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Global Positioning => Europe & U.K. => Topic started by: FJR-UK on June 30, 2007, 05:38:24 am



Title: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: FJR-UK on June 30, 2007, 05:38:24 am
I've finally got a route mapped out for our trip to the Pyrenees later this year. If you've been anywhere along this route and have suggestions for "must see" sights, restaurants, etc, please let me know.

Le Shuttle to Calais, then to Auxerre (1 night). We've been to Orleans and Troyes, so this will be new. I bought a 2007 map of France to help me pick a route around the east of Paris. I will never again travel on the Peripherique if I can avoid it.

Le Puy-en-Velay (1 night). It's in a "dramatic, volcanic region" just southeast of Clermont-Ferrand.

Montpellier (2 nights). I was going to stop in Perpignan, because it is closer to our destination. However, a bit of reading rather put me off the town. Montpellier sounds pretty nice and close enough to the sea for a day trip if it gets hot enough. We're timing our London departure to hit this city on a Friday and Saturday night. We'll make a reservation here – just don't know where yet.

Casteil (1). Close to Prades at the end of a road. Sounds nice and quiet after two nights of too much fun.

Ceret (1). Sounds nice. A bit of an artist's community in the past, nice art museum. A stopover for people fleeing the Nazis during the war. They would then be guided through the Pyrenees to Spain and freedom (says the guide).

Girona (2). More nightlife. I love Spain, so dropped further south than I would have liked on this trip to visit this nice-sounding town. Also close enough to the sea for a daytrip.

Le Seu d'Urgell (1 or 2). There a four Paradors in this area. This one is in the centre of town, so there will be things to do outside the hotel. I discovered they do a special "over-60's" 35%-off deal. (You have to book and can't stay Friday or Saturday.)  Le Seu is back in the Pyrenees, just south of Andorra. (I didn't want to go into Andorra, because I really do not need to know the duty-free price of a Nikon D80.) Apparently, you can walk 1k out of town to get one of the best views in the region.

Bagneres-de-Luchon (1). Just 100 miles over the peaks. The Michelin site estimates the travel time at three hours. The town has been famous as a spa for centuries and has plenty of accommodation. As we will be showing up on a Friday or Saturday night without a reservation, I hope there's some left for us.

Toulouse (1 or 2, depending on Le Seu). The only town we've visited before. Always wanted to go back. The entire time I'm there, I've got The Stranglers tune in my head.

Chartres (1). Cathedral town that we've never been to. It gets to be a challenge to find a different town to stop in on our first and last day in France. Chartres sounds nice.

I've chosen two weeks, mainly because of cost. If I hit the lottery between now and then, we may spend a week at each stop.  :)

So, any thoughts? Cheers.


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: Snowdog on June 30, 2007, 06:31:41 am
I went through La Seu d'Urgell on my trip through the Pyrenees but all I can remember is the roundabout where I made the mistake of turning left and going into Andorra. Traffic was so bad I turned round ASAP and went back into Spain. I didn't stop in La Seu but headed further east and found a hotel somewhere around Bellver de Cerdanya IIRC.

If your route from Girona to La Seu is via the 152, you can expect this between Ribes de Freser and Queixans. Look out for horses and what they leave on the road.
(http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb284/snowdog99_photos/107-0740_IMG.jpg)


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: FJR-UK on June 30, 2007, 07:06:35 am
Thanks for that, Pete. It'll save me stopping to take the photo.  ;)

Doesn't look like much room for passing the tour coaches!


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: Orson on June 30, 2007, 09:19:50 am
I have nuthin to add except the Spanish side is usually dryer so, if it's raining in France, try Spain  :cool:

but you probably already knew that  :D

Edited to add: your wife might enjoy the white horses of Camargue (http://www.photosafaris.com/Tours_2005/WhiteHorsesFrancesCamargue.asp)

Re-edited to add: Oh wait....Camargue is in southeastern France...not southwest

nevermind  :D


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: FJR-UK on July 02, 2007, 06:59:49 am

... so, if it's raining in France, try Spain  :cool:


I know what you mean, but on our last trip it worked the other way around: it was so hot in Spain, we fled to France. By the time we got to Etsaut, it was lush, green, raining and ... COOL! Lovely. At lunch we were in sweat-stained t-shirts. By dinner, we were in warm shirts and sweaters.

Not sure how to pack for this trip in September. Swim suits, flip-flops, Bermuda shorts, jeans, hiking boots, thermal underwear, waterproofs ... there can't possibly be enough room!  :lol: Maybe a trailer.  :eek:


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: Snowdog on July 02, 2007, 08:10:30 am
I was there in late September. My first day was very wet, I had another wet day though it was a non riding day when I went to the Dali museum in Figueres....
(http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb284/snowdog99_photos/107-0752_IMG.jpg)

the rest of the time was OK. Pleasant temperatures in the mountains, it got hotter when I headed down south.


