Showing posts from September, 2008


It may not have the highest mountains in all Europe, but those who have tried it would say that skiing in Andorra has it all.
In the last ten years, over €50m has gone into staggering improvements in ski facilities and many times that into Andorra’s tourist infrastructure. When the sun shines – and it shines a lot in winter, so don’t forget the sun cream – literally thousands of the latest snow-cannons ensure that the resorts have excellent snow cover from Dec 1st to the end of April.
There are now two macro-resorts in Andorra, grouping the five original stations, both with skiing at between 2.500m and 1.750.
GrandValira (comprising Pas de la Casa, Grau Roig and Soldeu/ElTarter) has the biggest skiing area in the whole of the Pyrenees. Dedicated skiers will probably go for this option and their whole holiday will probably cost them about 70% of what it would cost in the Alps for the same quality of facilities and some pretty challenging skiing. As for après-ski fun, it might lack St Mori…


The Genoese have stopped grumbling. According to the poet Edoardo Sanguineti, the Genoese were always grumbling and this grumbling sound had become Genoa’s background noise, so rooted in her inhabitant that they had lost their original accent. Such grumbling, which had accompanied the slow decline of the city after the end of the second world war, became muffled as Genoa started getting her former color back – not just that of her salt-washed palaces – to take back her rightful position and shed her backwater reputation first with the 1992 Expo and now as a City of Culture for 2004. Today Genoa is dynamic, high-tech and many splendor city as of old, as well as being extremely beautiful in its position between sea and mountains.
She is no longer a Cinderella, but a Queen: first sea power, more powerful than Venice or Pisa in the fourteenth century, a rich and cosmopolitan city that could afford imports from all over the world then known. As one of Europe’s major capital cities in the si…