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A Short Drive in the Languedoc-Roussillon


French Coat of Arms
Coat of Arms
Official flag of France
The Tricolor
This is the Grand Seal of France
Grand Seal

We were bugging out of Andorra. The tiny rental car lurched forward as Greg displayed his
Grand Prix driving skills. We were on our way before the map reader (me) had a chance to
provide directions. Greg & Jenn up front; Brianna, Alissa & myself in the back seat.
Alissa leaned over to whisper in my ear as I squinted at the road map.

"Does he know we're going North?"

I smiled at both the backseat ladies and curtly shook my head 'no.' They both
smiled back, and Brianna silently articulated these words with her mouth:

"We're going to France!"

Languedoc-Roussillon has its own regional flag
Flag of the region
Languedoc-Roussillon, with the Eastern Pyrenees 'department'
A cute, tiny map
French Cerdagne, of the Eastern Pyrenees 'department'
Haute Cerdagne (in green)

If you stop here, they might stamp your passport... but you needn't stop
Pas de la Casa:
Welcome to France
13 June 2010
This French peak is over 7000 feet above sea level.
Cap d' Acaugnes,
(2380 m), Pyrenees
13 June 2010
This ridgeline leads up to Pic de l'Estanyol (2500 meters)
Roc de les Ombres,
French Pyrenees
13 June 2010
There are roads going up many of these mountains...
Serra de los Lloses
and stonework buildings
13 June 2010
The high point of this road in France
Col de Puymorens:
Over the pass!
13 June 2010

We didn't get our passports stamped, unfortunately. The border is very porous,
and the guards tend to wave everyone through. The weather was putting on
quite a show for us, and many of the Pyrenees were cloaked in thick cloud.
Now that Greg realized we were indeed in France, he paid more attention
to where he was driving! We were on N-320, which would take us over the
Col de Puymorens, then drop steeply into the Gorges de la Fou. Our road
would change to N-20, and eventually, return us to the Spanish frontier.

I hope I have the names of these peaks right!
Pic de Tossal Mercader
and clouds playing
13 June 2010
Limestone all over the narrow valley...
On the road in
Gorges de la Fou
13 June 2010
Everywhere you look, there is interesting architecture
Many stonebuilt structures
stand in the gorge
13 June 2010
Out of the mountains for a very short time.
A 60-MPH view of
French Cerdagne
13 June 2010

It turns out that our little taste of France is known as French Cerdagne,
and there is a rich history associated with it. It's the only area of France
which is south of the Pyrenees. Around 12,000 people live here,
but mostly in tiny communities and villages. The second-biggest town,
Bourg-Madame, holds only about 1200 people. We had hopes of
finding a little cafe in which to eat, to no avail. This being a Sunday,
I doubted that anyone would be interested in entertaining tourists!

Check the time, parishoners!
Church in French
Cerdagne, on the road
13 June 2010
Difficult to know how old this building really is...
Moss grows fat
on a standing stone
13 June 2010
This was a tidy little graveyard
Graveyard entrance,
near Enveitg, France
13 June 2010
Those must be chain posts in the fore.
Mausoleums and
monuments. France
13 June 2010

The drive was halted at one point, so I could investigate a little graveyard,
somewhere near Enveitg. I was surprised that the earliest death dates therein
were in the 1920's.

I was relegated to navigating from the front seat after the stop. We sped forward
toward the Catalonian frontier, and leaving France behind, were swallowed by
the tunnel under the Cadi mountains. Greg was liberated once more!

A true 'I was here' place.
Crosses abound
in Old France
13 June 2010
Notes from the family, to their uncle.
"Good Trip in
your water bubble"

13 June 2010
I think there's a likeness of the Holy Father on this iron cross.
Monumental lichen
near Enveitg, France
13 June 2010
Look, a plain. It might be Spain...
South slope of the
Pyrenees, France
13 June 2010

All images Copyright 2011 EBBoykin, Jr

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