ANDORRE 2018

ANDORRA

 

First things first… I promised Marsi (3) to sleep on a rocket to go to the space and moon and I always keep my promises, so as my word has a lot of value I searched for the rocket and I found it in Andorra! So we drove from the French Pyrenees to Andorra, and 5 hours later we checked in at the Holiday Inn Andorra and we got in the rocket! You can’t imagine Marsi’s and Mercuri’s faces when we opened the room’s door! They both exclaimed “WOW” and that made it worth it!

 

The Holiday Inn Andorra is very well located place to stay, it is a family friendly hotel, they even have a playground with a ball’s pool underground which we found amazing ! We stayed 8 days and we ate every single meal at the hotel and the variety of the meals was different and wide each day, the staff at the hotel and restaurant are amazing, the food is very good in the buffet and when there is not so many people the main courses are “a la carte” and the presentation is worth a classy restaurant! If you stay in the Holiday Inn you will be a 5 minute walk to Andorra la Vella (Andorra Old Town) which you can go up by a lift from the central parking building or walk up if you prefer to, we took the lift as with a double stroller we prefer not the take the whole sidewalk.

 

 

 

In Andorra la Vella you can find many cool restaurants and coffees where you can stop by either to eat or just have a drink, you can see from the outside the Casa de la Vall and if you want to visit it you must book it beforehand.

In the Plaza del poble there are two amazing playgrounds for kids and you can let your little ones have a blast in the games!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have many shopping options but if are more into shopping go up to Av Carlemany and you will find many clothes shops which can be a little bit cheaper than in the rest of Europe but no that much cheaper, you can also find perfumes all along this avenue and this , it is in general a lot cheaper than in the rest of the world, and if you are looking to buy alcohol and cigarettes (which is why Andorra is famous for) it is a lot cheaper but be careful not to buy to much as there are limitations, crossing the border we got stopped twice, once in the border Andorra/Spain and once in the border Spain/France and they do check your stuff and they can make you open all of your luggage if they wish to, we had bought only a couple of t shirts and they did ask us to show them to them… so bear in mind to respect the law if you do not want to get in trouble.

Andorra is a dream land for cyclist, well, let me be more precise, it is a dream land for cyclist with some level and endurance… you DO NEED both to be able to enjoy the climbs Andorra has for you, during the week we were in we went up the most famous ones, we did of course La Gallina (with some percentages up to 19% and bear in mind that one way is only 1 sense so if you go down be careful with the cars because they will not be expecting seeing bikes cycling down) , La Rabassa (a very long hill where you can do a loop), Els Cortals (be prepared to a hard first 5km start).

Ordino (one of the easiest one of the region and you can go up both ways) and if you wish to make a stop on the top you can visit the Roc del Quer,
 a flying bridge where you can see through its floor! It was funny to see how adults got scared and didn’t even want to step on the clear floor and kids where happy just looking down and running around!, Arcalis de Ordino (one of the most famous climbs being the one with 3 Tour de Frances stages, Bexalis (also a famous and hard one), and if you want a really easy one (for the region) go up La Comella and Engolasters, you’ll get a rest in between both and be able to speed up at the end, although I have done many cool thing on my bike like cycling from Lisbon to London (2099km in 9 days) , Tijuana to Cancun 4500km in 18 days, and have a World record on the velodrome, I am not an expert in cycling, so if you want more advices or tips for cycling in Andorra do not hesitate to contact FTC SPORT.

 

On the top of La Rabassa you’ll find Natrulandia (I will try to be as accurate as possible without hurting nobody’s feelings but trying to help other families make the best decision when hesitating on going there), we got invited here by the park and we are very grateful because seeing the prices of the entries I don’t think we would have gone, there are two different areas, on the very top you’ll find the zoo built directly on the lands of the mountain with just some adaptations to try to let animals live as “wild” as possible our kid’s favorite animals in there where the Pyrenees bears, the lynx and the wolfs which we got the chance to see when they were eating winch made it easier for Mercuri (1) to spot them in between the trees.

 

The second section of Naturlandia is a little bit lower in the mountain, it is kind of an attractions park for the family (for kids over 3 years old) , Marsi got lucky and did a pony ride and Mercuri was the one who was pulling the pony, then Matt, abuelo and I got to try to tubotrunk (a 5.3km long mountain luge), if you go up make sure you can go down without any problem because going down at a speed (even if you break) can cause some agitation to your head and heart, so make sure you can go down a long way fast and “shake” without problem because from the bottom you’ll think it is a short ride and it last around 20 minutes!

