Its ok to get the map out if everyone else is doing it...
05.08.2009 - 11.08.2009 29 °C
Hola from Barcalona!
Since my last update we´ve travelled a loooooong way.
Wednesday 5th - stopped on our way down south to Andorra at Saint Martory. Long day driving, very hot and sticky! When we arrived at the Aire it was empty - at around 5pm it got mobbed (and it was only a little car park!) pretty quiet night, read books, ate dinner and went for a drink with the locals where we tried the local beer (i don't think we could be less French if we tried...) Early to bed, only to be awoken around 1am with the scariest thunder i've ever heard! and then there was the massive lightening strikes flashing across this sky!
Thursday 6th - Set off early the next day on way to Ax Les Thermes. Doesn't matter where you are in France - if it's lunch time then the roads are mobbed! got stuck in traffic for around 1hr, made it to Ax only to discover the Aire was 15mins back up the road in Les Cabannes. Got there eventually where I enjoyed an afternoon of sunbathing Scrabble and card games at night, wee wander into town but there wasn't much too it. Another quiet early night - awoken again by heavy rain and thunder storms!
Friday 7th - Andorra bound! Started off well, untill we go into the misty mountain tops! it was the windiest, most scariest place I have ever driven in my life - not to mention the fact that I was driving a camper van, my little Ka would have been no trouble. the 50ft visibility had its plus sides - couldn't see just how up we actually were!If you look at the road from Ax Les Thermes to Andorra you'll notice a bit of a squiggle called Pasa de le Cassa. On look on our trust road atlas told us there was no chance we were driving along there - so we coughed up €10 and took the tunnel. It was the highlight of my journey, 60km/hr and 5th gear! Ironically it was sunshiney bright on the other side of the tunnel in Andorra. Started driving down through the mountains, past the ski towns which still look like they´re making plenty money of tourists in the heat of summer. We drove all the way to Andorra La Villa (mental traffic in Andorra's capital...) and drove back towards Canillo where we camped for two nights. FYI If ever camping in Canillo, don´t stay at Camping Pla - rudest staff we've encountered yet. We arrived at lunchtime, unfortunately the rain came on around 3pm and didn't go off for most of the evening! Decided to go out for dinner, went to Cal Lula for pizza and beer was tasty! back to van, more rain and more thunder during the night.
Saturday 8th - second day in Andorra, we went up the cable car into one of the mountains. There was a bizarre family park at the top where we played checkers (I won :D ) and went a walk around the plateau. There were spectacular views from the top, best way to appreciate the beauty of Andorra! Back down the mountain for lunch and laundry. As soon as the washing was finished, I set about fashioning a washing line. Sods law dictates that it would start raining - so it did. It was quite a lot of washing, and we sat in the van all afternoon surrounded by it! Cal went out to play on his mountain bike in the rain (and suffered a "manly" fall while he was away) but I stayed in the van.
Sausages and potatoes for dinner...only Cal dropped the potatoes out of the pan so there were only a small number which didn't roll about the floor. Early to bed - washing still hanging around us!
Sunday 9th - Off to Barcalona today! Yippee! Cal took on the driving, and I was in charge of navigating. After a brief search at customs leaving Andorra (booze was mega cheap, shame we forgot to actually buy some!) we were on the roads in spain. Took us nearly 4hrs to get to Barcalona and find the parking (which we managed first time I might add) Dropped T off at parking, gathered our things together then marched onwards to the hotel. What a luxury it is, to have a made up bed and an actually real person sized bathroom! Once we'd finished running about like excited school children, we had a quick shower, got changed and headed into the Gothic part of town. A walk down La Ramlas, and paella and sangria for dinner. just spend the night wandering around the city and getting a feel for it. I liked it
Monday 10th - Tourist day today! 930 we were on the Barcelona Bus Touristic, hop on/off service that takes you round all the sights of the city. spent hours in Sagrada Familia. What a spectacular place! It really did impress me, the shear scale of things - and it's not even finished yet! Expected to be completed in 2030, I'll certainly be going back...i'll be 44 :O
Next stop, Park Guell. Another area of Barcalona that Gaudi worked his magic. Beautiful landscaping, which I might have enjoyed more had it not been absolutely heaving with tourists! Back on the bus, where we drove past lots of lovely things - drove past the Nou Camp. Cal had already been on the tour, but I could tell it was a difficult decision for him to drive past!
Next stop was Meis Van Der Rohe's Barcalona Pavilion. Having spent much time looking at such Architecture in AJ, it was nice to see in real life. Just to prove I was there - I left my mark in the guest book...
From there we went to the Olympic Stadium and surrounding areas. Nice part of town, with lots more gardens to walk through. Back on the bus, to go at check on T and then back to hotel. quick change, then out for dinner. We were starving - we'd had nothing to eat all day! Hard Rock cafe for some grub, was pretty late by the time we got back to hotel, and we were totally wiped after a solid 10hrs sight seeing!
Tuesday 11th - Taking it easy today. Metro into town, and went to see Gaudi's 'La Padrera'. Another stunning example of Gaudi's architecture, and engineering genius Quick lunch and then more wandering before we found the internet cafe we're currently sitting in. More taking it easy tonight, dinner on the beach near the hotel and walk around the Forum area. Heading off tmrw morning. As luck would (or wouldn't have it...) the Scotland game is on tmrw night and it is of utmost importance than we find a pub that is going to show the football! Cal is currently doing some research into the matter...
Back to France next week to work our way along the Med. Here is hoping the sunshine continues!