Drive through the Pyrenees

Trip Start Nov 16, 2008
Trip End Nov 29, 2008

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Flag of Andorra  ,
Sunday, November 23, 2008

We woke up happy to be leaving Barcelona. We finished packing and cleaning up the apartment. We dragged our luggage down the street toward Placa Catalunya to catch a taxi that would take us to the car rental place. The taxi driver was nice, but got kind of lost getting there. It was no big deal though; we just had to walk 1/2 a block or so from where he dropped us off.

The people at the car rental place were nice. We got upgraded to a bigger car since they didn't have the one we reserved. It's probably a good thing with all our bags and stuff. I took pictures of the scrapes and dents already on the car and then we said "Adios!" to Barcelona. We were all very happy about that.

With maps in hand, we headed toward the Pyrenees. The landscape between Barcelona and the mountains were quite boring: dry, flat, not very pretty. I did get a beautiful picture of Mount Serrat (I hope I spelled that right).

When we finally started climbing into the mountains, it got much prettier. Then finally we got into Andorra. We had been told not to expect much. But I didn't really have any expectations at all, so what was there to lose?

We stopped at Restaurant Don Pernil for lunch. The menus were in three languages: Catalan, Spanish, and French. I could read the French fairly well. We started with some escargot--a huge dish of them. They were quite good and not like any we'd ever had before. I can't remember what my entree was, but everything we had was absolutely devine. So much better than the food in Barcelona. Everything is cooked over a wood grill.

There are no sales taxes in Andorra, so it's a big shopping mecca. We stopped at a big two-story store that sells food, spirits, household items and just about anything else you can think of, including stills. They had free samples of some liqueur at the door and the lady looked at me like I had two heads when I said no thanks.

We didn't stop in the main towns though, not much was open. As we drove towards France, we saw some beautiful ski villages just being built, or newly built. It looks like a fun place for a winter getaway. The snowy peaks were quite pretty too.

Oh, going through Andorra la Vella (the capital) we spotted this really strange glass building. I took a picture, not knowing what it was, but have since found out it is the Caldera Spa, the largest health spa in Europe.
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