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Route du Soleil

I spent two and a half weeks summer holiday in Spain. The itinerary was Barcelona – Empuriabrava – Girona. Why Barcelona again while I was also went there last year? It is because my mother. She is visiting me from Indonesia. In order to support her and to make her grief bearable my husband and I asked her where she wanted to spend her holiday in Europe. She chose to visit Barcelona.

My mother wanted to see more. So we went by car on a semi roadtrip instead of flying. We drove on the Route du Soleil all the way from our house to Barcelona. Believing the journey is also a part of travelling I share the story of driving on the busy Route du Soleil.
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Route du Soleil
Or officially called l’autoroute du soleil (a route to the sun) is a route in France consisting of A6 (Paris – Beaune – Lyon) and A7 (Lyon – Orange – Marseille).

Many holiday goers use this route going south to French Riviera, Italy, Spain even Morocco! Those who drive to Swiss, Austria, German & other destinations on the right on the map (East) take this route too, mostly the A6 where they turn left at the busy junction in Lyon to Grenoble or Genève, Swiss.

First day
Departing at 4.30 am from The Netherlands we drove through Liège, Belgium and Luxembourg to enter France via Metz and Nancy (Lorraine region :-)). In Beaune we joined the real route du soleil on A6 to Lyon. It took us 7,5 hours to reach Lyon where we slept for a night.

This is a pic I took en route somewhere in Luxembourg. It was early in the morning around 7 am. Clear blue sky, beautiful scenery, fresh air and the wind in my hair. The summer holiday started.

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Second day
We carried on driving on A7; from Orange the route split to the left through Nîmes (remember the history of Denim?) – Montpellier – Beziers – Narbonne – Perpignan. From Perpignan it was only 45 minutes ride to the French – Spanish border.

Breakfasting Chez Paul in a rest area in Ardèche, Champagne at Rhône-Alpes region. Yes, there is a Paul branch in a rest area, it is not as fancy as its branches in Singapore and Jakarta.
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My mother and I at the rest area in Aude, 2 hours before the border.

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The landscape gets drier the more we drove south.

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2 hours before the border
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And finally Bienvenidos en España. From this point it is 1 hour ride to Barcelona via AP7, La Jonquera.
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Tips

  • Make sure your brake works well. Route du Soleil has some long climbs. They are not steep though but long. And the descending ways that follow are long as well.
  • The allowed speed is mostly 120 km/hour. However when we drove from Girona to Dijon yesterday, it was raining so hard, we needed to adjust our speed to 80 – 100 km/hour.
  • In France and Spain there is toll to pay. You can pay in cash, with card or télépéage. We paid by télépéage. It is a chip you put on the car front window. Everytime the car passes a toll gate, it is scanned. At the end of the month, the amount will be withdrawn from my bank account. I registered and activated this télépéage in advance in The Netherlands.
  • Bored of the never ending highway? If you have time and are not in a hurry take an N route through the idyllic French villages. My husband and I did this often when G was a little girl. We picknicked on the grass where we could park our car. Or we visited vineyards for a dégustation (wine tasting). You are in France anyway, the land of the wines. Make the most out of it.
  • When stopping by at the rest areas, make sure you lock your car well and hide your valuables from sight. French and Spanish police warn traveller to beware of (car) thieves.

  • Sunray above the Mediterranean sea in Perpignan yesterday morning on my way home.
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    I am writing this in my hotel room in Dijon, France. By the time this thread is posted, I am on my way home. Stay tuned for more holiday in Spain stories.

    31 thoughts on “Route du Soleil

    1. Salam kenal Mbak,
      Kebetulan blogwalking dan liat blognya. Cuma pengen kasitau kl ada typo: Ardeche bukan di Champagne region, tapi di Rhone Alpes (seperti Lyon). Kalo Champagne region di utara/timur perancis.
      Nice holiday btw

      • Salam kenal juga. Thanks koreksinya. Betul Champagne region di Timur Laut Perancis tapi ini Champagne di Ardèche commune kecil di Rhône Alpes region. Makasih udah mampir.

    2. Aduh, tante… anda cantik sekaliiii!!!🙂 selamat datang yah Tante, wah mbak Yoyen senangnya di besuk mama…heel leuk. Selamat plesiran yah.

      • Binyo sekali tepatnya Pie. Kalo gw mukanya terlalu Jawa, ngga ada miripnya sama nyokap gw ha….ha..Merci. Ini barusan sampe rumah.

