“How does one hold on to a memory?” I asked myself while walking along the marina
in Cannes, France. The sky was blue, the weather was warm, the sun was shining, the waves of the Mediterranean lightly rolling. I was feeling content. It had suddenly hit me (not for the first time) how fortunate I was to be able to go on an adventure such as this, to see the places I have seen, and experience the things I have done. How do I hold on to this moment of content so that I can recall it later for many years to come?
The cycle today was by no means an easy one. I cycled 125km from Saint Maximin la
Sainte Baume to Cannes. It involved 872 long, hard meters of ascent and 1111 blissful meters of descent. Basically, I had to cycle over a mountain to get to Cannes. But the moment I saw the Mediterranean I forgot the pain of the previous hours. It’s such a strange thing when that happens. I cycled lazily along the coast for awhile. Everything was so beautiful. Seeing the sea reminded me of one of my other passions: scuba diving. And it got me to think how amazing it is that I can experience life in so many different ways: by bike, diving underwater, hiking and hill walking… I am truly fortunate. Alhamdullilah. All thanks be to Allah.
I haven’t seen many cyclists in France; no where near as many as I had seen in Spain. Some French cyclists I’ve seen don’t wear helmets. I saw a lot of cyclists in Arles. There must be known bike routes in that area. I saw several cyclists climbing the mountain with me today to Cannes as well.
The French don’t seem to be as good-tempered as the Spaniards. I’ve been thinking that the Spaniards might have the right idea with this siesta thing. Shops and restaurants shut down at 1:30pm in Spain and re-open at 5pm. Maybe that’s why I saw more cyclists on the road there: they have more time for leisure activities. In Spain, the cyclists really cheered me on. Motorists beeped happy beeps for me and waved as they passed. In France, the cyclists barely nod their heads in acknowledgement, if that, and the motorists are just angry, aggressive folk. I think the French should consider taking a siesta, getting some sleep, maybe having some sex… They really need to lose the temper and loosen up! (more…)