One would think going to Andorra is almost like going to Spain. And I already learned a lot in this country like in Valencia and Madrid. It’s not the same though in Andorra! Although they do speak Catalan like the neighboring province of Spain, I found it to be a different world. And not only because the French President Macron is a Co-Prince of the country. Yours, Pollybert
1.) When you ask for a local gin the waiter recommends you one, only to come back later to tell you that the one he recommended wasn’t local or from the area at all. Instead he brings you the one he likes best.
2.) The whole city of Andorra la Vella is one big shopping mall where you even get treated to music on the streets (not from the shops, mind you).
3.) Beware, when you make a reservation for a room for three. The room we booked had supposedly 27m². Turns out the room only had about 16m² and the hotel doesn’t even have any larger rooms available. Maybe measurements are different in Andorra?
4.) Taking a guided tour at the Casa de la Vall: when we asked about the tour there was a French couple in front of us. They were told that the next tour was in 20 minutes and in French. When we asked for an English tour, we were told there was none. Only one in Catalan in the afternoon. The museum does offer tours every half an hour by the way. When we started the French tour it was the French couple and us. The guide was the one who gave us the information before in English. The whole tour lasted 15 minutes. Not sure if they do like tourists here. I got the impression they don’t need them and that’s how they treat them.
4.) For its size Andorra la Valle has a lot of pharmacies. Like not only at every corner but across from each other. And also astonishingly many music instruments shops. It’s an overall mixed jumble of shops. Overall, most of the shops sell cosmetics and perfums.
5.) There are no nice restaurants in Andorra la Vella. Even the locals (okay, a woman from the Bretagne) told us that there are no typical restaurants nearby but only in one of the other villages of Andorra.
6.) The entrance to the caldea (the biggest indoor thermal spa in Europe) is exorbitant high compared to all other prices in town (to go from 9pm to midnight it is 34,50 in the area you share with kids. Adults only is 40,- for the same time). To understand that better, a coffee with a pastry is 1,80.
7.) The second Co-Prince (because there has to a second one; otherwise what’s the Co standing for …) is the Bishop of Urgell which is in Spain.
8.) The Christmas lights were still hanging and illuminated while we were there in January. Or at least I thought it was the Christmas decoration. I mean, who knows?
9.) Andorra has its own lettering. This is the first country lettering I have seen. So far it was only cities like Amsterdam, Lyon and so on.
10.) Trees are still/already flowering. Astonishing I found at this sea level during winter.
11.) I have to start reading up on a country before I go there. Really, really need to get this into my head. Otherwise I am just doing what someone else is into.