Airtrekk is a different experience, it’s a wooden structure where you climb and feel the vertigo looking down, you must go to the second level to reach the stairs to go up the 180m zip line and then you can fly down! They also have buggies which kids can enjoy with an adult , they have archery zone for adults, and an extreme jump as well for adults, we went in June, all of the activities had timetables and while some where opened others were closed , this I understand it is to keep it to a minimum of staff required to keep the park going, I have red many comments about unhappy people saying it is a waste of time and money and I understand their feelings of paying too much for so little, especially when you are a large family , I compare it to many other parks (on that price rage) in the world and they have much more to offer for people from 1 to 99. Maybe having more activities for kids, no closing times and a lower rate would help getting the park more active and more people coming to it because it is a nice place but to get a buggy and pony ride it is quite expensive.

 

After walking for hours shopping or after a hard day cycling all you want is to relax , and there is not a better place to do this in Andorra than in Caldea, actually I cannot comment on Caldea because when we were there it was closed but we got the chance to go to Inuu, a part of Caldea , they welcome you with a bath robe, a towel and sandals, the building is amazing and my dad as an engineer got to appreciate all the unions of the big structure, they have many inox parts in the pools and it is a restricted area for 16 years and older, there is sauna, hammam, hot marble walls, hot beds, water beds , and all the thermal water areas, pools and Jacuzzi are great, they have different features, different sort of water massage areas in the pools and you can spend some time relaxing in there, we were welcomed with an orange juice , then we got shown all the installations and got explained all the areas, they have a lot of staff watching you are ok which is important in the case of an accident like my husband did, there was a (misplaced and broken) lamp in the Jacuzzi step and when my husband got in the jacuzzi he stepped on it and he got a 5cm cut on his heel, he started bleeding a lot and luckly as I said there was an emergency staff from Inuu and they took care of him. If you wish you can also get a massage in there and they also have dark rooms to take a nap without being disrupted, before you leave you can take a shower and they provide you shampoo, shower gel and even conditioner, after you leave Inuu you feel relaxed and full of energy for the next day to enjoy beautiful Andorra.

 

I can see Andorra loves kids and takes care of them a lot, outside of Caldea there are more playing grounds and we spent a couple of hours playing in them, they have some very high toboggans and Marsi (3) insisted on going up, so I did go with him and it was pretty cool although the first time he hit his head and to help him relieve his fear we went up again and the second time I covered his head with all of my body and I realized that if you are not old enough you cannot control the movements of your head at that speed, so be careful if your little ones want to go up.

 

 

 

 

We were very lucky because on the week we were there they had a touristic event and they had some animals in the central park as well as a horse’s carriage giving 1euro tour rides around the park, so the 5 of us went up and enjoyed a beautiful 5 minute ride on beautiful French horses.

 

 

 

 

 

It was our first time in Andorra for the 5 of us and I can say we absolutely LOVED Andorra and we cannot wait to be back!

Thank you ANDORRA!

 

 

London 2018

Westminster bridge and the Big Ben

 

I lived in London in the past, I have been over a hundred times as a tourist, and every time I go back I still enjoy it as if it was my first time there! When I have only a short trip to London I make the most of it every single time, and although it would depend in what are your main interests I will tell you what I did the last time we were in London, it was Marsi’s (3years old) 2nd time in London and Mercuri’s (11 months old) first time.

We stayed in the center of London, there are many options to stay in depending on your budget, but I would recommend staying near Trafalgar Square , The Strand , Covent Garden or Waterloo as they are within walking distance to the main attractions.

 

 

Westminster Palace

 

The first “must see” in London I would say it is the Big Ben, that in the past it was officially called the Clock Tower and in 2012 it changed his official name to Elizabeth Tower in honor of Queen Elizabeth and the 60 years she had been in throne… this 2018 will be her 66th year in throne and whatever his official name is I think everybody will always recognize it as the BIG BEN.  I remember since I was a little girl I would synchronize my watch to the Big Ben to be in time!

Abuela, Mercuri & Big Ben

 

 

 

This time we got to see the Big Ben in a different way, he was been taking care and their will be doing some conservation work during a total of 4 years until 2021, despite this we got to appreciate the Westminster Palace and the walk over Westminster bridge which pathway now is protected with some kind of hard barriers to protect all tourists.

 

 

 

 

If I had to describe London weather in a word I would say “gray” it does have a sunny days, warm days, beautiful days, but many of those beautiful days have most of the time a touch of gray, rain or clouds, and it is still beautiful because the weather is part of London and this time was not the exception, we had freezing windy gray days!

Buckingham Palace
The mall

 

 

The Buckingham Palace is also a “must see” , and if you get the chance to see the changing of the guard it is a very good experience, you get to see the horses parade , the bands playing music and the changing of the guard , for this you have to be early enough to get a place next to the gates of the Palace but to see the horses you have to be on the road side… so chose your pick or run from one place to the other and try to squeeze in, don’t forget to take water and snacks if you have little kids because it will be a long wait for them and if you leave to get something you’ll lose your spot.

