The road north out of Andorra and into France goes up over a high Col, or Pass. And, the Pass was open (hurray).
I stopped at the top of the pass to take a picture, and there were some Germans there on BMW motorcycles. They spotted me right away, and came over to check out my VStrom. I guess they had never seen one before. They looked at everything, and took pictures of some things, and kept talking about what I had that they needed (shoe plate to keep side stand from sinking into dirt, for one thing). They were a funny crew. One was smoking a huge Sherlock Holmes pipe; another had the worse set of teeth I've seen in Europe. They wanted my picture with my bike, and then took a picture of me with my camera too.
I like the southeastern part of France that I am traveling through now. I can still see the snow covered Pyrenees way off to the south. Here, where I am, there are huge vineyards and lots of wine tasting places (which I don't dare take advantage of and then ride because they have very strict laws here (although I never seem to see any police -- making it quite different that the good old land of speed traps back home).
This area has been fought over for thousands of years, and at times controlled by the French, the Arabs (Moors), and the Spanish. There are castles and old defensive walls and fortresses everywhere.
I took a tour, and found out that most of the people live in the lower city down below the walls. That part of the city has been there for hundreds of years itself.
Narrow streets down there too, with lots more things going on. It was lunch time, so all the people were out eating. The school kids get out for about two hours, I think, and then they go back to the classroom with stomachs having finished with their meals. It is a good system. Everyone was having a good time.
I explored, then rested, then explored some more until about 9 pm. There was to be a sound and light show in the castle inside the walls when it got dark. I settled down to wait for that. This young guy was entertaining the crowd with the most interesting music. I asked him what his instrument is called, and he said it is a "space drum" because it looks like a flying saucer.
I joined the crowd to watch the free sound and light show, but it was all in French and I couldn't understand a word. I did know that they were explaining the history of the city, but I had already read all about that. So, time to walk back to my campground, a quarter mile away.
First, though, some night shots:
I had a good night's sleep. Lately I have been having leg cramps at night, and pain in my back and neck. None of that last night. I woke up feeling great, and now I am back on the road. I stopped for lunch at a McDonald's to use their free WiFi, and the lunchtime crowd is here now eating smelly fries and chicken sandwiches. Ugh.
I am heading off across southeastern France toward the ferry to Corsica. There is a lot to see before then, though, so I am in no hurry.
What do you think of this flower? Do you like poppies? They grow wild in Europe, and are all through the fields of wheat and hay and all along the road side, a glorious color of orange everywhere and a real treat for the eyes.
Gotta get going. Talk with you later: