Away for a long European road trip.
Monday 28 April 1986 - Friday 9 May 1986
This trip was with a company called "Top Deck" and they specialised in traveling around Europe in converted London double decker buses. They had bunks both upstairs and downstairs and a kitchen downstairs.
Monday 28 April - The start. I met the group in London. Ferry from Dover to Calais. We then drove to Paris arriving in time for dinner under the Eiffel Tower. We got to the top at dusk and you can get great view from top.
The Arc de Triomphe.
The Arc de Triomphe.
The Eiffel Tower.
Top row: Glynn, Ken, Jacquie, Jon. Bottom row: John, Katrina, Helen, David.
Tuesday 29 April - A tour around Versailles Palace. A night out in Paris (Folies Begere) with poor food, but spectacular costumes and sets. More drinks etc back at the campsite.
Wednesday 30 April - Woke feeling not very well due to late night. We had a free day in Paris and so we went to Notre Dame, a closed flea market, The Louvre Museum (Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo). A quiet night.
Thursday 1 May - An all day drive from Paris to San Sebastian in Spain. Jokes with French border guards (pre EU days back then).
Friday 2 May - A free day in the town. After lunch in town, we trekked up to top of old fort. It had great views, lots of old cannon. I discovered I had a problem with the film in my camera, hence no photos from Paris to Segovia. Shame really.
Saturday 3 May - A long day sightseeing. Firstly we drove from San Sebastian to Segovia. Great city with huge cathedral and Roman aqueduct.
On the road to Segovia.
The aqueduct in Segovia.
An archway in Segovia.
The city and mountains.
We then carried onto Valley of the Fallen, commemorating the dead of the Spanish Civil War. It has a huge 300 foot cross on mountain and a monastery underneath. We finally arrived at the Madrid camp site near midnight!
Mountains and interesting cloud formations.
The monastery at the Valley of the Fallen.
The cross and Camel.
The cross in silhouette.
Sunday 4 May - A walking tour of Madrid including a tour of Royal Palace. Full of suits of armour, muskets, furniture, tapestries etc. Later on the others went to a bullfight, not my cup of tea.
The Royal Palace in Madrid.
The dining room in the Royal Palace.
Monday 5 May - A free day in Madrid and it rained all day. Bought two pairs of shoes (as you do when you are shopping in the rain).
Tuesday 6 May - Drove to Toledo. This is a beautiful old city about 1 1/2 hours south of Madrid. It has a huge fortress (Alcazar) and sword making factories. Afterwards we carried on driving towards Barcelona, stopping at service station near Zaragoza.
The Alcazar in Toledo.
A steel factory.
The city walls around Toledo.
Steve, John, Ken, Glynn and Karl enjoying the Spanish sunshine.
More of Toledo.
Wednesday 7 May - Drove from Zaragoza to Barcelona. It was a very windy road but had great views. The afternoon was spent washing the bus, throwing a frisbee around, free time, dinner and the camp disco.
Thursday 8 May - A free day in Barcelona where we saw Gaudi's unfinished and remarkably ugly Sagrada Familia. We also visited a leather shop (more shopping!) but did not buy anything. More craft shops and the Ramblas down by the waterfront.
Local transport in Barcelona.
Part of the World Trade Centre.
The Sagrada Familia (and our bus).
Friday 9 May - A visit to the champagne cellars with tour and champagne. A BBQ lunch with more champagne. A drive back to Barcelona with lots more champagne. Not well at all due to a combination of heat and champagne. However, after a traditional Spanish meal and Flamenco dancing later that evening I was feeling much better.
The tour of the champagne cellars.
A motley bunch of tourists.
The volunteers (victims?) at the flamenco dancing.
The experts showing how it is done.