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: throttlemeister on July 04, 2007, 08:02:03 am
Good call on perpignan. Shithole, nothing to do, nothing to see, always heavy winds and only excists by the grace of truckers and hookers.


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: FJR-UK on August 20, 2007, 03:39:58 am
Getting close now. And, as I stare out my window at the gloom, it can't come fast enough.

Unusually for me, I booked rooms for our Friday and Saturday nights. Good thing I did – it turns out we will be in France during the Rugby World Cup and both Toulouse and Montpellier are hosting matches. I couldn't find a room online and ended up having to phone around. I speak very, very bad French, but it's all sorted now.

I'll change the oil before we go (when the sun comes out) and top up the radiator (don't need a repeat of last year). I think the Pilot Roads will make the trip.


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: Ant on August 20, 2007, 06:19:24 am

Getting close now. And, as I stare out my window at the gloom, it can't come fast enough.



Rub it in why don't you  :twofinger:  :lol:
Got soaked this weekend riding up to my parent's house near Manchester, nice old ride through the Peak District up to Buxton and then to Glossop though and the moors sure look bleak and imposing in a cool way when its raining! Every cloud has a silver lining and all that bollocks  :D


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: FJR-UK on October 03, 2007, 12:17:37 pm
We are back from our trip to the Pyrenees. Our wonderful  trip. We had glorious weather for all but the last 60 miles (welcome home!). My bike earned its nickname on this trip, overheating twice in rush hour traffic. We had not a single pucker moment, but my wife had her first spill in 27 years of riding pillion while traveling 0 mph.

You can read all about it here:
http://www.jerrydavis.co.uk/Pyrenees/index.html

Cheers!
Jerry

(http://www.jerryrdavis.btinternet.co.uk/10/251_550.jpg)


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: ninjadad66 on October 09, 2007, 03:19:27 pm
 :drool: :clap: :hail: Awseome pictures, what a nice trip it must have been.  ANd what a nice bike you have.

Thanks for sharing.


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: tenbears on October 09, 2007, 06:49:56 pm
For someone who 'loves' Spain you sure saw alot of France!  :D
Nice pics. Have 15 acres in the foothills of the Pyrénées, there's some spectacular ountain riding to be had there ... hoping to start a tour business in the near future with track days at Nogaro and off-road trails through the mountains, along with a whole host of other activities [white-water rafting, horse trekking, fishing, walking etc] for the less TwoWheel inclined.

Can't stand Spain, absolute shithole and by-and-large, one vast desert – grossely over-rated by the less travelled by and avoided by those in the know. Criss-crossed it dozens of times and always wondered why I bothered... 'cept perhaps for touring Portugal, which is infinitely better, but still not anywhere near the touring fun France offers.

Just back from 12,500 miles of Canada & the US... which was serious fun.  :)

Full thread here:
http://www.zzrbikes.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=26473&start=0


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: sweeney todd on October 12, 2007, 08:49:18 pm

We are back from our trip to the Pyrenees. Our wonderful  trip. We had glorious weather for all but the last 60 miles (welcome home!). My bike earned its nickname on this trip, overheating twice in rush hour traffic. We had not a single pucker moment, but my wife had her first spill in 27 years of riding pillion while traveling 0 mph.

You can read all about it here:
http://www.jerryrdavis.btinternet.co.uk/index.html

Cheers!
Jerry

(http://www.jerryrdavis.btinternet.co.uk/10/251_550.jpg)


Had a good read of your site Jerry.  Excellent format, piccies and text.  Love the overall layout and the general style.  We've been to several of the places you mention but you've given us a few more places to aim the old Bugly at soon.  Cheers :)

Take Feck all notice of TB.  He's the sorta of guy who, on a date, talks for 45 minutes about himself before saying 'Hey, enough about me.  What do you think of me?' :D


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: FJR-UK on October 13, 2007, 04:26:18 am
Had a good read of your site Jerry.  Excellent format, piccies and text.  Love the overall layout and the general style.  We've been to several of the places you mention but you've given us a few more places to aim the old Bugly at soon.  Cheers :)


Thanks for the positive feedback.

Jo and I are still basking in the afterglow of that holiday. I can't get over how good the weather was. I think I've seen a blue sky twice since I've been home.

If we have one regret, it's that we wish we'd spent more time in the countryside and less in the cities. Casteil or Céret would have both made nice bases for week-long stays with day trips on the bike.

Cheers.


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: sweeney todd on October 13, 2007, 07:25:12 pm
No problem Jerry.  Looked like you had a wonderful time :)

To go into Piaf overdrive don't regret what you did. Like yourselves we've often found the delightful in apparently sleepy places.  Indeed some of our best experiences have come out of the entirely unscheduled.

Jerry.  I do have one question and it's about the dish that caused your 'digestive discomfort'.  What was it precisely?


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: FJR-UK on October 14, 2007, 05:02:35 am
Jerry.  I do have one question and it's about the dish that caused your 'digestive discomfort'.  What was it precisely?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andouillette

Wikipedia takes some knocks, but there is a good description at the above link and a photo. When it arrives on your plate, it looks like any large, lumpy sausage. The French grade it from one to five stars. They can be wonderful or absolute crap. I've had both, but never one that made me ill before.

