Subject: Re: Chocolate near La Seu (Spain) &hotels Pyrenees Orientale- France
Hi Graziella -- here goes --

Here is a letter that I sent to John - a few years ago re: this region near La Seu d'Argell -- I will dig up the other small restaurant in Bellver if you think you can handle two! It's not as gourmet, but truly wonderful and very, very romantic (It's really a tiny fonda in the town - that happens to have a small restaurant. Found it!! Fonda Biayna -- tel: 973 510 475 (We were there in the fall with all the wonderful mushrooms... I had an a small mushroom do to start prepared the way escargots are prepared... really something! Anyway, the historic stuff I leave for each person to do as he or she wants. There are plenty of guides for that!

The map that we use to cover much of this region is the Michelin Orange Espana - Catalunya/Aragon/balares #443 -- It covers much of the frontier both Spain and France (maps are our thing!)

For hiking: As a central starting point I will use Seu d'Urgell. Driving west, would mention two of our favorite areas Val d'Aran and Benasque. (Please tell me if this is too far from Andorra as I would expound upon the hikes, hotels or eateries...) The Parc National Ordesa and Perdido speaks for itself. I would love to suggest things, but I don't know whether or not this is too far from where you will be.

To the East we went into the Cadi mts ---to Bellver de Cerdeyna (spectacular dinner at Grau de l'Os) Terrific meal!!! No English spoken - but the chef spoke some french!

A Must!!! We found a fabulous bakery on N260 23 km from Seu d'Argel in Cerdeyna (in the Cadi Mts) on the way to Bellver. It's called Vilarrubla in Martinet (right on the N-way on the left if you're travelling east)- tel: 515028. We bought biscotti and butter cookies filled w/ jam and dipped in the best chocolate ever!!! The chocolate is made in the back of the shop and this year (we did make a side trip) we purchased 5 bars each of their dark and milk chocolate to take home as gifts! These are then hand-wrapped and dated to be eaten one year from the date stamped. The chocolate is truly amazing -- This is definately are worth a detour

We hiked in the Parc National Cadi Moixero -- to an animal shelter refugi called St La Logan --trailhead directions were given to us at the local everything store in the middle of Bellver where you can also buy wonderful local maps. This hike takes you in and out of woods, dirt roads and finally forest to a grassy knoll with the shelter on it. Great picnic area! The next day we had a georgeous hike to the Pas des Gosolans (too much snow to reach to top of the pass, but we could see it) -- the Refugi Prat d'Aguido o C.A Torres - below the pass -- has spectacular views also. ( you can drive your car just about to the Refugi and hike to the pass, but the road is really awful, so be careful!!! We had lunch there and marveled at the views!!!) The Muntanya de Meranges (also in the Cadi area) has wonderful hikes to beautiful remote lakes. You could spend a week here - but we spent 2 days. There is a posted panel with many hikes, but I would suggest a good map for the whole region. The panel will give you an idea of lakes you could hike to but not topography.


I can't give information on Andorra as we've never been in the two times we were in La Seu -- The traffic was scarey and we'll be there again. Sorry

If you'll be in Ripol -- are you going near Camprodon??? There is a neat Fonda way, way up in the mts in Tregura --- Let me know - It's terrific - view all the way down the valley - we hiked up to the Fr. border and the food is terrific as are the people. Very, very Spanish in flavor - near foreigners that we could tell.

As for Mirpoix: The tiny hotel is on the ancient square -- It's called Maison des Consuls -- a modernized house from the XIV C tel: 05 61 68 81 81 -- email pyrene A Mr. Garcia was very helpful - ask for a room facing the square and Church! -- It was about 1 hr from Toulouse from where we fly back to Paris and home. (Highly recommended - I'll write Callie. Limoux One other hotel that you might want to check near Carcassonne if you're going there is in Limoux -- small town with a tiny museum 'Marie Peteit' in the tourist office -- It's devoted to her paintings and costomes LIMOUX hostes a Carnaval every winter on weekends -- the costumes are great! Hotel: Moderne et Pigeon It's a three-star Logis - very comfortable and the restaurant has very good food! (as do most Logis in our opinion!) tel: 04 68 31 00 25 fax: 04 68 31 12 43 -- We loved this little town and it is not far from Carcassonne.

Regards, Susie