A Rest Day in Ax

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We spent the day in Ax-les-Thermes resting, washing, shopping, bathing, planning, strolling and eating.

Our host David has a pretty cool job. He is the quality manager at the local ski resort. At first glance that might sound a little dry but he commutes to work on the ski fields gondola and has flexible hours that leaves him plenty of snow-boarding time in winter and accumulated leave to take in summer. He guided us to an inexpensive but excellent Spanish restaurant for a delicious foretaste of Spain. We leave France tomorrow after a relaxing day here. We have enjoyed our time here and feel a little unprepared for a new country and a new language.

It turns our that while Ax-les-Thermes is quite a scenic and interesting destination it’s not a very good place to be if you’re trying to cycle to Spain. Unless we ride back over yesterday’s col and climb even further to Font Romeu, the only viable option is to take the main road to Puigcerdà in Spain. It’s quite a climb but that’s not the problem. The narrow road also carries heavy traffic of tourist coaches and French tax-avoiders driving to Andorra for their cheap cigarettes and wine. Understandably, the French government hasn’t spent too much improving the road to aid them.

While other cyclists have endured the ride to Puigcerdà we have decided to take the train instead (once a day at the moment due to the strikes). The tickets for the one hour trip were a steal at €2.50 each (bikes are free).

Our lazy morning started with a visit to the market followed by a session taking the waters for free in one of several public, ankle-deep baths around town. This seems a very congenial, sociable and slightly smelly way of improving almost every aspect of one’s health according to the brochures. For dinner, we cooked soup and ate it with fresh rye (seigle) bread .

One Response to “A Rest Day in Ax”

  1. Peter Lavers Says:

    A rest day well deserved!

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