Crossing the Pyrenees

June 13, 2021

Fascinated by the Catalan countryside, I decided to take a little detour through the mountains. Instead of driving on the highway to France, I switched off my navigation system and followed a road headed north into the Pyrenees.

The engine of my Mercedes 508D was busily working when pushing 3.5 tons up to 1,800 meters above sea level.

Mercedes 508D parked next to the road in the Catalan Pyrenees

After cruising through the Catalan mountain scenery for a couple of hours, I reached the border and entered France.

View on the French Pyrenees near Bolquère

I took a break to relax and prepare my lunch at Lac de Matemale

Lac de Matemale

It was quite cold up in the mountains, so I skipped swimming in the lake and continued my journey towards the Mediterranean Sea. I passed some impressive ancient buildings near Escouloubre that looked like closed or abandoned hotels.

Ancient building near Escouloubre

The further I followed the road, the warmer the temperatures became. When I took a break between Gesse and Axat it was quite hot.

Van parked next to the road between Gesse and Axat

Luckily L’Aude, a refreshing river, was right next to the road.

River L'Aude between Gesse and Axat

After passing a few kilometers in the lowlands, I finally reached the Mediterranean Sea near Leucate where I decided to spend the night.

View on the Mediterranean Sea near Leucate

The air was really warm. Even after sunset the temperature was still around 30 degrees, so I slept with open doors listening to the sound of the waves in front of me.

Sleeping with open doors in front of the sea