"PORT-BOU AND CERBÈRE" Port-Bou by AsturArcadia

Port-Bou Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 16 photos

The Pirineos tumble to the Mediterráneo to the south of Perpignan, forcing the coastal railway into a string of tunnels, and the coastal road into convolutions as it scales the heights. For more picturesque description of this district, I invite you to read Desmond Whittaker's account of his journey from Comácchio in northern Italy to the fictitious Les Arenes (Luanco repositioned further east) in Asturias in autumn 2002, in my novel 'The Rape of Arcadia'.

These first two photos show the village, station and marshalling-cum-transshipment sidings at Cerbère, on the French side of the border.

And this is the Spanish counterpart of Cerbère, Port Bou, just over the next ridge of hills. Note the subtle change in landscape. The terraced vineyards look abandoned. Adjacent to the church tower is the small shed where international trains formed of Talgo stock change their gauge from 1668 mm (Spain) to 1435 mm (France). Spain was the pioneering country in developing trains with wheelsets whose gauge can be varied, 40 years ago, and Talgo is still the undisputed world leader in developing this area of technology - simple, mechanical, and 100% reliable!

  • Last visit to Port-Bou: Mar 2001
  • Intro Updated Jun 13, 2009
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