Tour de France and Costa Brava - Juli 2018
Tour de France and Costa Brava - Juli 2018

Turkheim, Elsass to Palinges - Camping du Lac

- 340 km - Sunday, 01. Juli 2015 12:00:00 h - Turckheim - 17:15:00 h - Palinges - 27°C

We stayed for some weekends in Alsass near Colmar in the excellent campsite in Turkheim. We left the Caravan there. Since we do not want to go more then 400 km with the big trailer the intermediate stop was decided to be Palinges - Camping du Lacq. The camping is ok but nothing that would invite you to stay longer.

L’Isle-Jourdain

- 348 km - Monday, 02. Juli 2015 10:45:00 h Apt - 13:55:00 h - L’Isle-Jourdain - 27°C

My ex-college Bob started a Bed and Breakfast near Portiers. Time to pay him a visit. We have to go country roads for most of the time. The N145 is very busy with truck traffic - one truck after the other. Finally we reached the capm site in L’Isle-Jourdain. A simple but nice camping with lots on grass under the trees. We are the only guests beside some over night stays. We first went to the Intermarché to get some petrol and do some shopping. The we visited Bob and his wife. He has a nice house and a garden near the river with some chickens. Actually he makes most of his income stall with IT-Jobs, since there is not much tourism in the area to feed on. In the evening he invited us for a barbecue in his garden with his wife. Helen later joins. We had fresh grilled meat some hot cheese and lot of talking. Two day we were invited to Hellen barbecue. First we had an apero in the Bar Le 10 and then we went to Hellen’s house. It was a raining afternoon so the party was mostly indoors. The have five dogs. Hellen prepared some salomon and potatoes and her husband on the grill some meat.

Toulouse – Camp Le Lupe

- 86 km - 05 July 2018 - 11:00:00 h - 17:30:00 h - Toulouse - 28°C

Since we do not want to go more then 400 km with the big trailer the next stop was decided to be Toulouse. The area between Toulouse has little to offer for conventional site seeing but is famous as a technology center for Airbus and the European Space program. There is the Space Museum in Toulouse and the Airbus factory tour. The Airbus tour promises you a an interesting tour and the fuss they make about security and sanction of photography it must be really exiting. Most tours Are in French and there are only 2 tours per day in English which are usually fully booked well in advance. The 1st stage promises you the Airbus test en certification program in the Telemetry room. How ever this is nothing but a bunch of video presentations. You would find more interesting stuff on YouTube. Then you are driven about 200m into the Airbus site. They show you some large posters which tell you in which country which parts of the Airbus 380 are produced and how they are transported. For the 3rd 20 minutes you are lifted up the Airbus visitors deck where you cant see the testing site of Airbus. There was no much activity, 2 Airbus 380 and a Airbus 350 for Pacific. Again this in nothing then a bunch of video presentations. You would find more interesting stuff on YouTube. The 4th state they let you into the A400M military transport Aircraft on the museums side. Again you would find more interesting stuff on YouTube. Over all I do not understand all the fuzz they make about foreign visitors must buy the ticket two days before and prohibiting photography. I would not know what to photograph if it where allowed. How ever they never check if you have cameras or if your phone is actually off. The museum itself is interesting and cost you another 8.50 EUR. You see one of the first Airbus 300,Concord and a exhibition on Tin Tin. The Le Rupé Campsite in Toulouse is the obvious choice. It still a 20 min ride to the Airbus Factory if there are no traffic jams. The camping is in an industrial area. The sanitary facilities and the lot are clean an ok but nothing exiting. Toulouse narrow roads chaotic traffic. I would not come again.

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Road Charge

For many motorways in France you have to pay road charge/toll. Motorways that required to pay a toll are signed “péage” (toll). In most cases you first have to pull a ticket and when you exit you have to pay the toll. Some places directly charge you at toll. Nowadays you can drive 100 of kilometres before you have to pay. You can expect 20 or 30 EUR for such a long section. For locals there are electronic Telepeage badge which pay automatically. These are marked with a yellow t. There are some exclusive telepeage tracks. Do not use them you can not pay there with credit card or cash. Never backup up if you accidentally use the wrong track because fines are heavy. Just go on and press the info button. An English speaking person instructed us to put 10 EUR in cash in a box and we could continue. Use tracks with a green arrow a coins (cash) or a card symbol (credit cards). Cards are charged without entering your pin.

