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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Want to sleep in a castle?

Clothes still aren’t dry, so we pack them up in a plastic bag and off we go… After successfully navigating our way out of Barcelona, we drove to the tiny country of Andorra.  A strange country.  Ski slopes in the winter, and duty-free shopping year round.  The place is packed to the gills with chalet style hotels.  As it is summer, there are constructions cranes everywhere building more hotels.  Hmmm…. I wonder if there is an Andorra financial fund we could buy into… We had lunch at a nice roadside restaurant and then headed back into France.

Across the Pyrenees.  Absolutely stunning.  Much like the North Cascades.  In the lower areas they grow crops like peaches and apples.  Not quite back to the vineyards yet!

Arrived at the L'Abbaye-Château de Camon where we will stay tonight.  To say it is a chateau doesn’t do it justice, it should be called a castle.  The place is spectacular.  Primarily built in 1283, most of the building is intact as it was in those days.  The gardens are terraced and spectacular.  They have the largest magnolia tree in France.  (A guest who was an arborist confirmed that given the size of the trunk it was amazing the tree had survived being so large.)  The rooms are elegantly restored, and modern bathrooms put in.  Downstairs the original murals on the walls are still there in the music and dining rooms.  The picture directly below is from the window in our room.


The rooms even have a scale.  After two weeks of eating and drinking our way through France we are both afraid to get on it.  But, it would appear if this scale is right, that neither of us has gained an ounce.  Wow.  We can eat and drink anything we want and not gain weight?  Well I suppose that (1) splitting all meals between us, (2) walking 3 to 8 miles a day, and (3) no stress might have something to do with it.

We played Ping-Pong in the game room.  It was fun playing off the balls that bounced on the tile floor sending them zinging off in odd directions.  Dinner was amazing.  First course was a small red pepper stuffed with chèvre, served on a small bruschetta toast on a place of arugula sprinkled with olive oil, pesto, and balsamic vinegar.  Note to self, I could probably make this… Second course was a cauliflower soup with horseradish.  This would make the perfect base for a low carb clam chowder.  I tried in vain to get them to give up the recipe, but will have to just experiment once we get home.  Third course was a steak with wild morel sauce, along with an artichoke bottom with spinach, and a small potato patty, topped with a sausage patty and some pickled beets.  The last course was a combo of three deserts: vanilla crème custard with raspberry sauce, a chocolate cake/mouse topped with vanilla ice cream, and a tiny slice of lemon tart.  Wow.  We have got to come back here again.  This place would make the perfect location for further exploration of the area.

When we got back to our room, we found a copper beetle under Dave’s pillow (see picture below).  Thank goodness we found him before we got into bed!  He’s huge.  Dave tried to save him by chucking him out the window, but alas, heard him go “thunk” on the pavement below.


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