Northern Spain, Southern France

We awoke to a grey and foggy landscape and drove the last kilometres to A Coruña. Unfortunately the weather did not clear and our visit to the famous lighthouse was not as colourful as we hoped for. As further away from A Coruña we came the better the weather became. We stopped for the night in San Vincente de Barquera, a small fishermen’s village, where we spent the night at another beach.

The reason for not drive directly to France was that we had planned a 3 day stay in Las Arenas de Cabrales one of the main villages in the Nationalpark Picos de Europa. Unfortunately the bad weather got hold of us so we did not do any longer hikes as intended. Instead we did three shorter hikes and drove to the village of Sotes (where the sun was shining) for a picnic and walk along the dirtroads.We also visited the local cheese cave. Unfortunately it was not like it sounds, a cave made of cheese. In the region of Asturias in Northern Spain there is a long tradition of producing cheese. Even if many of the original methods have altered into more modern ways the curing of the cheese in natural caves is still a part of the procedure.  We were guided through the cheese making procedure from this particular area and ended the visit with a tasting of local cheeses and local cider. A good end to a rainy day, a day where Germany lost against South Korea and Sweden, this mighty kingdom of the North beat the Mexicans and remained in the World Cup.As we left Las Arenas on our last day the sun was of course shining and after a short stop at the beach in Oriñón and as we arrived in Bilbao the thermometer said 35 *C. Being cultivated and sophisticated people we had scheduled a visit to the Guggenheim Museum (no photos allowed) before we headed to San Sebastián to spend a last night in Spain.  Since the holiday season started the 1th of July in Spain we were not alone on the roads when we drove towards the French boarder in the morning. After a stop at the beach in Bidart and a break for the soccer in Biarritz we continued towards Mimizan where we spent the night at our first French camping. The night was stormy and rainy so to our surprise the sun was shining when we woke up the next day. Being Sunday we were not the only ones that intended to go to the beach this afternoon. After a few hours in the sun and long ques on the highway towards Bordeaux we decided to search a parking place in a smaller village to park for the night. In Lanton we found a parking along the beach and experienced the biggest thunderstorm we ever saw- the whole sky was exploding every second for several of hours.In the afternoon we had booked a wine tour and tasting at a vinery a few kilometres outside Bordeaux.  Ignorant about wines as I am I did not realize that Merlot is the main grape used in this region. And one of the few things I know about my own wine preferences is that I do not like Merlot wines at all. Hence, the tasting was maybe not the best tasting- but it was interesting to be able to distinguish different tones and tastes after trying a few wines.  We continued along all the hundreds of vineyards searching for a camping for the night and found one just outside the small village Rauzan.Our fourth day in France was spent in the car. We had to cover more than 600 kilometres in order to get to Marseille/Montpellier and the Mediterranean coast. Tired of sleeping in the car for the last seven days we did not really feel for getting into one of the big cities (since Frence people obviously do have some trafficattitude problems) we decided to go to the Zoo located La Barben. I do not really like Zoos and after seeing so many wild animals the last months going to a Zoo was a bit weird. However, for being a Zoo it was very well maintained and the animals seemed fine.What surprised us with France was the prices. I do not know when I paid 3 euros for a cup of tea the last time or 14 euros for a standard lunch. But thanks to Lidl we have survived on bread and vegetables. Hence, we cut our visit to France shorter than we intended and after a last day at the beach outside Séte we continued to Andorra.  As we climbed higher up in the French Pyrenees the temperature dropped radically. From 37*C in Séte we arrived in a foggy Pas de las Casas, the entrance to Andorra from the French side (less than one meter sight) and 8*C just after 22.00 in the evening.

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