One of the places I was looking forward to seeing in Barcelona was La Sagrada Familia – one of the biggest basilicas in Barcelona. It’s that one that is still being constructed (stated in the 1800s) that is all lumpy on the outside and has crains all over it. It is a popular sightseeing spot.
The first leg of this trip was quite long, as usual. Canberra to Melbourne, Melbourne to Singapore, Singapore to Dubai, Dubai to Barcelona. Did you know Barcelona is still over 7 hours away from Dubai? I was really hoping for a short 4 hour flight after boarding in Dubai, but no, another seven hours all in daylight. I felt somewhat cheated. I’d already made 2 stops, why wasn’t I in Spain yet?
After Avignon we got back on the road and headed south, towards the coast. The drive was quite easy, there was a lot less traffic than heading into Avignon. We weren’t quite sure where the bird sanctuary was, but we were pretty sure we were on the right road.
Pont in French means bridge or span, we would see a few of them today.
Each morning there would be a new and interesting car parked out the front of the hotel. The Tesla Model X had come down all the way from Norway, I think the Citroën was a little closer to home.
Today we were picking up a rental car for a couple of days to visit some areas outside of Nimes. On the list today was a visit to the museum and replica of Chauvet Cave near Pont d’arc. We had a set time to take a guided tour of the replica cave, so we needed to get our rental car as soon as the place opened.
For our second day with the car we drove from Nimes to Avignon, about 45 min away along the highway to the north west. We found a parking spot right underneath the city centre.
Our first day in France we spent in Nîmes. We caught a local bus from the hotel into town. There was some disagreement on what we could or could not buy in terms of tickets from the driver, so this ended up costing us nothing.
Since visiting Paris for the first time in 2009 I haven’t been much of a fan. I enjoyed a lot of it, the museums mainly, but there was a lot that didn’t enjoy. When I went back in 2015 I was determined to like it, but Paris fought back, and I figured I didn’t need to go to Paris again.
I was looking forward to going to somewhere in France other than Paris on this trip.
A couple of years ago I was fortunate to be in the same country as The Tour de France at the same time. We were in Belgium, staying a short train ride away from where the race would wind through a small town and up a decent hill. The plan then was to catch a train and walk up the hill.
This day didn’t go exactly to plan, with the race being neutralised after a number of crashes.
The plan this year was to rent a car from Lausanne and just pop over the border into France and see the race not too far from the end of the stage. That was about all the planning I did.
This trip to Europe like the last ones started with a conversation with dad along the lines of:
“Tim, I’m going to a conference in <European Country> in about 12 months, mum is going to come, would you like to go to Europe as well?”
“Sure, can we also go to <small European country / principality / micro-state>?”