Andorra Journals

Big Peaks and Big Shopping in Little Andorra

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An April 2001 trip to Andorra by Armed With Passport

Welcome to Andorra Photo, Andorra, Europe More Photos
Quote: As a young boy interested in geography, I was always fascinated by little countries. I wondered if the people of tiny Andorra were also miniature people as well, like the Lilliputians in Gulliver's Travels. These schoolboy questions were all answered when I visited tiny Andorra on the way to Spain.

Big Peaks and Big Shopping in Little Andorra

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Overview

Welcome to Andorra Photo, Andorra, Europe
Quote:
Europeans, mostly from France and Spain, come to Andorra to shop. As two people who had recently come from the shopper's paradise of Provence, we weren't very interested in the electronic equipment, perfume, alcohol, and cigarettes that seemed to be the duty free mainstays of the shopping district in the capital, Andorra la Vella.Although we were only passing through, it seems that skiing is the best thing to do; the Pyrenees, even in late March, were still covered with plenty of snow, at least in the ski town of El Pas de la Casa near the French border. Hiking after the snow melts seems to be a highlight in warmer months. I enjoyed just being in a country that is a vestige from a feuda...Read More

Duty Free Andorra la Vella

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Attraction

Barri Antic Photo, Andorra, Europe
Quote:
The shopping areas in Andorra la Vella remind me of the electronic and music stores in Manhattan, minus the shady characters and the grafitti. North Americans, such as my wife and I are used to shopping for electronics at Best Buy, Circuit City, or a department store; these shops along the street in Andorra la Vella and in its nearby suburb, Les Escaldes, really weren't eye-catching to me at all. We poked around at the prices for a digital camera and found that they were actually charging a lot more than what we could get in the United States. We also looked for some decent carry-on luggage for my wife as her current suitcase was falling apart, but we found the selection and the language barri...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on April 18, 2002

The Long and Winding Road Photo, Andorra, Europe
Quote:
Toni and I had really enjoyed our time in Carcassonne, but as much as we wanted to stay forever in a medieval castle, it was time to start heading to Barcelona. It was at this moment of departure from Carcassonne and the inevitable circling around French roundabouts, that Toni and I decided to, as Robert Frost put it, take the road less travelled. Smart thinking would have told us to take the A-61 East in the direction of Narbonne and then head south toward Barcelona by way of the French A-9 and Spanish A-7. Although this was geometrically sound and efficient, it seemed quite boring. Frankly, I was tired of straight French autopistes and I wanted some adventure. I had mentioned in p...Read More

The Small History of Andorra

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Story/Tip

Casa de la Vell Photo, Andorra, Europe
Quote:
As I mentioned in the overview, ever since I was a little boy, I had always wondered what the tiny country of Andorra was like. Were the people very little too? How come France or Spain didn't just walk over the mountains and conquer it? When I arrived in Andorra, I was relieved to see that the people were not in fact miniature as I had imagined that they may be when I was about nine years old. What I did not see was a great deal of resources available to tell me about the history of Andorra. I had purchased a little book called "All Andorra" which gave some rudimentary explanations of Andorran history in poorly translated English. I walked to Andorra's equivalent of Parliament, th...Read More

What I Did in Andorra Once I Got There

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Story/Tip

Ski Area - El Pas de la Casa Photo, Andorra, Europe
Quote:
As I mentioned in a previous entry in this journal, we arrived in Andorra from France on the N-22, arriving at customs and passport control for Andorra in the ski town of El Pas de la Casa. The skiers seemingly ended their run where the highway cut off the trail. The lift line ran right along the side of the road. We passed through the guard gate at Andorra at a rolling ten miles per hour. I guess there was nothing suspicious about our Volkswagen. We climbed even higher altitude along the side of the beautiful mountain slope. It was a sunny day, so most of the skiers were skiing only in sweaters and many were without ski gloves. As it was only the early afternoon, we could still s...Read More