organic and/or fair trade; one of Alison’s tasks is to help man that. Her French is improving by talking to people who come in. And here’s a photo: