Well since it was March, I was kinda hoping to get a half-day of skiing or snowboarding in when I got to Andorra. Iâ€™d always wanted to go here since it was an interesting principality that was very old and had both their own way of doing things yet also were a cooperative with both Spain and France. It was a nice drive from Barcelona to Andorra on a nice freeway with lots of great scenery and a load of long tunnels. I love tunnels!!!
Going through the border was a breeze on the way in, but I found that Andorra was also a duty free zone and that would prove interesting on the way out.
However, I didnâ€™t come for any shopping! Unfortunately it was unseasonably warm on my trip and there wasnâ€™t much snow. So much for my plans! I thought about heading to a mineral springs spa further into Andorra, but instead decided just to walk around a couple of the small towns and the capital, Andorra La Vella.
Lots of cool little walkways, windy streets and stairways which made complete sense with all the sharp, tall peaks around. I snapped a few photos and enjoyed the atmosphere, but overall decided to make a much briefer stop than Iâ€™d originally intended. One of the most fun things I found was a massive billboard for Winston cigarettes! I find it funny that in America the government and people who think they should think for others go to such lengths to restrict advertising of cigarettes. While I agree for the most part about education for kids and avoiding advertising aimed at teens and young adults, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a place in the world where smoking was publicly still considered â€ścool.
Anyway, cigarettes can be a lengthy discussion with some people who have adamant views. All I can say is donâ€™t read too much into my statements above. Iâ€™m not a smoker, but I have smoked and I will engage in smoking once in a blue moonâ€¦mostly connected at the hip to drinking! Heh!
Finally, on the way out of Andorra I found out the implications of all these duty free shops. You have to pull over at the border on the way back into Spain (and I suspect France as well at the other end) and open your trunk to show the customs officers you arenâ€™t loaded up with stuff. I have no idea what the actual rules are, but I thought it was funny! I hope to go back to Andorra on a trip to southern France some day in the future so perhaps Iâ€™ll get to snowboard and buy stuff next time!