    3. How wonderful to drive from the Netherlands to Spain… this route is amazing! I always wanted to drive from Germany to Spain, and make some stops along the way! Seems like you enjoyed it a lot🙂

        • Thats nice to know!! It sounds amazing…I will convince my husband to do it😀

          • My husband and I love to travel by car because we see a lot and we can bring some goodies back home too without paying for the excess baggage. For me travelling by car means the freedom to stop to take pictures🙂

            We limit to drive max 8 hours a day. After that we take a room in a local hotel/pension for the feel.

          • We also love traveling by car… this year we have done it 3 times! Yes, stopping is a great idea…we also find it good because we can bring our dog too😀 and he loves traveling by car hahaha

      • Ngga Dine karena ibuku sendiri juga okem. Kalo kita ke Indonesia dia yang nyetir kita roadtrip Jakarta – Yogya, Jakarta – Bali atau Jakarta – Lampung. Lagipula kamu tahu sendiri kan jalan disini enak, licin dan lurus ngga pake macet🙂 Aku & suami dari dulu prinsipnya jalan-jalan naik mobil max 8 jam/hari terus brenti, nginep. Where are you going to France? La douce France. Cerita ya, aku baca pastinya.

    4. Seru sekali ya! Aku selalu kepengen road trip ke eropa. One day🙂 btw aku suka sekali Paul, dulu di Inggris juga ngga fancy, kesana buat makan croissant sama hot chocolate buat ngangetin badan. Di jakarta sih fancy bgt sampe minder kalo mau masuk hahaha…

      • Seru banget Chris. Mudah-mudahan kesampean road trip di Eropa. Aku sampe sekarang pingin ke French & Italian Riviera naik mobil, bagus banget itu. Eh tapi ke Swiss lewat Perancis daerah Alpen juga bagus sekali.

        Betul, Paul di Perancis ada di stasiun Metro, area istirahat dijalan. Sementara di Jakarta Paul jadi mahal banget karena lokasinya di mall mentereng🙂 Aku suka roti surdoughnya.

        • Wah itu dua-dua nya impian aku, liat foto2 di internet aja udah bagus banget apalagi liat aslinya..

          Iya, di Inggris juga adanya di pinggir jalan deket stasiun tube. Jakarta emang suka terlalu keren nih.. hahaha😉

    5. iihh seru banget mba. btw suka foto mba yo dengan mamanya. you look pretty and young !! semoga oneday bisa nginjek ke eropa and roadtrip. aduh paul nya buat ngilerrr. kalau dijakarta mayan mahal deh mba and agak males kalau kesana harus rapi2 secara kalau gak rapi tuh orang2nya suka nyuekin. zzzhhhhhh

      • Makasih Nisa… Seru banget karena jalan lancar dan ngga pake macet🙂 Mudah-mudahan bisa ya suatu hari roadtrip di Eropa.

        Begitulah memang kebanyakan staf toko, boutique, café ditempat yang mentereng di Indonesia ngga mandang orang yang masuk yang penampilan biasa padahal kan mereka klien juga = omzet. Rese ya.

    6. mba Yoooo, aku suka sandalmu hauhaha. Dan kenapa sih itu rambut keren banget yaaa sampe dikepang kayak gitu aja masih tebal banget hiks *pengen*

      • Ha…ha…kok yang diperhatiin sandal Non🙂 Enak buat jalan jauh memang. Ngga tahu kenapa rambutku tebel gitu padahal perawatan biasa. Creambath cuma kaloo di Indonesia.

      • Jakarta Bali 1100 km pake nyebrang Selat Bali. Kalo di Indonesia pake ngga bisa jarak 1500 km 14 jam naik mobil. Jalan ngga rata, banyak motor & pak Ogah dan lagi berkelok-kelok. Disini banyak terowongan dan jalan mulus.

    7. Mbaaa yo seru banget roadtrip nya…
      oh mamanya mba yo orang manado toh? cuantikkkk banget,,,, ini road trip hadiah ultah buat G juga kah?.aku lagi pengen banget road trip juga nih…pengen ke malang, entah kapan bisa kesampean. Btw, Barcelona is my sister’s fav city and this October dia mau kesana huhuhu asik banget….

    8. Aku suka rambutnya gaya kepang memang juara..
      Wah liburan singkat namun seru plus panjang kapan nya mbak yo bisa kesana ( Sambil lirik buku tabungan )

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