After leaving Montserrat we wound our way through Northern Spain up into the Pyrenees to the Principality of Andorra. Increasingly mountainous as we approached Andorra, this was a nice drive.
Andorra sits at about 1,200m (3,900ft) so we struck the coolest weather of our journey so far at around 12C (54F). But it was clear and dry so pretty pleasant really.
Andorra taxes goods and services at the low rate of 4.5% so is a popular destination for visitors from France and Spain. Goods are cheaper here as is fuel. There are hypermarkets and petrol stations everywhere and they are popular, busy places.
Andorra la Vella is the very photogenic main city nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains. It has a prosperous feel and is very safe to walk around. This was a nice stop on our way back to France.
After a night in Andorra la Vella we headed North towards the French border, slowly climbing to an impressive high point of 2,400m (7,900ft). The Alpine scenery was fantastic and the descent into France was very picturesque. The border crossing was seamless with no requirement to stop and present passports to French customs.
Have to say that the Peugeot 3008 (Pugsy) we've leased has been performing fantastically well on the trip and is our second home. We passed 5,000km's on this leg and feeling very at home behind the wheel.
The trip through to Carcassonne was around 3 hours and we arrived relatively late in the afternoon so decided to catch up on some posts and blogging in the evening. We also needed to book some accommodation for upcoming stays.
At this point we were only booked 5-6 days ahead which is pretty risky as we are heading into a stretch in the next two weeks where we visit the Cinque Terre, Florence and Pompei/Amalfi. Big tourist destinations albeit deep into the shoulder season. Will talk more about booking accommodation soon.
The next morning we visited the Cite de Carcassonne, a medieval fortress dating back to the Gallo-Roman period. This is one of the most impressive walled cities in Europe and it's significance was highlighted in 1997 when was it was listed as a UNESCO heritage site. It's strategic positioning between the Atlantic and Mediterranean oceans has long been recognised.
We had a fantastic morning walking around the city and may have even indulged in a crepe or two to provide some sustenance.
In the afternoon we departed for Nimes further across Southern France where we plan to visit Avignon and a couple of other exciting destinations nearby.
Through the Pyrenees
A modern day warrior guarding Carcassonne...