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Andorra, My First Impressions – Day 30
Tuesday 11th August 2009 – Andorra
I was so glad to finally be able to rid myself of the shackles around my ankles, and set off in the direction of ‘The Rest of Europe’. I was awake and ready for action at 7am this morning.
The sun hadn’t had a chance to wake up properly yet, so the tent was very damp, and there was a chill in the air. I didn’t care about any of this. As far as I was concerned it could be raining hail stones, I would still be this happy. I packed the tent away, damp as it was, threw it into the back of the car on the towel, and headed out to restart my trip.
The sun didn’t take long to get into gear, and the chill was soon driven away by the warmth of the morning, and it got better and better as the journey raced on, Calatayud all but a distant memory by now. My destination today was Andorra as I figured a change of country might mean a change of fortune.
As I approached Andorra, the mountains roared into view, and the river that hugged the side of the main road was simply stunning. I stopped a couple of times on the bank to take some photos and take in the magnificent views, already feeling excited about what Andorra could bring to the trip. The main road swept through the mountains and brought fresh wonders around every corner. Driving through the many tunnels along the way only added to the excitement, the thought of what lay in waiting at the other end of the tunnel spurred me on, and I was never disappointed.
The border between Spain and Andorra brought the steady flowing traffic to a halt, as guards undertook random checks on the many thousands of vehicles descending upon this tiny country. I was lucky, and drove straight on, not that I got too far after passing through. Andorra resembled a car park during the lunch time rush, and I sat in my oven for around an hour, moving only slightly every few minutes. I eventually found my way to the campsite, which in reality was only 5 minutes into Andorra, but was glad to be out of the car.
I was very impressed with the stunning mountain backdrop all around, and almost fell as I leaned back to view the mountains in their entirety. The campsite was planted at the foot of the mountains by the side of the main road, although you couldn’t really hear it from inside the campsite. The capital, Andorra la Vella, was just down the road. I set my tent up in a small spot next to a Spanish couple, and had to work with many eyes upon me from many families in the camp site.
The walk into the city was along the river that dissected the capital down the middle, and was heavy on my feet with temperatures in the mid 30s. I had plenty of water with me so it wasn’t too much of a problem. There isn’t a whole lot to see here in the capital. It is primarily one main street lined with many modern upper-class shops, all of which are frequented by well dressed folk. The people all around are very ‘Miami’. Even the dogs dress in suits and walk with a swagger, some even with bows in their hair. Most of the people sat in cafes had their laptops open in front of them, and the streets were bustling with beautiful people with their shopping bags full of designer gear. It was good to experience, but it didn’t hold my interest for very long. Tomorrow I’m off to the quieter part of Andorra (the rest of the country).
Dinner wasn’t really up to much today. It would be nice if I could have installed a cooler or a fridge in the car. Having cool milk and butter would be a great advantage. Tomorrow I would have a better meal.
This evening, the French family near me were in a panic because their young daughter had gone missing. Myself and the Spanish couple offered our help in finding her, and eventually she turned up, much to the relief of the parents. Their mood soon changed to one of anger at the girl for running off in the first place. As I sat back in my chair, the Spanish lady whose name I don’t know, walked over to me and offered me a bottle of red wine as a thank you for helping, I guess. The bottle was already opened and had around 2 glasses left in it, all that was left from what they had with them. They were leaving tomorrow and didn’t have time to finish it. The wine was from their part of Spain, around the northern area, somewhere near Santander, and was very nice indeed. I was grateful for this nice gesture. It was lovely to sit back with a nice glass of wine, watching the bats flying above my head.
I whiled away the evening fully content.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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