The third part of our trip was the more entertaining part of our trip, driving-wise. We encounter the Pyrenees, hectic Barcelona roads and much more.
Day 7: When we thought we had seen enough of the south-western part of France, we continued on driving towards the Pyrenees. The drive was stunning, once we got up close and into the mountains that we would spend the next few days in. The only downside was the excruciating heat. At some point I stopped the car to put my feet in a cold mountain river. At around 4 we reached the place where we would start looking around for a camping. After standing in a restaurants parking lot for at least 20-30 minutes, we finally decided on a camping. All the others were too far from us, so we thought. This one was supposed to be quite close, so we figured calling them would be a waste of time. After putting the details in the navigation system, it told us we had stood just 160m from it the entire time. I don’t think I have laughed that hard for a while. We drove the entire way there, and got a place. When we wanted to put the tent up though, all hell broke loose. The amount of water falling from the skies was insane. We weren’t really being smart, because the rain would continue to about 11 PM that day, so the tent would most definitely be soaked before midnight, even though it was a ‘waterproof’ one. That term has its limits, hence the sarcastic quotation marks. Anyway, the rain was that heavy that we decided we might as well put on our swimming trunks, since we were going to get extremely wet in the process nonetheless. When the basics were set up, we left the important stuff in the van. Tom and I were absolutely fed up with the cold, so when we had noticed a damping swimming pool a few hours earlier, we went back to check if it was still open. There was thunder and lightning, so we had our doubts about it, but it was actually open and we were allowed to enter. We were the only ones in, which is not that weird if you think about it. After heating up and having soaked our bodies for at least half an hour, we dried off and had dinner at the restaurant on site. When the rain stopped some time later, we went back to check for damage. Luckily everything had survived. To overcome our stress from the day we hung out at the laundromat with wine while our clothes were in the wash- and dryer machines.
Day 8: When we decided we were not going to stay in the Pyrenees any longer, which was an adjustment to our previous plans, we packed up our stuff and drove to Barcelona because of the shitty weather that was forecasted. It was probably the best drive of my life. At some point we encountered a giant climb up a mountain that was just a little over two kilometres. Tom did the way up, I did the way down. It was absolutely amazing, and there were few cars on the road, so for the race car driver that I am cough it was a beautiful, dangerous, adrenaline-fueled experience. I took all my Gran Turismo and karting experiences and went for it. This will stay fresh in my mind for a long, long time. Unfortunately, when we got to the bottom, the rest of the drive was harsh, due to the warmth and length. We still had a long way of b-roads to go to reach Barcelona. When we finally got there though, it got even worse. The roads were filled with huge amounts of cars who were extremely hectic and fed up with each other, we had a hard time finding the apartment, we took wrong turns, there was some ungodly twisting and turning, we held up numerous people, etc. You get the idea. In the evening we hung out and explored a small portion of the city, we drank mojitos on the boulevard, we walked over the entire Ramblas, saw some other important streets, etc, etc. When we got back to the apartment, our host was there and we had a great conversation with her until about 5 AM.
Day 9: This day was all about seeing a lot of the touristy sites in Barcelona, basically all of them. First we took a cab to Parc Guëll, but after that, we walked the entire time. It wasn’t that long of a walk from the park to the Sagrada Familia. When we had seen that huge creation by Gaudi, we kept on walking to the next area we had interest in. At some point we crossed an Italian restaurant close to the centre of the city, when we were on our way to the Gothic part of the city: Ciutat Vella. We had dinner, it was late, we headed over to the museum on the Montjuïc and saw the light show. We watched the show for a few moments and after that walked over to the bar our host worked at to have drinks there. After some drinks, we went back to her home and stayed awake until she came home. At about 02:30 she came home and we spoke again.
The final part of the verbally documented diary will be posted some time tomorrow. Stay tuned for more.
Have a good one,