Trip to South of Spain and France (March 15-22)

I landed first Barcelona and started to drive to Pyrenees and Andorra. Roads are in good condition and and there was only a bit of snow under some scattered trees. While reaching higher altitude and Andorra la Vella I noticed that there is still lots of downhill skiers including snowboarders having fun. Some of the highest peaks are at 3400 meters while this one in the picture is closer to 2900 meters or so.

Andorra

As Andorra is famous for shopping (taxes lower than in rest of the Europe) I managed to buy Channel Sport perfume with 43€ (in Finnish airport it was 56€ or so). Well, if you calculate all the costs of the trip saving is not much. E.g. one toll road of 150km or so will cost the price difference 🙂

Next day I was driving from the Andorra to Narbonne are realized that roads are in excellent condition with 3 lanes. Of course there are some slow parts when still in the mountain area but after that it is actually fast drive. Crossing the border from Andorra to France was easy. Customs pulled over and wanted to know if there is alcohol and tobacco in my car as those are cheap. Well none of those this time. Later arriving to Finland I saw that in Carcassone there was a terrorist attack which is one of the cities on the route from Andorra to Narbonne. As my plan was to stay over night in Martiques (actually in Fos-sur-Mer) I continued my journey after a quick lunch in Narbonne. Fos-sur-Mer is one the big ports and I was able watch lots of ships moving to and from harbor.

My trip continued next day to Antibes which is close to Nice, Monaco and Cannes. Antibes has port for big ships and actually the harbor and the surroundings are full of different types of services for these ships and of course you can buy one as well. Same is true fro Nice and Cannes. This picture is from Antibes.

Antibes

I was staying three days in the Antibes and besides enjoying that I had day trips to nearby areas. Cannes, Nice and Monaco. This view is familiar to most visiting Cannes.

Cannes

While going to Nice and Monaco it was raining so no nice pics from that day. I can say that Monaco was a bit of disappointment due to the elevation (build on hillside).

Drive from Antibes to Barcelona (Sitges) was the longest drive. Compared to driving in Finland, during winter (icy roads) with one lane to each direction and having 80km/h speed limit, it was still easier than driving from Helsinki to Oulu. 3-4 lanes and 130km/h,  I was faster than expected in Sitges (one of the beach areas near Barcelona). Below is beachfront church.

Barcelona Sitges

Overall, it was relaxing trip as most of the driving was relatively easy and scenery is different from the flattish Finland.  I had my Finnish GPS with the European country maps. It seems that some of the maps were old as I did manage to drive around the bay area of Etang de Berre near Martigues instead of driving directly to Martigues.

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