Time, like an ever-rolling stream ...



Before Gréolières is left behind, just a few more memories of that wonderful week. First a postscript to Wednesday evening's flight: after touching down in the L-shaped field below the Gourdon ridge, I stood and looked back up for a moment at the mighty hill, then, gathering up the rustling wing fabric into a "rosette", walked towards the waiting group of pilots, who had already landed. As I took off my helmet, they broke into a spirited Finnish rendering of "Happy Birthday to You" - in seven-part unison! An unforgettable moment, followed by another: my wing and harness were carried for me up the sloping path to the waiting cars. This was probably partly because everyone was in a hurry to get home and eat - down to earth!

Other impressions: yes, we ate well at the two excellent restaurants in Gréolières, "Barricade" and "Le Cheiron". The latter's address is 130 Grande Rue, but this little street is rather narrower than its name might suggest. Delicious fresh bread and croissants from the bakery. Herbs wild on the mountain slopes - thyme, rosemary and, especially at Gourdon, lavender. Warm days but really chilly evenings and nights. Green, green in the steep valleys, with dashing streams (some of us ritually bathed in the icy-cold water). Cream, pink and grey masses of mountain rising above the green. Walled old towns: St.-Paul, Antibes, Valbonne, with their strange mixture of modern commercialization and centuries-old ambience. The peace of the old abbey church that was once the spiritual centre of the monastery of Valbonne (Benedictines of the Order of Chalais).
Above all, the feeling of doing our special thing together as a dedicated group. Our single-mindedness, quite inexplicable to an outsider, was so clear to us that no-one needed to explain it or analyse it: the ecstasy of flying.
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