The next day we left Bordeaux and France (although we will be back later in the trip) – and headed to Spain. We have tried not to have too many big driving days – but this was one of them. It was about 5 hours all up. There was no border into Spain – but we noticed that the signs changed and France petrol was about $2.50 / litre whereas in Spain it is about $1.80 a litre. Avocados were cheaper in France though. The first bit of Spain was not what we expected – very mountainous, curvy roads up very high. We even saw our first snow on the trip. There were trucks everywhere (and cars drove at 130 km/hr but trucks had to drive at 80 – made it difficult). Lots of long tunnels through mountains.
To break up the drive we stopped at a seaside Spanish city called San Sebastian. It was beautiful – first time seeing real sand for a while. (Even someone trying to surf in 3’C!)
We then continued to our stop in Logrono. Lots of grapes being grown around here. Accommodation was a little tricky to find but we eventually got into our grandpa chairs! We had to play charades with the host as we no longer understand what they are saying! This is the land of hanging washing out the window!
Today (Thursday) we are off to Madrid – where we will be for four days (and we get to see Star Wars and have popcorn (no popcorn or bacon so far – Rob has been doing it tough!).
The drive to Madrid. Where to begin? We realised you just don’t now what you don’t know. You really just have to experience the roads and weather to understand the geography and climate of Spain. To start with, we did not realise that Spain was basically one giant set of mountains – never came up in all of the research! Or maybe what is considered normal road condition here in Spain would never be experienced on a highway heading to Brisbane. Needless to say it was a fairly twisty, turny drive at 120km/hr (although Rob was not driving at those speeds – the natives drive at 160!). Kim turned the colour green and was gripping on for dear life the whole way! At one stage it was like being on a roller coaster and then we read the sign that said we were 1000 metres above sea level. If that wasn’t bad enough then we hit a fog or as we would call it a fog storm that never lifted. We drove with very limited visibility along the highway only being able to see maybe 2 car lengths ahead for at least 2 hours. Rob, I decided, has nerves of steel. We ended up adjusting the trip after that ‘unique’ experience and decided to cut out the drive back to northern Spain (mountain land and snow) – and just go to Portugal earlier instead. We have realised that every driving experience will throw us a new challenge. Even in cities the streets are so narrow and cars park on top of pedestrian crossings which does our heads in.
Finally we arrived in Madrid! That is right in time for peak hour traffic. Cars zooming everywhere at high speeds mixed with trucks with endless merging lanes. Our apartment was beautiful – in a nice quiet neighbourhood, about 15 minutes walk from the city centre. We wandered through the city – found a beautiful covered market, and a lovely open square/plaza, and lots of shops that sold hand cut crisps – but we all know the main priority …
Star Wars! That is an English version in a Spanish city. Vose – Voice Only Subtitles Espanol!
Yes – we saw Star Wars 7:The Last Jedi – Rob’s new favourite Star Wars film – lots of twists and turns! (sort of like the drive!) He also nibbled his way through an enormous popcorn which he has been missing dearly.
We had a leisurely few days just relaxing in the unit (except for our last night when our neighbours decided at midnight to start a four hour football marathon, complete with extremely loud screaming! Not so fun! Rob thought he was passionate about Football!