Roadtrip to Spain

The goal was to get from the Netherlands to Valencia in Spain without paying toll fee. 
So we asked our navigation to get us there and just followed the directions.
We were surprised how easy it was and how good the roads were concerning traffic, roundabouts, red lights and other obstacles. 
We followed mostly national roads which were built before the highways and are still in good condition. We saw much more than using the highway, it was less tiring and much more fun. But of course it took us four days.

The first day we left in Enschede and reached Soissons north of Paris.

Enschede – Soissons 525 km

In Soissons we found a free caravan parking close to the center, so we could explore the town a little at night. We didn’t find a restaurant we liked so we ended up at the supermarket shopping for a nice dinner “at home”.

Parking at the harbour – Sosissons – France
49°22’59 , 3°19’48

The next day we passed Paris and headed south through forests and open landscapes with fields as far as you could see, small villages, past some bigger towns and even some beautiful castles.
At the end of the day we reached Périgueux, a beautiful city which we have to visit again.

Soissons – Orleans – Périgueux 580 km

Passing Paris

Going south on very good streets
After passing Orleans and crossing the Loire river, we came past Chateaux de la Ferté, where we stopped and had lunch. We didn’t take the time to visit though.

Chateaux de la Ferté – Saint Aubin
In Périgueux we stayed at the caravan parking at the river and just a short stroll to the center.
The Cathedral looked impressive and the streets where full of live with al fresco dinning in most of the streets and places. We walked around until we decided on a bar fromage, where we ordered plates with different cheeses of a particular region of France, and of course red wine to wash it down. 
45°11’15 , 0°43’51
The caravan parking has an entrance gate where you pay with credit card (6,- per day). 
It is well maintained and offers fresh water and a place to empty your tanks. There were signs how to get there at every corner, very easy to find.
Cathedral of Périgueux
The third day we finally crossed the border to Spain, but it still was a long way from Périgueux. 

Périgueux – Auch – Porto de Serrablo 382 km

On the way to the mountains we stopped at a bakery for pastry for breakfast and fresh bread for lunch. A little bit later we made another stop at a supermarket for french cheese and wine.
Lunch Break
We drove past a town called Auch, which also looked interesting for a future visit, but we also found the name quite funny as Auch is a german word meaning also. We also saw some funny street signs.


A town called Condom ?
We came to an area where melons were sold on the street, so as we came past a stall with enough space to park for us, we stopped and got 3 Melons – it was cheaper than to buy just one, and a garlic plait. 

We drove up into the Pyrenees and then crossed through a short tunnel free of charge to Spain. 

Valley of Aragnouet – France

At the Tunnel Bielsa – Aragnouet at 1.800 m
Interesting how different the landscape is on the southern side of these mountains. 

Down the mountains along rio de Barrosa
When we thought we are out of the mountains and close to the highway, our navigation let us turn onto a smaller road, climbing the mountains again. We passed nearly no other cars, the landscape was magnificent, we were surounded by woods and hills. 

Road up to Porto de Serrablo
When we reached a dry waterfall in the valley next to the road, we stopped and walked around, finding a cable leading over to the edge of the fall, which seams to be used as zip wire, but nobody was there. 

Impressive waterfall
At the top of the hill, there was a group of houses, where we stopped and walked around. Looked like an old settlement, restored as holiday houses.

Small settlement on the way to Porto de Serrablo
It was so calm and peaceful up there that we decided to look for a place to stay over night. We didn’t need to go very far to find the perfect spot.

42°24’89 N, 0°0’22 E

our overnight stop at Porto de Serrablo 1.290m

Morning in the Pyrenees

We spent an incredible night there after a sundowner meal. It was cool because of the hight, the sky was full of stars and no cars passed after 7pm till next morning at 8. We loved it !

The fourth day we followed the road for another 30 km where we saw 2 bikers, 2 cows, 1 cat, 1 squirrel and a lot of trees. 

We finally reached a main road and the highway, which took us until Valencia without fees – we love Spain ! 

Porto de Serrablo – Valencia 479 km

We took a stop at a bar just off the highway for 2 coffees, one coke and a good muffin for 4,50 Euros – we really love Spain !

Some red soil on the way to Valencia

We really enjoyed this trip, despite the long hours driving. 

Now we have the caravan in Spain and can go on short and longer trips whenever there is an opportunity to get away from work.

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