Heading to the coast after the heat of inland was a good call, besides being the more logical way to head to Barcelona. We saw Carcassone from the motorway and it looked amazing, although Lonely Planet’s description of it as “tourist hell” made me think perhaps we weren’t missing much by seeing it from a distance. We stuck to the motorway to make it a cooler ride – it was still warm at the coast but not nearly as oppressive.
We booked a non-descript hotel in a non-descript coastal town which looked a bit like the poorer, older parts of the Gold Coast – apartment blocks that have seen better days, shops selling plastic buckets and spades and ice creams, tanned locals, sunburnt tourists. We also visited a special place called Cap de Agde and I’ll let you google that for yourself, if you’re game (probably NSFW, or parents). I wasn’t really game, for the record.
After our night there it was off to Spain. The valleys in this region are like big wind tunnels, with wind socks and signs warning of “vent lateral” which I assume means “sideways wind”. It was a boring ride until we passed the border and were suddenly in the Pyrenees, which were magnificent if brief. Spain is busy on their stimulus packages and our trip was lengthened by massive road works happening all along the highway. On a hot day it looked like the worst job in the world, particularly for one bloke I saw out in full sun who was busy sweeping dust.
Instead of tackling Barcelona traffic we decided to treat ourselves to a nice hotel on the coast in Sitges, and we arrived in plenty of time to enjoy this:
Followed by this:
Ah, holidays are grand.