Andorra

I had just finished a solo hiking trip in La Garrotxa National Park in northern Spain when I found myself with a few days to kill before meeting Alison in Madrid where she was attending the World Oil Conference. Looking at maps for some inspiration I realized that the tiny country of Andorra was nearby and that there was a circular route that would take me in through the French side and out back on the Spanish side. Who could resist putting this place on your resume? Besides it was spring and I knew there would be wildflowers in the Pyrenees.

Andorra was a total surprise.  I expected some sleepy little place, forgotten in time, with medieval villages spread her and there. Instead what I found was an ultra modern country that was a banking and shopping centre for Europeans who packed the streets of Andorra la Vella, the only city in the country. There was also Europe’s largest spa and a number of trendy looking ski hills.  There were a few reminders of the past like horses roaming wild and blocking the main highway, but not many. You’ll find only one picture of an older building because that is the only one I saw and yes the wildflowers were beautiful.

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