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Europe » France
September 29th 2008
Published: June 26th 2017
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Geo: 43.2126, 2.3561

This morning we set out early to head towards Andorra. We drove up through the Pyrenees and crossed the border without incident. I was struck by the modern looking vistas of the place. Apart from one old church in Canillo everything thing looks very new. We drove into the capital, Andorra Le Vella. We found a park and went for a walk. What a disappointment. This is a duty free shopping place for nearby French and Spanish people and there seems to be very little history or sense of the past.
We walked through the streets but soon returned to the car and drove back the way we had come. We stopped at the church of St Joan which is 11th century but seems to be the only historical building in the country. As we came to the first town inside the border it was obvious that the lure of duty free petrol, and other goods was the main basis of Andorra's economy: that and the Ski Fields in the winter.
Drove back to Foix. We had lunch there in the central square. This town has a great Chateau on the hill and seems to be an interesting place.
We then drove onto Carcassone. We had been advised by several people on our travels that we must visit so headed there to see what the fuss was all about. Found an Ibis Hotel in the centre which had WiFi and a Lavomat next door!!
Walked up to the medieval city. This is stunning!! There is a double wall around the city which dates back to the 11th century and has maintained its original buildings. We walked through the main gate over the drawbridge and entered a wonderful place. The little boys would love this. Went to the main castle where the turrets have the archers' slits etc. Also went to the Basilica of St Navarre where a plaque told us that St Dominic had preached in the church in 1213. We had a wonderful couple of hours there.
Returned to our hotel and then sought food in the "New" city(only built in the 14th century) and found a Vietnamese restaurant. It was nice for a change.
We will look around here again in the morning before heading for Nimes and eventually to meet up with our friends, Brent and Marg Rankine in VilleFranche on Tuesday.

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