A Pyrenees Summit: Tosa d’Alp and Andorra

On our final day in the Pyrenees, Brittany and I set our sights on an easy summit that would still allow us time to visit the tiny country of Andorra. From Baga, we headed up the road to the Coll de Pal at 6,800′. Like almost every road we drove on in this area, I couldn’t help but think of how fun it would be on a road bike. The weather was a bit threatening, but we decided to at least check it out.
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Check out our rental car behind me- a Skoda Fabia. Due to its’ sub-100hp engine, I started calling it the “Skadita”.
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We started hiking up the beautiful grassy slopes in a light rain, but I had a good feeling it would burn off as the day wore on (which it did).
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It’s a pretty straightforward hike, but we were treated to some sights we don’t see back home inColorado, like these Chamois:
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As well as this vulture, which this area is particularly well-known for:
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The views were pretty amazing:
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Brittany on the climb:
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We reached the summit of Tosa d’Alp (8,323′), which also happens to be the top of La Molina Ski Resort. This being Europe, the summit was quite civilized and offered us the opportunity to buy a cold beverage.
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We had a nice conversation with the caretaker, whom we quickly bonded with as he spoke of skiing every resort in Spain the previous winter, via his thumb and couch surfing. Ski bums are ski bums, the whole world over. We said goodbye to our new friend and headed back down to the Skadita. Brittany, with the summit behind her:
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Once we reached the car, we started heading down the opposite side of the Coll de Pal but it quickly turned to dirt, and required a bit more car than the Skadita. We did say “Hi” to these little guys, though:
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So we turned back around and headed through the Tunel du Cadi, an expensive tunnel twice the length of Colorado’s Eisenhower. We were able to see our peak from the valley once we got through the tunnel:
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We really didn’t have a great reason to visit the tiny country of Andorra, other than to say we had, since we were so close. At 181 square miles and roughly 85,000 residents, it is indeed tiny. Surviving on banking and tourism, the first impression of Andorra is nothing but ugly shopping malls (it’s tax-free, so people shop there from Spain and France). We set our sights on the smaller and older town or Ordino hoping it would be a little better. Since half the country seems to be ski resorts that double as mountain bike destinations in the summer, we felt quite at home and Ordino was actually a nice little town to spend an afternoon in.
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We finished off the day with a drive to Cardona, the next town we were staying in, back in Spain. Cardona is the site of a medieval castle that has been transformed into a hotel where we would be spending the next couple of nights (more on that later). It was quite a beautiful drive:
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Complete List of Honeymoon Trip Reports:
Barcelona
Gaudi
Spanish Pyrenees
Climb of Tosa d’Alp
Cardona Castle
Montserrat
Five hours in Lisbon
Horta Part I
Horta Part II
Island of Faial
Island of Pico, Day 1
Portugal and The Azores Highest Point: Montanha Do Pico 7,713′
Watching Whales & Swimming with Dolphins
Pico Adegas, Gardens, and More
Island of Pico

Frank Konsella

Frank loves snow more than anything... except his wife.  He ensures his food is digested properly by chewing it 32 times before swallowing.He is a full-time real estate agent serving Crested Butte and Gunnison and his website is CrestedButteRealEstateAgent

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