Subject: Spain- mostly Pyrénées II
Pyrénées II (I am not putting anything from France - as I assume that you are going only to Spain) - Please let me know if this is incorrect. Camprodon is a wonderful small town - has some upscale parts - but shopping in the early evening (5 - 6ish) is terrific with all the people and the wonderful shopes w/ hanging meats, cheeses and bakeries - You won't find any trinket' shops here - just plain working folks - It takes about 10 - 15 min drive from Tregurà to Camprodon.

Val d'Aran - this is one of our fav. parts of the Sp. Pyren. Vielha is the main city that all flock to on their way to skiing above Arties. We stayed in Arties in a Parador (do you know them? They were built by the Government and are very nice places to stay with good food and terrific breakfasts - sometimes in old Castles or in Monestaries - Parador de Arties tel: 973 64 08 01 (all Paradors are very clean w/ good bathrooms) One of the most beautiful hikes that we've done is from here: Called lacs de Colomers (the start is steep for a short bit - then it rambles past the most beautiful lakes surrounded by mountains - all snow covered an picturesque! ) It's a good day hike w/ wonderful picnic places. If you stay at the Parador, they have book called Guila del Valle de Aran - with this hike in it and they can photocopy it for you - it's easy to follow even if you don't read Spanish (which we don't) Benasque- Very wonderful ski area from what we've been told - This is in the high Pyrenees - (w/ Maladeta, Aneto, Posets, etc - their glaciers always present - We;ve done some fabulous hiking here, but I think it may be too early for you - We stayed at the Gran Hotel Benasque tel: 974-55 10 11 (not cheap - do not take dinner!) - It's very comfortable and the staff very helpful - Two wonderful restaurants; in the (village La Parilla - tel: 974 55 ll 34 - (on main street - small, don't start until 9pm - very authentic food - we met a young couple there - who had just bought a condo for skiing. The food and atmosphere are terrific (she worked for Microsoft out west for a yr. - If you think you'll go there, I'll send you her name and email - She and her friend are terrific - We;'ve been emailing since last year) 2nd night we went to a very upscale restaurant in a village, too small to take your car so that you have to leave it on the outskirts and walk in. Great food &wine - Restaurant Anciles - tel: 974 55 11 50 (If there is no skiing and the snow is almost gone, there are wonderful hikes - Ask about Salveguardia or the hike past Cabana Ana toward Ibon Gran de Batisielles (this is a hike that goes into real wilderness and is lovely and quiet)

Ordesa Parc - (there is a Parador right in the vallee d'Pineta) - didn't stay or go there, but had a wonderful climb up the Balcon de Pineta - on a clear day, it's fantastic - lots of rocks, though - if that's not a pleasure for you.)

Remember: siesta from 12 until 2:30 - 3 so get info early or you won't see anyone until after 3 pm. Have fun - and if you want any French stuff (if the weather turns bad in Spain, the opposite side of the Pyrenees is frequently much better! ...and so it is! Have a terrific time! (Oh - forgot: In Benasque is a sporting store called Barrabas - It's the biggest in Spain and they have weather all over - give good, sound advice on hiking/and or skiing is think - They do a huge business on the Internet. Check it out - it's amazing - The town is tiny, really, but nice and the mts are georgeous!!! Have fun.