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Through France to the Pyrenees – A family road trip

Oliver Tomann and his family are off to the Pyrenees. On this vacation, the journey should be the goal. Spontaneity comes with detours to Paris, Rochefort, Bordeaux and the sea in the direction of the mountain range that separates France and Spain. On the way, the three of them navigate the HYMER ML-T 580 through impressive landscapes, discover historical places and experience one or two surprises.

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Oliver Tomann
Author

Pyrenees
Destination

HYMER ML-T 580
Model

 

The HYMER ML-T 580 has been fully occupied, the luggage loaded, the groceries stowed in the refrigerator - so the motorhome is almost ready to go. The two single beds in the rear can quickly be expanded into a large sleeping area with the additional mattress, so that there is enough space for the 11-month-old son, and off you go. The first stops on the list are Paris, Rochefort and Bordeaux. Here Oliver and his family visit relatives. They enjoy relaxing days and experience France up close. But then the three of them move on. They finally want to see the peaks of the Pyrenees.

Spontaneous rescheduling on vacation - that's no problem with the HYMER motorhome.
Oliver Tomann

Oliver Tomann

3D motion designer and enthusiastic camping fan

A detour to the Atlantic coast

On the way there, they make a little detour: They can't resist the wild Atlantic coast. The first stop is the "Dune du Pilat", the largest shifting dune in Europe. In front of them the sand piles up almost to the horizon. The first mountains of the holiday, even if only made of sand. But wait, a thin strip of sparkling sea makes it clear that the beach can't be far. Oliver, his wife and the little son cannot contain their excitement. So quickly down from the dune and off to the beach. There is a lot to discover here: surfers on the horizon, foamy waves and the remains of old concrete bunkers that have been transformed into art objects by graffiti artists.

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A unique rock island

After this wonderful day on the Atlantic coast, they reach the Spanish border. Adventurously narrow streets on the Spanish north coast, on which the mobile home just fits, lead you to “San Juan de Gaztelugatxe”. The former monastery hangs high above the water on a small rock island directly on the coast. Originally it was a real insider tip. But since it was used as the backdrop for the "Game of Thrones" series, it has become a popular tourist destination. Nevertheless, it remains picturesque.

Off to the desert

The small family doesn't stay here too long. They steer unerringly towards the southeast. The destination is the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve "Bardenas Reales", a semi-desert in the middle of the Spanish region of Navarra. On arrival it is already getting dark, so Oliver parks the motorhome on a parking space right next to abandoned caves. Colourfully illuminated, they light up the darkness of the night. The next morning the sun is just rising over the rocks, and that's when it starts: the desert is waiting.

They quickly leave the tourist information behind them and steer the HYMER into the impressively bizarre and empty landscape. Rugged rocks, withered bushes, empty plains, in between, despite everything, a blob of fresh green flashes again and again. In the middle of densely populated Europe, the family did not expect such a strange place. Overwhelmed by the landscape, they spend the whole day here, exploring this surprising place.

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The Pyrenees come into view

The next day the family finally reached the Pyrenees. The first stop: the “Lumbier Canyon”. A simple hiking trail runs through this on a former railway line. Just the thing to take your 11-month-old son on a hike in the child carrier. He sits enthroned there happily; he seems to be having as much fun as his parents.

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In low-hanging clouds and fog, they drive the ML-T 580 deeper into the mountains after the hike. The bad weather forecast does not invite them to stay. So, Oliver and his wife decide to go back to France. In the fog they cross the "Port de Larrau" and head for the "Gorges de Kakuetta". The family wants to explore the gorge the next day. It's good that there is a parking space on site. In a well-equipped motorhome, you can spend the night completely self-sufficient without electricity or water. Dinner is cooked quickly, after which the spacious lawn invites you to relax. Almost like at home.

Spontaneously take other paths

The weather forecast for the next morning predicts severe weather. The paths in the gorge can become slippery when wet, which Oliver prefers not to risk that with the little one. They reschedule spontaneously. "Fortunately, that is not a problem with the motorhome," says Oliver calmly. The two adults briefly discuss where to go now. They decide on the abandoned village "Janovas" in Spain. Once there, they park quickly and set off to explore the village. In doing so, they discover that an association is currently in the process of rebuilding and bringing the old ruins back to life. The village doesn't seem to be as deserted as it first appears. An old and already rather rotten suspension bridge leads the three back to the mobile home. It is part of the Camino de Santiago - for a few minutes, the three feel like real pilgrims.

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An hour later the mobile home arrives at the “Ermita de San Urbez”. The hermitage sits picturesquely in a beautiful gorge on the rock face. Historical paths lead the family through the area. Impressive rocks tower many meters above them. The short hike is a real highlight.

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The plans change again

The next day they travel back to France via the “Pas de la Casa”. The clouds hang low, the wind whistles stormily around the motorhome. “A summit hike is not worth it today”, they realise with disappointment and are happy to be able to spend the day in the warm, cosy HYMER ML-T. Oliver is hopeful for the next day, the three Cathar Castles on the French edge of the Pyrenees are the goal.

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The three Cathar Castles

First, they go to the ruins of the Montségur Castle, a place steeped in history. The Cathars were besieged here for ten months in 1243, only then did they give up. The castle ruins are prominently located on a rocky peak, the ascent is steep. Once at the top, the family enjoys the special place of morning in solitude. Next, to the castle ruins of Puilaurens. Another steep climb, again you have the impressive ruin to yourself. What a mighty castle this must have been.

With a bombastic lighting atmosphere, the mobile home reached the third castle of the day in the afternoon: the Quéribus castle. The small family can also explore this castle all by themselves. And the HYMER ML-T waits lonely in the parking lot for the travel companions to return.

The last stage

The end of the tour is getting closer, and Oliver steers the motorhome towards the north. The Pyrenees remain behind them, but a sight is still waiting for the three of them. Finally, you will visit the medieval fortress city of Carcassonne. Here you can stroll through historic streets and over mighty castle walls for the last time. Then the farewell slowly approaches. When they drive through the “Gorges du Tarn” on their way back towards Germany and take a farewell picture, it becomes clear that even the most beautiful vacation must come to an end.

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And where do you want your next trip to go?

Whether France and the Pyrenees or somewhere completely different - with the HYMER mobile homes and camper vans, your trip will be something very special. Whether alone, as a couple or with the whole family: Choose the right motorhome and a direction and you're ready to go!

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