Lovely Andorra La Vella in the Pyrenees

downtown_andorra_le_vella
Greetings,

I’m writing this from a hotel room in the lovely Andorra La Vella; I never thought I’d make it to Andorra but it’s a country which has been in my subconscious for ages; was always curious what this little mentioned nation was all about. Above all else I can say that this place is peaceful and incredibly picturesque as it’s nestled high in the Pyrenees Mountains. Everywhere I look I see quaint scenes with mountains in the backdrop. It was supposed to rain but I got lucky, the weather has been blue skies with large clouds to add a little drama to the shots I’ve been taking.

fountain_andorra_le_vella

Andorra is a tiny country situated high in the Pyrenees between France and Spain. If you’re in Barcelona you can get here by bus and if you take a direct one like I did, shouldn’t take you longer than ~3 hours or so. The ride is scenic in itself and I highly recommend you look into it should you have a few days to spare on your tour through the region. This place is basically a massive duty free shopping sensation and although the main language appears to be Spanish; you’ll hear lots of French with a little English in the mix as well.

colorful_side_street_andorra_le_vella

When I say shopping, I mean everything including but not limited to automotive parts, tobacco, booze, clothing, electronics, perfumes and more… There isn’t a whole lot going on from what I could see as the streets are busy with people shopping during the day and they tend to become quite quiet as night falls. That said, I did manage to get in the mix and had a great time last night. I decided it was time to get social so I stopped in for a pint at a random joint that looked busy with locals. From there I went to another and made some new friends. We conversed in English, Spanish and French while drinking pints and sharing laughs; good times.

church_andorra_le_vella

There is lots to do if you’re into hiking as obviously this entire country would be your playground. I on the other hand have been strolling the streets eating sandwiches and snapping shots with my smartphone. I read somewhere that a day is all you need here and I’d say it depends what you want. If you want to get a glimpse and a feel for the place, sure. That said, I could easily spend considerably more time here because the mountain air is refreshing and so is the pace of life from what I’ve seen here. The currency is the Euro and even if you’re not a hiker; just walking the hilly streets will get your heart racing.

family_andorra_le_vella

This place is also reasonably affordable if you’re not on a tight budget and they even have a golf course or so. I’d look into playing it but the show must go on and one of the gents I was hanging out with last night told me it was closed, oh well. I’ve been investigating different electronic devices and might be picking up a camera as the prices are somewhat comparable to what I’d find in Miami which is rare for Europe as usually you pay through the teeth for all electronics as they are priced roughly the same often as in N. America but in euros instead of dollars.

friends_fun_bar_andorra_le_vella

A picture is worth a thousand words, yes? As a result I’ll let these photos do the talking. Here are a few interesting facts about Andorra; it’s on the euro but not part of the European Union, it’s been a member of United Nations since 1993 and at birth, citizens have the 3rd highest life expectancy in the world at 84 years of age. Also, this country is quite prosperous due to it’s tourism industry which brings in about 10+ million tourists a year; quite a number for a country with a population of ~85,000 as of 2012 and a total land mass ofย 467.63 km2!

bending_streets_andorra_le_vella

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busy_streets_andorra_le_vella

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chillers_andorra_le_vella

electronics_shopping_andorra_le_vella

flags_by_fountain_andorra_le_vella

flowers_mountains_andorra_le_vella

homes_on_cliffs_andorra_le_vella

hotel_room_view_andorra_le_vella

older_couple_relaxing_andorra_le_vella

pyrenees_mountains_andorra_le_vella

pyreneese_mountains_andorra_le_vella

quaint_cobble_stone_streets_andorra_le_vella

selfie_andorra_le_vella

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Enjoy these photos even though they don’t do the mountains justice.

Tips hat,

8 Comments

  1. FoorYourSuccess

    August 6, 2014 at 8:47 am

    You wrote about the hiking part just for me! Or, I tell myself that like you told yourself, “what would Andorra be like?” Well done sir.

    • Rob

      August 6, 2014 at 11:14 am

      You’d love it here! Looked into apartments but Valencia is calling. Depending on your style this could place could be good for a day, week, month or a lifetime.

  2. Julie

    August 6, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Fascinating to read about this beautiful little country that I never knew existed. Captivating photos! Thanks, Julie

    • Rob

      August 6, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      Thanks, it is a beautiful country and one I knew next to nothing about either.

  3. Ken Kai

    August 7, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Rob,

    This looks like an awesome place to go hiking! I’d love to check it out in my future travels into Andorra La Vella!

    Mountains are all around me over here in Cairns and there are quite a few beautiful mountains to cross over in Bali, too. I haven’t ventured over into that territory for a while though, been all over Asia these past few years!

    Rob, I also sent you an email last night (Well, might of been morning for you).

    Thanks Rob,

    Ken

    • Rob

      August 9, 2014 at 6:47 am

      Got it and replied, would have liked more time there. The hiking opportunities look great and so do prospects of skiing should one visit in the winter.

  4. Zoe @ Tales from over the Horizon

    August 9, 2014 at 5:28 am

    It looks fantastic. I am curious about it too. So little is generally heard about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rob

      August 9, 2014 at 6:47 am

      Indeed, it’s a cool place and easy to reach from Barcelona. It’s one of those small nations that many have not heard of let alone could pinpoint on a map ๐Ÿ™‚

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