Sunday, 28 August 2011

Tour de France et Espagne

We were determined to make the most of these summer holidays (on a shoestring), so we embarked on a journey from Leeds to Barcelona and back, in our Vauxhall Astra (1998 version). To begin with, for convienience's sake, this was Ben's highlight of the trip:

But to go bak to the beginning, we drove to Dover and camped in a field waking up to this sea sunset.

Following our passage to Calais, we stopped off in Amiens to see the cathedral, which many people feel is better than Notre Dame. It might be more intricate but I prefer Notre Dame.

People say everyone leaves Paris for the month of August to go on holiday, but it's still a very happening place if you ask me. There are things going on everywhere like beach volleyball outside the Hotel de Ville:

On the night we arrived we ate crepes overlooking the Tour Eiffel and then headed to La Defence, one of our favourite places. We walked along the bridge to nowhere at sunset and looked for Ben's two and a half year old graffitti.

We frequented Breakfast in America three times during our trip. We were introduced to this place by Mel and Arne and have loved it ever since. We're allowed to go there since we're not American, and it still feels very Parisian. I always got a chocolate milkshake.

We visited Sacre Couer one morning and although Montmatre isn't one of our favourite places in Paris, it was very beautiful.

Ben met up with Dimitri. While in Paris we also met up with Kalli and Jacob who came on our road trip from here to Barcelona. We stayed in the Latin quarter around the corner from the Pantheon in Keyvan's apartment. It was the perfect location and I'd love to leave here if I ever moved to Paris (which I definitely will).

After Paris we ate at many boulangeries. This is one of the many things we love about France.

We travelled to Grenoble where we were going to find one of Ben and Jacob's mission friends but we found out he had moved to Paris. Grenoble itself was very pretty however, surrounded by cloud shrouded mountains.

Next stop was Cannes, followed by Arles. We found Cannes a bit plasticy, although I don't like to judge a city on such a small snippet. I think I might actually like it. Arles was a beautiful medieval town with a collosseum.We bought these tarts in Nimes. One sunday we visited the Pont du Gare. We were quite disappointed when we had to pay 15 euros to park, but then we realised we could swim, and with that and a picnic it was a really good afternoon.

Ben on the riviera, dying to move on.

After Arles we travelled to Barcelona. Barcelona was breath takingly refreshing. The architecture is like nowhere else and we spent lots of time soaking it up.

Fiesta de Gracia was happening when we arrived and the street decorations were magnificent - again like nothing I had ever seen. Each street was themed and the residentshad gone all out.

In Barcelona we met Gary who we had a really good time with. We enjiyed eating out and exploring lots. Here we are in my favourite square.

Following a looong journey up through France after saying goodbye to Jacob, Kalli and Gary, we spent the evening in Paris. Ben afterall did think everything else was pointless after Paris the first time around. We hired bikes and cycled around some of the sites. It was a wonderful way to see Paris, and to end our amazing eurotrip.

Millau Viaduct - it was one of Ben's life time ambitions to see this!

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