Sunday, April 17, 2011

Warning Andorra

(A warning: (Andorra) may not be the same again in the next few years. The nature of greed and uncontrolled development would ruin the valleys there. The last five years, is investing 50 million euros for inns, cafes, food stalls, gondolas, and car parking lot).

That's the provocative sentences in the book Lonely Planet: Spain about Andorra on page 396. It's as if the sentence introduction to the book was to say, if you do not visit Andorra now, then remorse will come in the future.

In Indonesia, this may be parallel with a call to immediately see the floating market in the Lok Baintan, South Kalimantan. Provoked by the former Kabiro Kalimantan (the late) Syaifullah, that the market was soon floating in the river disappeared dilibas by motorcycle transportation. Then, several years ago, I immediately flew to Yogyakarta to Lok Baintan.

That's it. Whether because of the efficacy of provocative sentence in the Lonely Planet, or because only in Andorra, there are ski resorts in the French-Spanish border, so every year there are 10 million tourists visit Andorra. Just to remind you, the amount that exceeds all foreign tourists in Indonesia, as many as 7 million people per year.

And in fact, 80 percent of gross domestic income of Andorra - a small country sandwiched between France and Spain is - comes from the tourism sector. There is a modicum of other income, but come from planting tobacco.

The official language of Andorra is Catalan, although its citizens fairly proficient in Spanish, and French. English only mastered the young. So, rada-rada annoying when facing the elderly.

Lonely Planet also provides some translation from Catalan. Perill: Voladures Zone, which means Be careful, there are dried stone (from the mountain). Then, Calguda de Neu means, Be careful there are avalanche from above. There is a more accurate advice from Lonely Planet than you flip through the dictionary. When local people jump, yes meloncatlah as soon as possible. Heh, really?

February 2011, I had the opportunity to go to Pas de la Casa ski tourist area of ​​Andorra's most eastern region. The trip was accompanied by several friends from Indonesia AirAsia and guided by Airbus employees. We are using buses, specially chartered Airbus of Toulouse, headquarters of the aircraft manufacturer.

It took three hours drive from the Toulouse headquarters of Airbus, to Pas de la Casa with a distance of 186 kilometers, or roughly equivalent to the Jakarta-Bandung. But if you fly from Jakarta, presumably the closest airport Barcelona airport. From Barcelona dispatched four buses each day and costs 20 euros equivalent to Rp 240,000 (3.5 hours journey).

Back to route Toulouse-Pas de la Casa, in fact, the road that runs between two cities is very smooth. But since we passed on the weekends to make enough density hamper travel. The difference is there, we can not hire police officers to guard like in lines Ciawi-Peak. In Andorra, and other European countries, have money does not mean you can buy anything.

One third of travel ahead of the Spanish-French border, we like crawling in the valley. Then climb back up the canyon toward the peak. On either side of the street towering mountains with snow covered rock peaks. Pine trees, and trees four other seasons, sometimes poking here and there.

This scene is very exciting. Especially for us from the country two seasons. Especially all the Indonesian people, who have to climb to see the snow peak in Papua Jayawijaya there.


Pas de la Casa, Andorra's largest ski resort real. However, if you can not ski, Pas de la Casa remain attractive. Shop! Again Lonely Planet provoking, ... catering principally to French visitors and day trippers on a duty-free shopping orgy.

The pressure in that sentence is, DUTI-free shopping orgy. Gosh! But, that's reality. Along the way Carrer Major, Avinguda D Encamp, Carrer de les Abelles, Carrer Comtes de Foix, and Carrer de Sant Jordi, for example, crowded with shops. Generally, clothing stores, although my friend also bought a Harley Davidson helmet worth USD 2 million. This very cheap compared to in Indonesia, he said.

There is a kind of Alfamart department store on the corner of the street Carrer Bernat III and Carrer Comtes de Foix, which sells various types of liquor and cigarettes. It is suitable, for those of you that is not too strong in the cold because the average temperature there is about 4 degrees Celsius, and can easily drop below zero degrees Celsius.

My friend, Hendri buy a pack of Camel cigarettes yellow hardback. "Enak ya right," he said. But to a shopkeeper, I give a Dji Sam Soe kretekyang I always take it out of the country as souvenirs. "Heaven, heaven," he said. Tentative conclusions, Dji Sam Soe more excelent.

Well, that also must be remembered, there are rules of the customs there. Where the maximum, you may only buy five liters of wine, and 300 cigarettes. More than that, you are deemed to smugglers is not just a user. For the price of goods because no taxes, become very cheap in Andorra. And bring him out of Andorra in large volumes assessed to disrupt the stability of trade in Europe.

On the streets at the Pas De La Casa, when I cross it on foot in February 2011 ago, the snow has not completely evaporated. There are still piles of snow in front of the store-front. We must be careful steps so that no snow had fallen since it quite slippery.

Must also be careful menyebe now, for young children with reckless driving, so the eye should not be directed only to the storefront, storefront, or a mannequin that was beautiful.

Items are somewhat conspicuous, cap pistol or softgun. It's sold in many stores, and so similar to real cowboy town. There are various types ranging from pistols, Uzis, AK-47 to a price of hundreds of euros. Could the gun to save himself from a bear mount, or possibly the eastern Pyrenees mountain climbing Yettisaat? Probably.

However, I'd never believe it is, the existence of lingerie shops there. Some lingerie very minimal, bold red, and mengoda. Who bought it?

Sure, Pas De La Casa far from shore. So, with maximum temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius in the month of J uni-September, suicide remains the streets with lingerie. Or perhaps, worn at night in the hotel room? I do not know, want to know, ya.


The main selling Pas De La Casa, of course skiing. The main location of the ski is on the right side of Avinguda DEncamp Road; known Grandvalira Ski Resort. There is also a ski lift, to bring you up to the top of the mountain and then down the hill, downhill, with a ski-or snowboard gear.

Normally, the best time for skiing is from December to mid April. In Andorra, so your little expert skiing, ski school strewn with tariff 35 euros per hour, with a tutor; or dap at all groups (small group) premises tariffs between 71-101 euro per hour.

It may also just want to try skiing, the ski equipment can be rented for 53.90 euros (for ski equipment and ski boots), or 66.50 euros (for snowboard and ski boots). Length of lease until one day, if you are strong with cold air, of course.

Be careful when chatting with snow. Clot water was not always identical with the softness of cotton, although both white. Surely, it would also hurt when you fell in the snow, whether because of slip or pull another amateur skiers.

Another activity that is not less fun is, a walk across the Pyrenees mountains. The best month for it, is in June through September when temperatures reach 20 degrees Celsius in the daytime, and only 10 degrees Celsius at night.

The pedestrian, can stay for free in 26 huts at the mountain peaks scattered throughout Andorra. Witness also, the beauty of the lake at an altitude of about 50 Andorra, behind the mountain peaks and valleys. Smell the fresh mountain air there.

And pray so cold in Andorra do not make yourself a cold, so fresh air can really get into your lungs cavity that has been marred by dirty air in major cities of Indonesia. Indeed, when fresh air is inhaled, the mind is really fresh. And a lot of fresh ideas, suddenly crossed the mind of this.

That Andorra, please fly there, before global warming melt snow, and the Pyrenees Mountains about 2,000 feet altitude to a mere pile of gray rocks.

Before too Andorra become uncontrolled and crowded stalls of corn that blocks the view, not unlike when you are onin Peak Pass ,Bogor there . Before many of them cried, villas .. villas, which will not just offer you lodging but also other types of sports. (Haryo Damardono of Andorra)

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