Re: unscheduled. I like to read up on a place before we get there. I know roughly were we'll be at lunchtime and 5 pm, so I try to choose the more interesting places (read: restaurants) to stop. This was the first time I've pre-booked hotels, though. On the plus side, it was nice to know you had a room waiting for you. On the downside, you have to find the blasted place. Also, it pretty much kills any "unscheduled" adventures.

I'm not sure how we'll do it next time, since I don't know where our next trip will be. Joanna wants to go back to the Costa Verde and Picos de Europa, where we've had such a wonderful time before. Italy is a favourite place, too. But, we've never had the bike north of Antwerp. Maybe it's time to look north?


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: Orson on October 14, 2007, 06:27:55 am

If we have one regret, it's that we wish we'd spent more time in the countryside and less in the cities. Casteil or Céret would have both made nice bases for week-long stays with day trips on the bike.

I should also try more day trips from the same hotel.

I need to learn to relax more during my trips.

margaritas by the pool and all that good stuff  :D


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: FJR-UK on October 14, 2007, 12:30:28 pm
Margaritas by the pool and all that good stuff  :D


Now you're talkin'!


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: sweeney todd on October 16, 2007, 02:14:04 pm



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andouillette

Wikipedia takes some knocks, but there is a good description at the above link and a photo. When it arrives on your plate, it looks like any large, lumpy sausage. The French grade it from one to five stars. They can be wonderful or absolute crap. I've had both, but never one that made me ill before.

Re: unscheduled. I like to read up on a place before we get there. I know roughly were we'll be at lunchtime and 5 pm, so I try to choose the more interesting places (read: restaurants) to stop. This was the first time I've pre-booked hotels, though. On the plus side, it was nice to know you had a room waiting for you. On the downside, you have to find the blasted place. Also, it pretty much kills any "unscheduled" adventures.

I'm not sure how we'll do it next time, since I don't know where our next trip will be. Joanna wants to go back to the Costa Verde and Picos de Europa, where we've had such a wonderful time before. Italy is a favourite place, too. But, we've never had the bike north of Antwerp. Maybe it's time to look north?


Ah a sausage that smells like sh!t.  So far it's not selling itself to me :lol:

I'm sure you'll have a great time either way next time but we are going to head east for a change.

So far it's a toss up between Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine or a loop around the Adriatic, crossing in Italy and making our way back up through Greece, Albania, a bit of Bosnia then Croatia, Slovenia etc back home.  The latter was planned for this year but cancelled due to business commitments.


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: FJR-UK on October 16, 2007, 03:05:22 pm
So far it's a toss up between Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine or a loop around the Adriatic, crossing in Italy and making our way back up through Greece, Albania, a bit of Bosnia then Croatia, Slovenia etc back home.


We had a really nice run through Croatia and Slovenia last year, after crossing from Bari, Italy to Dubrovnik on the overnight ferry. Very hospitable. Lovely weather in September. It was a three-week trip. It would be difficult to do it any quicker, the way we travel. I'd do it again, if there weren't so many other places to experience.


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: Ant on October 16, 2007, 03:32:59 pm

Ah a sausage that smells like sh!t.  So far it's not selling itself to me :lol:


:lol: this from someone who calls themselves "sweeney todd"  :twofinger:


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: sweeney todd on October 17, 2007, 07:29:39 pm
Never touch intestines.  They're offal. :)

Know whatya mean re choosing you trips tho' Jerry.  So many amazing places and so little time.  Even tho' I've traversed most of Europe at one time or another I can't say I'm tired with it.  Loads of places to see.

I've hardly touched the States at all yet. :(

Orson I know whatya mean about stopping still for a while.  I do enjoy it for a while but I'm a 'what's over that hill?' type of person, much to the annoyance (sometimes ;)) of the Memsahib.


Title: Re: The Pyrenees 2007
Post by: FJR-UK on April 08, 2018, 07:05:19 am

Jerry.  I do have one question and it's about the dish that caused your 'digestive discomfort'.  What was it precisely?

Apologies for digging up this old thread. I was doing a sentimental journey on this miserable, damp Sunday morning and revisiting my old trip reports.

Sweeney Todd asked what food made me sick and I blamed it on andouillette. Wrong. It took me years to put the links together, but now realize that the meal that invariably makes me ill is steak tartare. The tricky part is it can take up to 30 hours for food poisoning to get a grip. I finally checked back on all the times I've been ill on the road, compared my photos with Joanna's diary and found the common cause was steak tartare.

My friend, Kevin, says the French have never completely eliminated salmonella from their chickens, and my doctor friend says chopped up raw meat is always going to be a problem. I have stopped eating the dish and have not been ill on holiday since.

Anyway, as this was a "health and safety issue", I thought I'd put the record straight.

Cheers!


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