When I first started planning this trip I first made the decision to go to Barcelona, from Trondheim. And then, I made the mistake of opening Google Maps to see what was in the surroundings.
I had never heard of anything specific to do in Andorra other than shopping, since it is an almost tax-free country, which is not my thing. However, it was right there, so close to Barcelona, and since I believe you can find something nice to do about anywhere in the World I decided to give it a go.
Getting there from Barcelona I took the Alsa bus, which was the strike one on the list of things to learn on this trip, because I bought the ticket for the wrong date. I remember having the correct date on the calendar but for some reason I had to refresh the page and did not pay attention to the fact that the date had defaulted to the day I was actually buying the ticket as opposed to the day I had selected previously for my trip. So when I got to the bus station and the driver could not find my name on the list of passengers I checked the ticket and realised what had happened 😫
Luckily, they still had seats available for that bus (the next one would leave on the next morning) so I ran to the ticket machine to buy another one and was able to hop into the bus anyway 🥴
Andorra is a landlocked micro-estate (one of the 6 in Europe) situated between Spain and France, right in the middle of the Pyrenees and you can see it everywhere you turn to. I’s an amazing view. It’s the only country in the world that has Catalan as the official language, but you can easily get by with either Spanish or French, so I did not have trouble communicating. Portuguese is also one of the spoken languages there but I could not find anyone who could speak Portuguese, so French and Spanish it was. It is a principality and a diarchy headed by two princes: the Bishop of Urgell in Catalonia, Spain, and the President of the French Republic.
The Capital city is called Andorra La vella, and it is the is the highest capital city in Europe, at an elevation of 1,023 metres above sea level.
I had reserved am Airbnb in Santa Coloma, a neighbour town about 15 minutes on a bus from downtown. Thing is, I had only one night in Andorra, meaning two half-days to explore, plus I got there around 11am and the reservation started after 3pm. I didn’t want to wait for bus, go all the way to Santa Coloma just to leave my bags and the have to get another bus to come back to downtown, so I just left my luggage in the lockers they have in the bus station.
They have lockers in different sizes you can rent for between 3 and 5 Euros for 24 hours. Very handy!
There’s plenty to do in Andorra, according to my research, from skiing, to hiking, to shopping and sight-seeing. But I didn’t have much time, so I figured I should just walk through the city to take some pictures and I found some pretty cute places.
The nobility of time – by Salvador Dali
THIS AMAZING BRONZE STATUE ENTITLED “La Noblesse du Temps” (The Nobility of Time) is located in Plaça de la Rotonda in the heart of Andorra Vella. The sculpture displaying a melting clock representing the passage of time was crafted by none other than Salvador Dali which resembles his Melting Clock jewellery you can find in his museum in Girona.
Puente de Paris
There was plenty more to see and to visit there, however, I felt that having a car would make things way easier. Public transportation would not take you to places out of town. Also, there are other tiny towns close by that I could have visited if I had rented a car, but again, not much time.
It’s also probably worth going there during winter if you are a fan of winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. But even though I didn’t do much, it was worth it just for the view. Plus the trip from Andorra to France is one of the most scenic road trips I have ever made.