We did not intend to start our world adventures with a trip to western Europe, where we have been many times. However, Pierre’s mother was terminally ill, and it became important to visit her in Pierre’s hometown of Lausanne. Because we would be in Switzerland, we decided to visit another nearby country and chose Spain, as we thought we might live there some day.
Dec. 28, 2014 to March 24, 2015
With visits to Zurich, Geneva, Gruyeres, Valais, Ticino, Vallee de Joux, and other spots. We stayed at my husband’s brother’s house in La Sarraz, just outside Lausanne, while his brother and family were out of the country.
Feb. 18 to Feb. 21, 2015
My son Julien and I took a side trip to England to visit my aunt and cousins, who live just outside London. Highlights: besides seeing family, just walking the exciting streets of London.
March 24, 2015
Lausanne, Switzerland to Avignon, France
We drove from Lausanne, Switzerland to Avignon, France in a tiny, orange rental car on the first day of our road trip to Spain. We spent the night in a tiny closet of a hotel room that was at least clean and bright against the dreary, pouring rain. Too late to see the Palace of the Pope, we went for pizza at the local mall and bed.
March 25 to March 27, 2015
Avignon, France to Valencia, Spain
With all the stops, we had a brutal, 10-hour drive from Avignon, France to Valencia, Spain, where we stayed two nights in a modern, fully furnished one bedroom condo across the street from El Corte Engles, a high-end department store and supermarket. We were a block from the park that runs through this impressive city, making old town and its popular central marketplace accessible via an easy walk or bike ride. This city was love at first sight!
March 27, 2015
Valencia to Alfacar, Spain (Granada)
We drove from Valencia, Spain to the tiny, hilly, cobble-stoned, white-washed village of Alfacar, Spain, just outside Grenada, where we booked a three bedroom flat through Airbnb for ten days.
March 27 to Apr. 6, 2015
Alfacar and Granada, Spain
We explored Granada’s many cultural treasures from our base in Alfacar, while the region celebrated Semana Santa (Holy Week, just before Easter). It’s a gorgeous, hilly, must-see city with a strong arabic influence reflected in the culture, crafts, food, and music.
Apr. 6 to Apr. 8, 2015
Granada to Segur de Calafell, Spain (Barcelona)
We drove from Grenada to Valencia, Spain, where we stayed at the same condo complex again for two nights, enjoying the fair at the mall across the street and lunches at outdoor cafes near the Central Marketplace. Did we mention we love Valencia? From there, we drove to the apartment we booked months in advance in Segur de Calafell, just outside Barcelona.
Apr. 8 to May 6, 2015
Segur de Calafell, Spain (Barcelona)
The beautiful, modern, three-bedroom apartment, just blocks from the beach, with an easy 50 minute train ride into Barcelona, is the one place we booked long in advance (with airbnb.com). We knew we would need some down time and planned to stay there a month. Segur de Calafell offers long, wide swaths of beach, outdoor restaurants with excellent seafood, and playgrounds for the kids. A perfect place to hang. We took numerous trips into the aesthetically appealing city of Barcelona, taking advantage of its many cultural and artistic offerings.
May 7, 2015
Barcelona, Spain to San Francisco, CA, USA
Sadly, our time in Spain came to a close. On this day, we rose at 5 a.m., walked down the street with all our luggage, took the train to the airport, and flew back to San Francisco to prepare for the next phase of our travels.
From here, you can return to our general Itinerary page.