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Published: February 26th 2016
Friday February 19 - I went to bed quite late last night, but didn't sleep well at all. I don't know if it was because of the smoke in the cigarette apartment, or that I barely drank anything all day, or that the elevation here is 1000m. Either way, I woke up tired but unable to sleep, as I spent much of the night. I got up around 8am, ate breakfast and then headed out. I walked to the info office, picked up a map, as well as several other things he couldn't help but give me, and got some info on what to see. I walked to see some old stone bridges close to the apartment, and then walked to the other side to get to the parliament house. On the way I went to a museum/gallery showing art work, some current, some permanent displays. The town is basically spread out along one main street - one side goes to France, the other to Spain - with a few other streets thrown in. I live at one end and parliament at the other. On the way I stopped to buy some postcard stamps. Andorra has no postal system of its
own, but both France and Spain have offices here and produce stamps for Andorra. I chose the French one since it's supposed to be faster. I got to the parliament building at 11am, hoping to get on a tour, as the info guy said they were every 30 minutes. But at the old parliament house, they said the next tour would be at 12:30, fortunately in English, though I would have done it in Spanish too. So I had some time to kill. I wandered around a little, and then went in to a department store, used their bathroom (you know I did) and bought a sandwich, as they also have a grocery store inside. I went back outside and walked up a steep path partway and then sat and ate the sandwich with a bit of a view. By then it was actually getting warm in the sun. It started out the coldest day of my trip, but ended up the warmest and with full sun all day. Best weather day of the whole trip. I noticed there was a small fenced off section with chickens picking at a hanging lettuce. Cute. Then I noticed the dead rabbit hanging
by one foot right next to them. Cute? And just as I was finishing my sandwich, a guy came over and started skinning the rabbit right there. So that happened. I decided it was time to get back to the tour.
At 12:30, I was the only one there, but he started the tour. A few minutes later, two other girls showed up and we continued. No pictures were allowed inside, but it was pretty cool. They now have parliament and a courtroom elsewhere, but this was used until 2011. And it is adorable. Both the parliament room and the court room were tiny. I'm not sure I understand the government here well enough, but in 1993 they signed a constitution which separated executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The president of France and the Bishop of Urgell in Spain are co-princes here, but the people have a voice too. It's...interesting. The official language is Catalan, but Spanish and French are both common. The tour was 25 minutes, perfect timing for me to run to the bus stop nearby and just make the 1pm bus to Ordino, the other town on my list for Andorra. I wasn't positive it would
be there then, but it did come every half hour, so I got lucky.
(see Ordino blog)
I was quite tired all day, since I didn't sleep well, but wanted to stay out until I had dinner. It was about 4:45pm when I got back, and I took a walk that the info guy in the morning had mentioned, on a path running parallel to but higher than, the main road. So I had a good view. And then I went back to the department store, for the bathroom and to buy lunch for tomorrow. I didn't, in the end, but I got some other snacks and things to eat later. Then I hit another supermarket and bought sushi again for dinner as well as a sandwich for the bus tomorrow. By then I was ready to go home and walked back. A bit of chatting with Jeroen and my mom, a tv show and some blog writing, some delicious sushi and a hit of chocolate, and I hit the hay.
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