Monday, October 6, 2014

Mom's 1953 Europe Road Trip: The French Pyrenees

From Mom's Europe trip diary, in the "PLACES VISITED" section: 
October 6, Tuesday – Road between Perpignan and Luchon, France
After breakfast of omelette with ham and tea, left to drive through Pyrenees.  Saw two old fortress towns (Villefranche[-de-Conflent] and Mont-Louis).  They had walls and moats.  Drove through two mountain passes which were not as bad as mountains in Norway and Austria and Switzerland.  Went by one town, Col de Portet d'Aspet,* that was the dirtiest one place I have seen on entire journey.  It was really terrible.  Twice we came within a few miles of Spanish border.**

According to the "HOTELS STOPPED AT" section of the trip diary, my mother and her friends stayed at the Hotel de la Poste et Golf Hotel in Luchon, France.

Below is a view of Villefranche-de-Conflent from the 17th-century Fort Liberia just above it.
Vilafranca de Conflent vista des de Fort Libèria [Villefranche de Conflent seen from Fort Liberia, 14 May 2005] / Makinal / CC BY-SA 3.0

Remparts de Villefranche-de-Conflent [30 September 2013] / Meria z Geoian (Own work) / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Above is a photo of some of the walls of Villefranche-de-Conflent, and in the photo below one can see the moat around the town.
Villefranche-de-Conflent Remparts [Ramparts, 28 April 2014] / GO69 (Own work) / CC-BY-SA-3.0
Mont-Louis Citadelle vue nord [Citadel view north, 2005] / Otmontlouis (own work) / FAL (Free Art License)
Mont-Luis (pictured above and below) is another walled town in the Pyrenees (in the background in the photo above).
Ciutadella de Montlluís [Citadel of Mont-Louis, 14 July 2012 / Jaume Meneses ( from / CC-BY-SA-2.0

Pic de la calabasse [Calabash Peak, 7 October 2005] / JiPee (Own work) / Public domain
* From what I can tell, Col de Portet d'Aspet is a mountain pass, which is regularly part of the Tour de France bicycle race.  Above is a photo of the Pyrenees' Calabash Peak, which is near this pass.

**Mom said they came within the Spanish border twice.  Based on the map below of the day's travels, I think that, one of those two times, it was actually the border with tiny Andorra instead.

This is the 60th in a series of posts transcribing entries in my mother's 1953 Europe Trip journal.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

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