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Farewell Spain

rain 10 °C

We arrive at our last parador and get unpacked and then wander bout the place to get a surprise – la Seu D’Urgell was the site of the kayak events of the Barcelona Olympics back in 1992. Just at the back of the old town there is the championship kayak course fed off the Segre river – it looks mean with low flow going through. To fill in time before dinner, we grab a very nice hot chocolate. Not much open on a Wednesday, so we have an ordinary meal.
In the morning once we are up late as usual, and have hot chocolate for breakfast. We are heading over to Andorra to add another country to the list, to do some tax free shopping and to go on a massive toboggan ride. There is no customs checks going in, that can wait for later. We find the shopping area and start to look around. Quite a few are shut for lunch, so G and I head off to naturlandia to find the big toboggan. We wind up 12 kms of steep road, getting higher and higher to reach our goal. The road is so steep that the range predictor in the car has dropped from 120kms to 50. When we get to naturlandia, we find the run is closed today due to rain. Paintball? Not today. Archery? Not in this wind. Pool? Yes. Quadbikes? Okay, just go up another 12 kms to the winter sports area. We go up another 12 kms and the range is now down to 40. When we get up the top, we see the top of the toboggan – the thing is ginormous, bloody rain. (It is 1700m of rail to go up, 3550m to get down, a vertical drop of 400m) and that’s about all we see as the topis in clouds. Anyway, G gets to do the quadbike, only the kids one unfortunately, but has a good time with it. On the drive down the mountain we are just using the gears to control our progress and the range shoots up to 250kms. Fill up still, with the cheap fuel prices.
High altitude pool

High altitude pool

Top of the mega toboggan

Top of the mega toboggan

As we drive through, get a small taste of the massive mountain valleys that Andorra is nestled in, with no space for industry except for services in shopping, winter sports and banking. Those mountains do collect a lot of water though, and there is a river thumping through the main towns that carries a fair bit of what little soil they have around. Andorra valley

Andorra valley

Back in town we head to the hobby shops and g gets some stuff, and I get a little 404. We also buy some booze, chocolate and perfume. We get stopped at the border, and they stop and inspect us and let us go after a stern talking to (well I don’t know where the bike came from). Back in La Seu D’Urgell, we look around for dinner and happen upon Ignasi, a creperie in Carrer de Capdevila. This has been taken over by a new chef, a Relais et Chateaux trained patissier and he is damned good. The wine list and advice from the front of house is good too, leading to a longer and larger dinner than planned. We also got good advice where to get a haircut in town – that is full service. Finally after a double dessert course (he’s a PATISSIER) we were guided home by G and fell into a deep sleep.

Posted by lostagain 15:07 Archived in Andorra

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