Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Since coming to Europe, one of our family goals has been to travel to Spain. Last week we made it! It really was amazing--even miraculous--how it all worked out. Over the past few months we had essentially written off the idea of taking another big trip because it seemed financially wiser to conserve our resources. While we weren't searching for accommodations anywhere, I happened to receive a travel brochure when I purchased the third book in the Twilight series.

Flipping through it, I noticed this little bungalow north of Barcelona that accomodated six people for 161 euros a week! Then Jason found out that his work could reimburse him for travel expenses, including our rental car. With that great of a deal, we rekindled our smoldering dreams of Gaudi and gazpacho, inviting my Dad and Lance to join us for the fun.

While I enjoyed every day during our week-long sojourn to Spain, I think our road trip there may have been my personal favorite. We chose the road less traveled, and as you can see, the scenery was incredible.

This picture's for our friend, Bruce, who's earning his PhD in Dairy Science. During our road trip, Jason mentioned that if he were a cow, he'd like to live in France. (Personally, my bovine dream would be to reside with a vegetarian Hindu family in India.)

My Dad brought his GPS unit Serena from the States, along with a European module. While Serena's "shortcuts" weren't always time savers, they were certainly entertaining, particularly when they instructed you to proceed along the unpaved road...

We stopped off at a quaint little town called Le Puy-en-Veley for a picnic lunch and some play time at the park.

Of course, even Grandpas can have fun playing as well.

I got a kick out of this sign that says you may walk on the grass. In general, France is notorious for its "stay off the grass" signs in public green spaces. (Lyon, by the way, is a notable exception, probably because it has so few tourists.) Well, even when the grass is permissible, the sign is apparently still indispensable.

After lunch, it was back in the car--don't forget your seatbelt!

Unfortunately, the girls didn't fare too well with Serena's twisty path. Brooklyn started to complain about how her tummy felt funny while we were navigating this winding road. As Murphy's law would have it, it was actually Talia who lost her chorizo while I was holding up a bucket for Brooklyn.

The side trip was worth it, however, when we finally reached the Millau viaduct, the world's tallest vehicular bridge.

Oh, it feels great to be out of the car!

Even though we drove under it instead of traveling on it (the view is better that way), the viaduct was truly spectacular.

One of the masts is taller than the Eiffel tower and just lower than the Empire State.

Black and white...

...enhanced by Lance.

As we drew close to our destination, I confess that I started to feel pretty nervous about having rented the place sight-unseen, particularly since it was so inexpensive. After all, the place was named "Camping del Mar" and we hadn't brought any tents...

Fortunately, this "camping" bungalow had two bedrooms, a stove, microwave, fridge, and hot shower--hooray! Even better, we were fifty feet from a small playground, fifty yards from the swimming pool, and across the road from the beach. Ah, España!


Tanja said...

The Millau viaduct - looks breath-taking!
I don't know if I would be so brave to travel on it. By the way ... how do you travel on it - by car or train?
It seems that you had a wonderful and enjoyable week. Now - only five weeks left in Europe - please enjoy them or in other words: Have fun!

Brianna said...

Wow, how fun. We can't wait to experience a little bit of Europe.