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2023-04-14
Vacations » '23 - Spain/Andorra
Spain/Andorra
One of the luxuries of being quasi-retired is the availability of “guilt-free” time. You ask, guilt-free? When working, a near-universal truth is that taking time off often comes with an element of FOMO – keeping up with the office happenings while away – creating an element of guilt. Quasi-retirement means guilt-free time – there is no over-stuffed inbox which requires days to clear, while someone continues to stuff. This Spain/Andorra trip was my first such taste of guilt-free travel and
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Barcelona
As is our custom, our vacations often are a mix of outdoor and physical activity, coupled with a bit of “culture” – exploration of cities or other areas of interest outside of our New England region. This trip was no different, only that we did the cultural part BEFORE the outdoor/hiking activities. Jeanne had registered and spent a week in Begur, Spain in the Costa Brava region of Spain. That seemed like a great opportunity (or excuse?) to visit the
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Andorra – Estany de Juclar
We’d decided on a visit to Andorra partly because of it’s close proximity to Barcelona and Spain’s Costa Brava region and because we’d had a great experience a few years back when we visited the Pyrenees via Pau, France. Unlike many other regions in Europe, we’d heard little of it – not too surprising since it’s the 6th smallest European microstate – so we didn’t have much first-hand knowledge other than the internet, pictures, and maps. Sure, it was mountainous,
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Andorra – Els Pessons
For our 2nd day in Andorra, we chose to start at a nearby ski area – Grau Roig. Not surprisingly, the area was nearly deserted, but for the various workers prepping for the upcoming season, and the few hikers, such as ourselves. From our experiences in New England, it seemed not much different than other ski areas, though nearly everywhere one looked, there were lifts – surrounded by trail opportunities. With the country size being what it is, we were
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Andorra – Pic de Cassamanya
For our third day in Andorra, we chose another nearby hike – one that’s high on some of the top-10 lists – Pic de Cassamanya. Driving to the trailhead, we got our first full taste of mountainside living – switchbacks from Soldeu to Col de Ordino. And similar to Els Pessons the day before, this trailhead was also at about 6,500′ elevation which, combined with the “numbers” about the route, promised to be another significant effort due to the altitude
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