Andorra la vella and Carcassonne - My Bonus Trip

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March 6th 2012
Published: April 19th 2012
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My adventures in Andorra and Carcassonne began with a cheap flight from Manchester. I landed in Girona, Spain and diligently waited the next morning for one of only two buses per day to take me to Andorra. There was no internet site and no pre-booking so I just had to hope a seat was available. I was in luck and spent the next 4 hours on a bus ride through the Spanish countryside and up into the mountains of the Pyrenees mountains. I stayed for two nights in the Cisco Hotel, right in the heart of the medieval section of Andorra la Vella.

The first day I went for a great hike around a path that encircled the entire valley. I saw some cool buildings and bridges along the way and had a fancy tapas style meal that evening. The next day I caught the local bus to Encamp and caught the cable car (which took 15 minutes) to reach the height of the ski area. I also had a good look around the many churches in Encamp, then bussed back to Andorra la Vella to collect my bags for a bus to Toulouse followed by a train to Carcassonne. I was pretty tired hiking to my hostel, when I turned a corner and saw the medieval city all lit up. I was in awe as I wander the town to reach the city walls and found my hostel (right in the middle of the city) to store my belongings. I headed out to tour the city walls at night. After a full walk around the city, i went looking for food and found the last restaurant inside the city still open and serving. As the full bottle of wine was the same as the half bottle, I decided it was a sign for me to drink. So at 11pm I went stumbling around the city for another look before I headed to bed.

The next morning I rose early to catch the light of the sun rise on the castle walls. I visited the old cemetery by the city and walked around the outside of the walls and down to the new church that had replaced the former circular outpost that was connected to the city to protect the water access. At around 11am, the hoards of tourists started to arrive and I retreated to the inner city walls. I was fortunate to join an English tour of the west wall (that is not usually open to the public), then I walked the north wall back to the inner city. I had just enough time left to go for a walk through the modern city of Carcassonne, then catch my bus to the airport and fly back to London. I had a couple hours of late night wandering before I stayed with Cathy again before my flight back to Vancouver.

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