Blogs from La Vella, Andorra, Europe - page 3


Europe » Andorra » La Vella February 16th 2010

The end of Friday's classes marked the beginning of the first of many spring vacation periods for me - Carnival! As luck would have it Boston Public Schools has their February break, so some time ago Chris and I planned his visit to Andorra for a few days followed by somewhere more festive. Give that all my roommates left for their own Carnival excursions Friday night and Saturday morning, it was somewhat painful waiting all day alone until 4:30pm for Chris' bus to get in from Barcelona. Seeing as I had purchased his tickets it was no surprise that his connecting flight from Madrid to Barcelona was delayed 1.5 hours (on the runway of course) and that he subsequently missed his bus to Andorra. Oh well, he eventually made it. That first night was pretty low ... read more
Chris in Escaldes
Along the mountain trail

Europe » Andorra » La Vella January 17th 2010

Today, on the Feast of St. Anthony, all of Andorra gathers together in various plazas throughout the country to celebrate what is called L'escudella. Escudella, itself, it the name given to a traditional Catalan stew full of delicious things like Catalan sausages, beans, and various vegetables. Apparently in the early 70s some friends in Andorra got together and prepared plates of escudella for their neighbors and the shopkeepers in the area. They were essentially reviving the centuries-old tradition of distributing food among the poorest in the parish on St. Anthony's day, January 17th. As you might have guessed, this became quite popular and now the entire country participates. Lucky for us, in Andorra la Vella the festivities were taking place just a 5 minute walk from our apartment in the Plaça de Les Arcades. Basically the ... read more
Placa de Les Arcades
Un dels escudellaires
Commemorative bowl

Europe » Andorra » La Vella October 16th 2009

My apologies for the lack of update in recent weeks, its just that I haven had anything overly exciting to report, nor have I traveled anywhere fun. Nonetheless Ill attempt to highlight some of the things that have been going on in my Andorran life for the past few weeks. Life in the Palau continues to go very well, and weve all very much adjusted to living here in the Ciutat de Valls. I really look forward to seeing the change in seasons via our wondrous view - theyve forecasted snow for Thursday! Our location really is ideal for getting all the buses, going to the butcher or baker, etc. The other day Alex and I decided to explore what was up behind our apartment building, and what do you know there was basically a trail ... read more
Housemates plus Andrew
Path along the top
Looking toward Santa Coloma

Europe » Andorra » La Vella September 30th 2009

Well after 3 weeks of living in the prison known as Aparthotel Conseller I am finally free from such pleasantries as water being turned off without notice, paying for an internet that worked 1/300th of the time, and breathing in fumes from the construction that never seemed to cease. After some mild trauma with respects to securing a 4th person for our 4 bedroom apartment, Mike, Alex, and I convinced one of the Oxford students to take the 4th spot until she leaves around Christmas. After that...who knows...but for now it works out well money-wise and we are happy as clams. The place itself is located in the main Andorran city, Andorra la Vella, more specifically in the Ciutat de Valls, a neighborhood somewhat elevated and hence named "City of Valleys" literally. Since all four of ... read more
Other side
More kitchen

Europe » Andorra » La Vella September 18th 2009

I sure wish I had my camera coming down the "mountain" from school today. After this morning's rainstorms the mountains were all covered in an eerie mist - I'll have to start bringing my camera out with me more often to catch such events. Anyway...I'm alive and well in the Pyrenees, though without too many exciting things to recount. Nonetheless I'll try to enchant you with the details of my day to day life. Since we all know what I actually want to talk about, let's cut to the chase and have a look at what I've been eating. Though adjusting to our new schedules and teaching-loads has put a slight hold on our frequent feasts, we still are eating quite well. Perhaps the most interesting night's meal was inspired by a cute little package of ... read more
Lovely cheese spread

Europe » Andorra » La Vella September 4th 2009

The next day in Andorra brought an even earlier appointment with which to start the day - 7am blood tests. At 6:30 we met in the lobby to make the trek to the hospital. Now Fulbright had already demanded from us the paperwork from a full physical including blood work and tb test, but of course Andorra wanted it AGAIN. No matter that two PPDs within a few months of one another can result in TB symptoms. Hogwash! We were all out of there by 7:45, with only one British girl having an issue with nausea before finally getting over it and completing the short visit. Afterwards those of us with the 9am appointment with Jordí went for coffee and fresh croissants before heading further into town to meet him, as well as Risha, at the ... read more
El Gran Llibre de la Cuina Catalana
Teacher's Lounge
Central Courtyard

Europe » Andorra » La Vella September 2nd 2009

Day two started bright and early as we had to be at the government buildings quite at 9am to meet our liaison, Jordí to start all the paperwork. We had also learned that there were in fact 3 students from Oxford joining us for the first few months and met Rakhi, who was also staying in our Aparthotel. Jordí was great - somewhere in his 30s, nicely dressed with a little European scarf and nice shoes and with excellent English. The whole immigration process is somewhat tedious, and without our Residence Card we can't really do much in the country. For the next few days we would be running around to various government buildings and even the hospital for blood tests - the residence card wouldn't be ours for another week or so. Lame. The bank ... read more
How artistic!
Casa de la Vall

Europe » Andorra » La Vella September 2nd 2009

Well as you all may have guessed I've made it to the mountains valleys of Andorra. Chris and my last morning together, as you may have guessed, was rather traumatic, but once I shifted my mind to the exciting few days ahead I calmed down and was fine once I got to the bus station. I had maybe 40 minutes to kill at station, but by 10:15 I was ready to board and seated right in the front row with the best view of the journey in to the Pyrenees. A few minutes later I noticed who I was fairly certain was another of the Fulbrighters standing outside the bus, but he got on without looking at who was around so I figured I'd just wait til we got to Andorra to meet and just relax ... read more
View from our window
And from the other window...
In front of the Parliament

Europe » Andorra » La Vella August 19th 2009

Ola, I woke up at the crack of dawn and hopped on the bus for the three hour bus ride to Andorra. I slept for the first hour. But I was glad I woke up for the rest of the trip. It was incredibly scenic. The foothills began and I saw many small hilltop villages surrounded by open fields. I also saw a hot-air balloon gliding silently over the hills above me. As the bus got closer to the Pyrenees, the mountains started to arise and many of them became very jagged. The mountains were quite intimidating but awesome at the same time. The road up and into Andorra was really windy, but it was still quite scenic. At one point, we were stopped at a round-about by the police who were performing random spot-checks on ... read more
The Valley
Churches and Mountains

Europe » Andorra » La Vella February 24th 2009

Day23(I think) I'm trying to load a video but the Wi-Fi is really slow here. Right now I'm in Andorra and will be leaving at 2:00 to go to France(gag) will post the Video as soon as i can it has a lot in. You probably will not believe this but yesterday I went snowboarding and the guy who rented me a board asked me what I was doing, well later on I met him on the lifts and began talking again and I ended up staying at his Apartment that night. It was really cool because I never thought I would do something like that. He and his friend who rented out the apartment are both from Argentina, and are here to work and were very nice. I’ll post a picture of my bed so ... read more
Exotic cars in Europe
...and then a car ran over my camera
Water’s Apartment

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