Whitehall Palace
Nelson’s column at Trafalgar Square

 

 

Trafalgar square commemorates a British naval victory of the Trafalgar battle and to me is also a London must see because it is a very beautiful place and you can spend nice time, you can have a coffee in the stairs, you can visit the National Gallery, you can sit to watch the fountains or you can climb up the famous Lions surrounding Nelson’s column like we did! Actually the Trafalgar Lions are cast in bronze from the cannons of ships defeated in the Battle of Trafalgar, so there is a little bit of history in everything you see!

Trafalgar Lions
The London Eye

 

Marsi & Mercuri in the London Eye
London eye is fun!

 

If you travel with kids you should definitely go on The London Eye, a big wheel where you can do a 30 minutes ride to see London from the sky!

The ride will amaze your kid’s eyes and your own! Depending on the weather you will be able to see as far as the London 2012 Olympic
Stadium.

 I’d suggest to buy your tickets in advance to avoid long wait specially with young children but even if you buy it before the last line you will have to do it anyway. 

 

 

Southbank

 

Having a walk in Southbank is something you can do with your family , you will walk next to the Thames, you will enjoy the nature and the artists that are over there entertaining all the tourists trying to make a living out of it. If you are lucky enough you will get a free concert  from a very talented musician and who knows what else, so try to appreciate everything you get to see because you a lucky to be alive! 

Picadilly Circus

 

Picadilly Circus

 

Picadilly Circus is a walk you also have to do, you can have yummy cinnamon rolls to take away and from there you can go up to Oxford Street and back, you can go in Hameley’s if you want to buy the perfect toy, they’ll have everything you want! Then go back to Soho and and then to Leicester Square where you can have take away food and you can buy also tickets to any musical theatre you want to assist.

Lego store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very near Leicester Square, just up the street next to the M&M’s world there is a restaurante I like quite much “Burger & Lobster” where you can chose your very own lobster, you chose the wight, size and the way you want it to be cooked, the restaurant has a lot of room and you can even sit with your double stroller next to you to enjoy your meal and let your kids sleep if they are having a nap, they when they wake up you can take them to see the Lobsters swimming and then enjoy it in their tummy! After this I recommend going out for dessert to Bubblewrapwaffle, where you can customize your ice cream, a waffle cone, delicious icecream and a variety of toppings you can chose makes it the perfect dessert!

Red telephone box

You can’t leave London without taking a photo in a red telephone box! You can still find them and you can still call your loved ones from them! And now some of them even offer free wifi!

  St James Park

 

 

London has so many things to offer, a lot of museums, parks, attractions, even just popping on a red bus is a fun thing to do, you can enjoy everything in London, and once again, don’t hesitate to take your kids with you on holidays! Even the babies enjoy them and appreciate everything, and what they love the most is being with you, so take them with you if you can!

 

 

 

 

London morning run

 

Have a run early morning to enjoy the view of the famous monuments without all the crowd !

Waterloo Bridge
Waterloo Bridge
Red bus

    

 

 

 

 

PRAGUE 2018

Prague is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve even been! My favorite area is Prague’s Old Town and is all beautiful from the Old Town Square to Charle’s Bridge! Wherever you turn your head to you see a beautiful well maintained building! Last time I was in Prague was 18 years ago and I remember perfectly one building with paintings on the facade and today, 18 years later it looks like it was done yesterday! You can see that they restore and they take care of every detail to keep the charm of the city! Even if you are not into architecture you will appreciate the city!    

 

 

 

 

Last time I was in Prague was 18 years ago and I remember perfectly one building with paintings on the facade and today, 18 years later it looks like it was done yesterday! You can see that they restore and they take care of every detail to keep the charm of the city!     

 

 

 

Prague’s Castle is one of the places to visit, it is the official office of the President of the Czech Republic.

 

 

 

 

Matt (my husband) says, you have to earn the best views of the world! And in this case you have the option to earn the view like my mom and I did walking up pushing up our double stroller (over 40kg with both boys in) a long and steep way up from Charle’s bridge,  you can take a taxi, bus or a tour bus like we did the second time when we went up with Matt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you are up there you can visit the St Vitus Cathedral, a beautiful gothic church and the Basilica of St George.

Basilica St George
St Vitus Cathedral

 

 

 

 

 

We took a boat tour that we and specially our kids loved! It was a one hour tour on a classic oldish boat on the Vltava river, you go under the famous Charle’s bridge, you see Prague’s Castle on the top of the hill , you spot the corner of the swans, and you get a little bit of history of Prague from your boat’s captain , it is a worth trip!

