Pyrenees 6 to 20-Sept-2007


Early arrival at Jan Smuts to make sure in case of mishaps such as computer crashes at check in. We had no mishaps and thus were through in no time. But we were to late to capture some decent seats, all the window and aisle seats had been taken. But we were told that 28J & K are popular seats because of plenty of leg space. It was just the opposite, some box like thing under the front seat blocked my leg space such that I could only get one foot under. Big disappointment and a very uncomfortable flight to Dubai.
It was about 2 am our time or 5 am their time when we landed. The two hours spent there were not the most awake hours I have ever spent. At least we managed to get a R25 (2.50€) coffee into our stomach.
And on we went to Paris somewhat more comfortable but still fairly tight. One hears a lot nowadays about the spacious new planes, the A400 and the new super Boeing, mark my words, they are going to be just as cramped as the present ones. For cheap flying the airlines will have to push as many people into a plane as they can.


And off again for a 6 hour flight to Paris. I concentrated on the Disney films and saw nearly all of them, like something Bed knobs, Little Mermaid, Muppets etc. After some frustrating minutes and tension building up our luggage arrived in good order, nothing seems to have been stolen at Jan Smuts.
Pyre01.jpg, 102472 bytesGareth was there and much to my pleasure proceeded to take us straight out of Paris, we just saw the Eiffel tower in the distance. I don't really have much time for big cities and having been to Paris once before was enough. So no offense to the Parisians and don't take it personal I don't like your town.
From Paris it was all the way to Limoges on the Autobahn and just stopped at one place to fill up with petrol and coffee.
Interesting was one empty area to the south which Gareth explained was of no use to agriculture, too sandy, and thus nobody lives there. Is the globe emptying? Would be nice.
Arrived in La Grange in good time, about 17h00 with still enough daylight left to check out the garden and surrounding. Laurence, which is Gareth's lovely wife arrived soon after and brought the local dish prepared by her mom. It was some large pie with pork meat and other things inside. Very much enjoyed by all. The remainder of the evening was chit-chat, talking about the old days of Midland Factory and the people we used to know.


Pyre03.jpg, 164833 bytesIt took me a long time to get up and it was 8H30 when I arrived at the breakfast table. Today we were going to visit some old church from the 12th century (I think) and to try out some magic fountain. The water was supposed to cure all sorts of ailments.
Gareth splashed it on my knee, time will tell if it helps anything. As I write this my knee still hasn't been cured, perhaps Gareth didn't splash enough water, a full drench would possibly have done the trick. But I didn't think the water was anything special, it tasted quite normal with just a bit of forest in it.
Next to the fountain was a wooden cross with lots of pieces of clothing hanging from it. No idea what that was all about.
The remainder of the day was spent climbing up to some hill, 550m above sea level to get a view over the Limousine countryside.
The evening was spent in the 'Vayageur' restaurant, Jim treated us to dinner, rather him than me, prices were, by my standards, horrendous. My meal set Jim back by €18 or R180.


Pyre02.jpg, 93789 bytesOff to Andorra, most of the way is by autobahn. For lunch we stopped in Pamiers at a restaurant in the shopping centre. I had a large heap of pickled pork with vegetables for €9.50. It was good and actually to much for me, Jim got some of it.
To get into Andorra we had to get over a 2400m pass, it was spectacular. The capital is Andorra des Vella. A cheap hotel was located by just asking at the first one, €60 for a room that sleeps two. All the shops were closed today, because this was the national holiday of Andorra.
So we just walked around the town trying to find something old, of which there was not much. Dinner we had in a little restaurant next to the river (there is only one river through town). I didn't actually want to eat, but was persuaded by the low price for a full menu (main+sweets+coffee) to participate and stuffed myself. Housing development in Andorra is amazing, they are building all the way up to the high slopes. Mark my words, this is waiting for a disaster to happen.

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