Day one, the plan is to get as far south as possible without going past tea time. My body is like a well oiled clock, and it knows when it is time to eat. Anything later and I have a tendency to eat junk food, dogs and small children.
The A75 motorway is a joy, not often you can say that but you swoop and sway over and through the Massif Central on your way to the Mediterranean flatlands. The road is populated by Red and Black Kites, waiting for roadkill, the scenery is fantastic, and you pass some of the best wine regions in France. I love this drive south. It’s holiday time as you tick of the landmarks. St Flour, past the Pont du Garabit, built by M. Eiffel.
The best bridge of all, the Millau Bridge, 2.5km long, and 19m higher than the Eiffel tower at its best. They even had to build a services so people could stop and take pictures, they were slowing for photos and slowing the traffic before it was created.
No stopping for us this trip, on past Montpellier, Bezier and Narbonne. Flying past Perpignan, and all the French beaches and the wines of Fitou and Corbierre. On it was into Spain, I always think borders should be like crossing into North Korea. Armed guards, huts and barriers to cross and the wait to be dragged into some hell-hole tourist trap hotel. What we get is a gateway through the hills, views of the old forts, and…
the road just carries on. Oh well, My old passport still has some stamps for me to look at. I need to find more sinister countries to visit.
We were making for a town called Calella, looked good on Google maps. A few miles north of Barcelona on the coast and as it turned out, a tourist town. I have resisted going to Spain because of the idea of these places and the drive into town didn’t fill us with optimism as all the side roads and on the way in had prostitutes waiting for drivers passing. Deckchairs ready, I don’t know maybe a blanket, if romance is not dead. I wonder about the lives people lead, both to do this work and to use another person like that.
Calella, turned out OK,basic, with food, beer and football on TV. For overseas visitors it was the European Cup. Football, with a round ball, and kicked, by a foot. So lots of loud groups wearing flags wandered happily about. Not bad, just not good. We ate, we slept, we left. Short hop day, following the coast and aiming to be somewhere in time for a first swim in the sea. We made it to Castello/Castellon, a part of town called El Grau. We struck pretty good this time, so I’ll keep you waiting to hear about this part of the country.