 

 

 

I could spend hours walking back and forth all the 621mt of the Charle’s bridge, along the bridge there are 30 statues and as it is 10mt wide so you can go from side to side and spend hours,  it is so beautiful, the views are so pretty all over around, the ambiance it is great, peaceful and happy and artists are painting and playing music that it makes it just a perfect place to hang around!

 

 

When in Prague you can’t leave without having at least ONE pork knee! It is an unique experience and hard to find somewhere else! We had an amazing one in a restaurant underground! Will post the details later!

 

 

 

You also have to have they speciality bread the “Trdelník” we had a couple of them every day to keep us warm and we all love them and now miss them!!!

And if you want to go to the BEST restaurant in Prague, you’ll find it next to the Charle’s Bridge! Details coming soon!

 

 

 

 

I didn’t talk about the astrological clock because it has been covered to work on some renovation work so we got our photo with the chocolate one! So we have to go back to get one with the real one!

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU PRAGUE

 

 

 

Thank you for reading!

Our next trip will be London, so stay tuned!

Rocky and Family

World Travellers

“Our family is our home”

BERLIN 2018

Here we were! Our first trip of the year 2018 was a an awesome and freezing week in Berlin!

If you want to go to Berlin you can have a good time all year long, although if you go in january like us, you risk to get frozen hands and ears! So don’t forget to pack up all your winter clothes and many many layers for your kids! This was the first trip to Germany for Marsi (2 years old) and Mercuri (10months old) and I can tell you it is never too early to travel with your kids, Marsi’s first trip was to Nevado de Toluca, a Volcano at over 4680mt over sea level and his first flight was to Cancun, Mexico when he was just three weeks old and Mercuri like Marsi had their first transatlantic flight when they were just over 1 month old, so it is never too early to let your kids enjoy all your adventures with you!

ABUELA & MERCURI

 

This time it was “Abuela” who invited us to Germany! We are so lucky to have her in our lives and we are even luckier to have her strong to play with M & M and enjoy all this experiences together! GRACIAS for everything BELA!

MELIA BERLIN

 

 

 

 

We stayed at the Melia Berlin and it was a good choice as it is very well placed to visit the center of Berlin, within walking distance to Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charly, many restaurants, and the main train station is just 2 minutes away so you can either take a taxi/uber like we did to arrive to the hotel or take the train to the airport like we did which is a lot cheaper and very handy when you have a double stroller that you don’t want to fold every time to get in a car.

 

 

 

Every morning I did my morning run as usual, and as I am still breastfeeding  I have to nurse Mercuri right before I leave because if he get’s hungry when I’m away, specially when he wakes up , nothing and nobody can calm him down so every run is a time trial run for the moment , and what I love of my morning runs is to get photos taken of me in touristic places with no much people or not people at all because tourists don’t usually wake up so early to go sightseeing, so a hint if you don’t want all your photos with a crowd behind and next to you, wake up early and go for a run!

 

 

BRANDENBURG GATE
REICHSTAG

 

Berlin has some very beautiful historical buildings as well as very nice modern buildings , many museums, galleries, monuments and we can see it is a “new” city despite it’s old history and I personally felt something… I can’t explain it in words, but I had mixed feelings , I was happy, enjoying with my family, feeling their love and feeling grateful for all we have and  I just wished all the people who suffered in there would have just lived happy moments…

 

 

BRANDENBURG GATE
MARSI & MERCURI GENDARMENMARKT

    

 

 

We tried all the bretzels in Berlin and we can deffinitely say you will find the best ones in DITSCH! Mercuri loved them as much as I did , and it did help us keeping warm when we were walking  at -3ºc !!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We took the hop on and off bus and it is worth it specially when it’s cold and you have kids, but for me, the best way to visit Berlin was in the electric carriage, if you get a chance I definitely recommend you to do it!  We did the whole city and spent two hours , we stopped where we wanted to take photos and passed by where we just wanted to look a bit, M & M loved it and they fell asleep after a while but they did enjoy it so if you have kids don’t hesitate to do this, and if you have a stroller don’t worry about it, if our double stroller got in, yours will!

PRETTY CHAUFFEUR 😉

 

ALEXANDERPLATZ

Our next trip will be PRAGUE! Stay tuned!

THANK YOU FOR READING!

ROCKY & FAMILY PAPIN ISLAS

WORLD TRAVELLERS

“OUR FAMILY IS OUR HOME”

 

2018 will be here soon!!! STAY TUNED!

Because we like doing things well, in 2018 we are officially launching our world traveller family website, social networks, blog and video channel , stay tuned!

Por que nos gusta hacer las cosas bien, en 2018 haremos el lanzamiento oficial de nuestra familia viajera por el mundo!