Andorra

Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
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Trip End Jul 10, 2011


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Where I stayed
GBB Andorra Central Hotel

Flag of Andorra  ,
Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday 01.05.2011 - We chose to get to Spain via the Principality of Andorra because it would take us up and over the Pyrenees Mountains and we thought it would be a great ride and because we were keen to check out Andorra as it is a well known tax haven.

On our way to Andorra we stopped at the village of Prades (Prada). We parked the P.D and walked around a corner to the village square. There were people everywhere and wine tasting stalls set up. In the middle of the square was a fenced off section filled with donkeys. While we were having our coffee a priest came out of the near-by church and blessed all the donkeys.


We then walked back to the P.D and were surprised by the sound of rolling thunder. Coming down the narrow street of Prades were motorbikes of all shapes, makes, sizes and colours. Of course, all such rides have a police escort - not sure however that this is how we would do it at home? We stood and took video footage of the spectacle - we estimated between 250 and 300 bikes rode passed. They were on a fundraising ride for Cancer Research. Ulysses would be proud of such a great turn out.




















It was then back on our bike and onward to Andorra.

Soon after arriving in the Principality we stopped at the small village of Pas de la Casa that is at the top of the mountain range leading to Andorra and found it chock a block full of bikes with many shops selling bike apparel. It seems it is a popular stop off for riders of the Pyrenees. 
 











It was very cold as you would expect at 2500 metres so we didn't stop for long as we wanted to get to our hotel asap. 


The ride to our hotel in Andorra la Vella was 20 km all downhill through the small villages of Soldeu and Encamp as we had planned to arrive at our hotel by 3.00 pm so we could watch the MotoGP live from Estoril. We got to our hotel room at 3.25 pm hoping the race would still be in the first 10 laps. What we saw was the post race interview with the winner Danni PEDROZA as we found out the race had in fact started at 2.00 pm not 3.00 pm. We got to watch the 125cc race - some consellation. At least Casey STONER got third.

We discovered very early that prices in Andorra are VERY low when Kerrie found a four star **** hotel at 50 Euro per night! That's about $70 AUD for luxury. We decided to stay for two nights and soak up the offerings of a heated indoor pool, free WiFi, turkish bath, sauna, gym (not that we graced it with our presence), cheap beer and food.


We strolled around and found everything closed, it was Sunday evening after all. We then went to our hotel and fought a bus load of tourists over the hotel buffet served at a cost of 12 Euro ($15) each.

Monday 02.05.2011 - We decided to catch the bus up to Pas de la Casa and check out the bike stuff shops that were closed yesterday being Sunday. Kerrie bought a pair of rain wear bike gloves and Greg got himself a nice balaclava to keep the top of his head warm (wonder why?) when his helmet is on. Greg also bought a The North Face fleece jacket for $115 when they go for $200 at home. We found out why everything in Andorra is so cheap. There is no GST/VAT charged and no one pays income tax. We couldn't figure where the money comes from to pay for public services etc. 

We then caught the bus back to Andorra la Vella where we lashed out and bought a Garmin motorcycle GPS for the Harley at home at about 2/3 the price we would expect to pay in Australia.

Pleased with our purchases, we headed back to the hotel and then had a swim, sauna and a turkish bath. Kerrie liked the sauna but not the turkish bath.

Tomorrow we head off refreshed for Lourdes.
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

Christopher on

Glad Greg gets to do some shopping and spend some of his money
Guess Kerrie will now have the second GPS mounted helmet?for the back seat driver!

Sandra on

Wow, great buys - really looking forward to talking about Andorra with you guys, Steve has dreams of retiring there!

Chris on

Andorra - make sure you hear the wailing music that goes on an on and it is very captivating!

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