A Day in Andorra
For one day, I decided to take a trip to Andorra, which is very easy to get to from Barcelona. I booked an early coach which took about 3 hours and stayed for the day. BlaBlaCar is again another good option for getting to Andorra. The only confusing part was trying to find from where exactly the coach went. After booking, the ticket said the coach goes from one of the main train stations (Barcelona Sants); it didn’t however say from where exactly. Asking in the station wasn’t too helpful either, “We only know about the trains” (thanks yes), and calling up the company to try and find out was a bit difficult as they only really spoke Spanish/Catalan. I managed to distinguish the word “Viriat” from them though, and thanks again to Google Maps, found this nearby road – just north of the station – from which the coach departed.
Tucked away in the Pyranees on the border between Spain and France, Andorra La Vella is the capital of the Principality of Andorra, and in places has an interesting mountainous-chalet crossed with Spanish architecture vibe to it. It is also the highest capital city in Europe at 1,023m (not Madrid which is only at 667m). The air temperature was definitely cooler up there than in Barcelona.
The city is quite small, and at one of the restaurants I asked a waitresses what it was like living there and whether everyone knew everyone else. She said that everyone does pretty much know everyone, and that a lot of the young people eventually leave Andorra to go to university in Barcelona, but less so to universities in France.
Andorra is famous for skiing, and because of the surrounding high mountains, I can imagine it being very beautiful covered in snow. It also is known for being a bit of a tax haven, and was definitely not without its share of private banks, one of which had received the ‘Bank of the Year’ award, i.e. best tax haven maybe?
I was delighted to receive a text from Vodafone whilst I was there, informing me that I was in their “Rest of the World Zone” and that data would cost £30 for every 5MB. Mobile data off. Apparently Three is a lot more traveller friendly for Europe and America (although their plans don’t cover everywhere yet).
After working from a few cafes/restaurants during the day, I walked around and explored during the evening and watched a live gig in one of the squares before returning to Barcelona.