Travel

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.

We made it to Hallstatt!

Everything began taking two planes and a rental car in Salzburg's airport. The weather was cloudy and as we got closer to our destination it started to snow. Unknown roads and an hour later, we arrived at a remote and magical place from Austria: Hallstatt

By the time we parked, it was already dark and we were in a hurry to find a place to dinner (remember everything close at 7 p.m. on Europe's north). We were so nervous to be there after the whole journey, it was pretty cold and the sidewalk was slippery. 

Fast check-in in the best pension ever: the Pension Hallberg. We had such a kind host and the perfect room with kitchen and beautiful views we will discover next day. The pension happened to be also an antiquarian, with a lot of treasures found in the lake as bombs and medals from the Second World War. Such a fascinating place to stay in this amazing location.

After walking through the dark village, we found a cosy and friendly bar where we had a super delicious dinner (and surprisingly at a good price!): Cannelloni with tones of cheese!

After all, we couldn't believe we made it through there. 

 

Our day in Hallstatt 

I was in bed like a kid in Christmas' time waiting for the presents. I was so impatient to discover the village that I woke up earlier than my bedmate, jumped off the bed and ran to the windows to see the views. Now you'll understand why...

You can imagine my face after seeing them. I ran to wake up Oriol and share the emotion, even though he will kill me later, but it worth it.

It was like being in wonderland, literally. With all the small and colourful houses, the lake with the swans, the huge mountains covered with snow and the fog covering everything from above. Still can't forget this feeling. 

Our first mission of the day was to climb to the top of Hallstatt's mountain where a viewpoint was placed. The hotel's owner told us that there was a funicular but it was closed on winter, so we decided to try our luck and walk up.

The hike was hard, we're not going to lie. When we left the hotel it started to snow the just amount to be happy with it, but when we were halfway to the top it started to snow so heavily it was difficult to see the path, well, in fact, there was no path because the fences were buried under the snow. And your first thought will be: how cold! But in fact, it wasn't! The climb was so steep and it was so tired to walk by the snow that we got warm so fast and started to pull over clothes in order to fresh up.

The scenery was captivating, even though sometimes we feared for our lives. 

As we arrived at the top almost crawling (literally), we heard voices. There was a Chinese girl, with her beautiful heals and skirt talking to his boyfriend. "It's impossible she made it through here dressed that way", we thought. So I asked her and we were right, cause she took the funicular that apparently was open. Twelve points for us! But we won't change at all the walk we did, one of the most, let's say refreshing, experiences of our lives.

Up there, there was a restaurant in front of the viewpoint and a beautiful forest covered with snow. Sometimes, the fog went so high that covered everything around us. 

And it was time to descend, this time with the funicular, that it happened to be all for us, crossing the woods and the fog, quite a cinematic experience by the way.

Before embarking on the second adventure of the day, we looked for a supermarket to buy food as we had a kitchen in our room and not so many money in our pockets. And it was a quite hard actually! Almost everything was closed on weekends, but in the end, we found a tiny market camouflaged as a cafe.

Instant noodles, our saviours in many travels, and those views in a warm room. Can you imagine a better plan?

Next time for the second mission: find the Wasserfall.

We went to explore Obertraun, the village nearby, where there were ice caves (but it was closed in winter) and another viewpoint (extremely expensive, in our opinion) so we returned to Hallstatt and left the car closeby Eulenloch, ready to investigate the place.

We started walking following the signs and trying to not fall down as all the steps were covered with ice.

As we moved forward, also the fog did and started to blur everything around us, leaving us also almost without light. The signs were not accurate with the time we had left to arrive at the waterfall as we were slower due the weather conditions, so we decided it was not wise to continue with the walk. 

We rode to our parking (the cars were not allowed inside the village) and ended up in our room eating warm alphabet soup before we did our last night walk in Hallstatt. 

Last day of our adventure 

We took back the walk by morning, taking the last pictures and visiting the Catholic Church (such as beautiful as all the northern churches). And for breakfast? We bought a warm and big kebab next to the church and it barely lasted 5 minutes in our hands!

By the time we were living Hallstatt the day started to open up, and it was the first time we saw the sun during these long weekend. Something we didn't mind at all, as there's nothing as seeing this place covered in snow, don't you think?

Finally, we rode to the airport to finish the Austrian adventure, leaving a piece of our hearts there.