Spain - La Tordera – CapFun

- 393 km - 07 July 2018 - 09:45:00 h - 16:11:00 h - Blanes - 31°C

The lesson learned is "Never travel on Saturday for long distances". We had 393 km to cover from Toulouse to Blanes where the Costa Brava starts. The motor way is quite jammed and for a good part is was only stop and go. As a result there are all this aggressive and angry drivers, which over take full speed on the breakdown lane or overtaking on the left or make an an full break in front of you to stop on the break down lane almost crashing their car. So we had quite some near misses. With a power full towing vehicle I can pull the large caravan at any speed hill up and down. I like to use the cruise control to go truck speed. But trucks are change the speed all teh time and try to over take us and each other. Finally we made it around 16:15 in one peace. The camping is outside the camping area and is a 4 star camping with animation and pools. We are lucky and got a lot in the second line from beach. The path there is very narrow. I could not only not drive there with the caravan attached - even with the car alone I need to backup to get around the corner. Luckily I had a mover installed lately but even then I could not move it over curb-stone. After all this driving my wife said that we had food for the weekend but she want to go Carrefour to buy some bananas - only 8 km. I ask if she really expect me to drive 8 km for bananas? So we go and after one hour in the shoe shop I said - "Please lets take your bananas and pay". We also find a garden center there were she checked out the Roses. A nice rose is 8.5 EUR and a tall one 11.50 EUR. On Sunday we went to Barcelona. On Monday she want to check out some other garden centers and she come in touch with the Siesta mentality in Spain. She was quite surprised to learn that they open between 9:00 and 13:30 and then again between 17:00 and 20:30. The next garden center was also closed but the third one had open. And on the way back, at 16:00 h, the second garden center just opened. In the late afternoon we go swimming and in the night we go to the dance.

Barcelona

- 140 km - 08 July 2018 - 10:00:00 h - 16:11:00 h - Blanes - 31°C

The ticket with Barcelona hop on hop off Bus Turisticcosts 30 EUR per person for one day and 40 EUR for two days. You can use the green, red and blue line and get of and on at any station. Busses suppose to come every five minutes. Going all three line with one short break took us 3.5 hours. Attractions are not included.
I insisted that I want to drive on a quite Sunday to Barcelona and not with the crazy traffic during the week. I new about the hop on hop off site seeing busses but did not prepare the trip any further. The plan was that our navigator guides us to the city center and then we will see further to find. The went very well and the navigator guided us to the Plaça de Catalunya near the tourist bus station. We board two day tickets and started with the red line. Many stop are not so interesting but can take photos from the upper decl of the double decker bus. The best thin is to decide a few stops that you find interesting. The weather was sunny and 30 °C. We got of for the Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia and finally left the bus at the he Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, also known as Barcelona Cathedral, and walked back to the Plaça de Catalunya were we parked hour car. For the 4 hours parking we had to pay 16 EUR.















France - Vias - Portirages Pl. - L' Emaeraude

- 245 km - 11 July 2018 - 10:00:00 h - 16:11:00 h - Vias - 28°C

Ha has a friend here and here family operates a big camping the Sunêlia. On the return leg from Spain we planed to visit her. So we stayed in Portirages Plage in the L' Emaeraude. The camp is quite nice with the usual animation, entertainment and a number of swimming pools. The weather was beautiful and we did the 6 km with the bicycle. Next day we went there by car shopped for some fruit at the road side stands and shops. But we are not admitted as we could not give the lot number. But that mistake could be clarified.



France - Annecy - Sevrier – Camp Au Ceur du Lac

- 484 km - Friday 13 July 2018 - 08:55:00 h - 14:50:00 h - - 32°C

With 484 km we had quite some distance to cover and I was keen to arrive here on early Friday afternoon because we knew from last year that campings are quite busy around lake Annecy and last years we did not find an space in a dozed campings around here. And the weekend and holiday season are upcoming tomorrow in France. The roads were quite empty and we made good progress without any traffic jams Arriving in Annecy at 14:30. But along the narrow road around the lake it is alway slow progress and we arrived at the camping Camp Au Ceur du Lac. The sign at the entrance said that caravans are ok but Camping Cars and tents complet(full). At the matter of fact we last place available here. The camping is quite nice with places on grace under trees. The sanitary facilities are rather old but clean an ok. Next to the camping is a more then 20km long bicycle path the got to Annecy in one direction and to Doussars in the other. The panorama is just breathtaking with a turquoise shimmering lake Annacy in front of the steep mountain massive rising a the opposite side. Opposite of the camping is also a beach. It was around 30°C and I enjoyed about 19km bicycle ride and back to . Later Ha cooked rice with shrimps for dinner. There are dozens of sparrow birds waiting to feed from fallen down food. They had quite a good meal to night. On Saturday was 33°C and we went to the old town of Annacy by bicycle. The 5 km bicycle ride we enjoyed very much passing all the cars on the jammed road. The old town is quite touristic and we enjoyed it walking though it one hour. We retuned to the camping and went to the Carrefour super market which is 1.1 km and Super U which kilometer further. There are sings that the Tour de France will pass here on Monday of Tuesday. But our Tour de France finishes here and we return to Switzerland tomorrow.

Greetings from our Tour de France and Costa Brava.
Andreas and Ha

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Days Distances/km Driving Hours/h Toll/EUR Petrol/l Petrol/EUR Camping/EUR Total
Total 15 2911.00 40.63 218.10 362.09 527.53 388.90 1839.36
Average per day 1 192.07 2.71 14.54 24.14 35.17 25.03 122.62
Tour de France

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