France

Stories to tell our children (vol. 1)

Barcelona - Andorra. On a motorcycle. 

We began our journey with a huge breakfast at Àrea de Guisona, a little bit of shopping and beautiful sunset at Meritxell (Andorra) surrounded by tonnes of snow. 

We ended up the first day with a huge kebab and sleeping at a small hotel at Encamp.

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The next day we woke up early and headed up to continue the adventure. First stop? My favourite place (at this moment) in Andorra: Pas de la Casa.

As we drove, the motorbike thermometer started to go lower and lower: -5ºC, -11ºC, a pit stop to fill the tank, -15ºC, Pas de la Casa. 

I can't describe with words what this place made us feel at this moment. The silence, the vast white, realizing how small we were. We barely stopped for ten minutes, the day was clear and there was no wind, but we didn't feel our hands and faces at all after half an hour on top of the motorbike. A sensation that always makes us feel alive. 

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We continued the road to France, heading to the plan that my partner in crime prepared: Dorres and its Roman baths. Warm water and beautiful snowy views to recover after a freezing morning. Such a beautiful place to admire the nature and relax.

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As a local woman said to us that a snowstorm was coming these evening, we head back home. Or we thought so.  We stopped at Puigcerdà to lunch and when we left the restaurant that's what we found: 

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And also this...

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Our first attempt was to cross La Molina as it was our usual route, but some people that stopped to help us with the motorbike, told us that the weather was getting worse and worse, that was better to head back. 

By this time, our thoughts were divided. We were so scared, everything turns dangerous with ice on the roads; but at the same time, our minds were blowing, we felt like in a movie, alone into the wilderness as if time had stopped suddenly. 

We began to descend the mountain walking next to the motorbike, tired and nervous, hoping to arrive at the plain floor soon. 

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We thought that the situation at the Cadi's tunnels it would be better, but it was so windy and we hadn't visibility due to that. We didn't breath calm until we reach the first service area.

We ended the adventure with a hot drink and wishing we would not get another snowstorm in a looong long time.

You will find more images from that adventure at "The Pyrenees". Thank you for reading!

tamaralvarez.

Paris in One Minute

As some of you may know, I’m 21 and months ago I’d never been in Paris. Such a shame considering that I live in Spain, but believe me: The wait was worth it! 

FIRST DAY 

Everything started at Girona’s Airport, with zero nerves and so many clouds in the sky. Next destination: Paris Beauvais-Tillé Airport

An hour later we arrived to our new neighbourhood and to Hotel Maubeuge. Funny facts about our lovely hotel: 

  1.  The lift didn’t stopped at the third floor. Our room was at the third floor.
  2.  My boyfriend didn’t fit in the bathroom.
  3.  We had a balcony with beautiful views. To a noisy street. Next to a hospital.

But we laugh as much as we could about it. 

Our plans for the afternoon were to visit Le Sacré-Coeur and the Moulin Rouge… And we failed at the first attempt. I didn’t know how we read the map, but we get lost after walking for ten minutes. Fortunately, a foreign helped us to find ourselves! 

First stop: Le Sacré-Coeur, as we caught the last hour of sunlight.

Another wrong decision: take the steps to arrive to the basilica. They were more than 240 (notice that I never do sport). Even though, it was fun! Up there was so crowded, and there was good music! 

Second stop: Le Moulin Rouge and its red lights.
I considered buying tickets and surprise Oriol with them, but it was so expensive for our small pockets. So… Someday! By the way, we liked seeing the windmill spinning around and some people having fun at the streets. 

SECOND DAY 

We tried getting up early and went to buy our breakfast before getting lost (again) trying to find Rue La Fayette and the subway. We discovered an old church and a nice local market, so after all, sometimes is better to ignore the map or misunderstand an street name.

We bought an unlimited subway ticket so we wanted to use it as much as we could! Let’s see what we achieved to see in one day… 

We had lunch at a park next to the old church Saint Germain l’Auxerrois before going to the Louvre.
It was Sunday, what meant that the entry was free, what also meant that we’d to stay in a large queue for half an hour. But the wait was worth it! I couldn’t imagine how big, how bright and how beautiful the museum will be. Oh, and we also got lost even though we bought a virtual guide. But this time it was not my fault, I think.

We showed up at Le Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux, an small market full of little animals and flowers, almost by accident. We walked next to the Seine and the seagulls. There were plenty of them and flew closer than we thought, pretty fun!

We visited Notre Dame for a few minutes, or even seconds, and discovered the small streets of the Quartier Latin, a pitty we couldn’t stay more longer.

And finally… Crêpes at AuP’tit Grec! An Oriol’s friend suggested us to go, and after waiting for 45 minutes, order our two cheese crepes and taste it, we understood why. You can’t imagine how good they were, but you can judge by yourself seeing the pictures!
With our bellies full we came back to the hotel and rest! 

THIRD DAY 

It started raining, what didn’t bother us because we love rain! So it was pretty cold and fun. 

First stop: Galeries Lafayette, a huge shopping mall with an absolutely amazing rooftop views! Also saw Le Palais Garner, as it was in our way to… 

Second stop: L’Obélisque de Louxor, quite impressive to see!

After walking trough so many parks and streets, we found a cute vietnamese restaurant to eat. Funny fact? The waiter didn’t told us that the sauce was spicy, you can image our faces! 

We came back to the rain and the hugs under the umbrella to see le Jardin des Tuileries, full of puddles and autumn’s leafs. After making a pit stop at Marks & Spencer, we headed up to l’Arc de Triomphe while the kind drivers wetted us speeding up with their cars. But again, we laughed so much!

The last stop of the day couldn’t be other one that la Tour Eiffel
At first, I blame the weather for being that bad, but as the time went by I realised that the tower even looked better with the fog, you just have to see the photographs! (Going to the top of the tower is a must, don’t hesitate it!).

FOURTH DAY 

I can sum it up in few words: food, long walks, souvenirs, photo booth and Paris from the plane.

Honestly I have to say that Paris was beautiful, but it wouldn’t have been the same without him. Find an awesome journey partner and it won’t matter where you travel, the trip would be exciting for itself! 

I hope you enjoyed the post, and if you’ve come this far without getting bored, you have a prize! Enjoy our short film from the journey, it’s just one minute!