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The Road To Andorra

The day before Sean and I were supposed to leave Montpellier for Barcelona, he had this idea of driving up to the mountains through the Pyrénées, instead of taking the same route we did coming in. The road trip to Andorra was definitely not on our travel plans but nevertheless, it turned out to be the best drive we had on this trip.

Pretty little village on the mountain

“Pyrenees, Spanish Pirineos, French Pyrénées, Catalan Pirineus, mountain chain of southwestern Europe that consists of flat-topped massifs and folded linear ranges. It stretches from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea on the east to the Bay of Biscay on the Atlantic Ocean on the west.” Via Encyclopaedia Britannica.

You'll see castles nestled on top of the mountain every now and then along the way

It’s common to see castles nestled on top of the mountains every now and then as you go along the way.

The Pyrenees

The Pyrenees

The Pyrénées serves as a natural border between France and Spain, including the small country of Andorra, which is sandwiched in between. The highest point is called Aneto Peak found in Aragon, Spain at 3,404 metres.

Railway of Le Train Jaune

Railway of Le Train Jaune

You know you’re on the mountain when it gets a little bit nippy and your ears sort of clog up. On our way up, I kept telling Sean to slow down because we were literally driving on the side of a very high cliff and the two-way road isn’t wide either.

Farm cottage

Farm cottage

After the seemingly endless zig zaggy road, we came to an incredible view; old towns and villages (judging from the old houses), wheat fields, grazing herds and lush, rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Not to mention the massive mountain formation in the backdrop. It’s so amazing!

Beautiful view of an old village and the Pyrenees

Beautiful view of an old village and the Pyrenees

The Pyrenees

The Pyrenees

To be honest, I’ve only heard about Andorra twice in my life. The first time was when I was in high school and was made to memorize the world map by my Social Studies teacher and the second, during Ms Universe pageants. Yes, that doesn’t sound very appealing for a traveler like me. Well, we all got to learn don’t we?

Green meadows

Green meadows

The storeowner in Andorra la Vella (the capital of Andorra), where I bought my magnet, mentioned that we should come back during Christmas season because the whole town just magically turns into this winter wonderland. I don’t doubt that. Close your eyes and picture an old village blanketed by fine snow and beautiful lights everywhere, like the ones we usually see in the pictures and
movies. Yes! That’s it.

Andorra la Vella

Andorra la Vella

Andorra is also a great destination for ski lovers during the winter season.

Andorra la Vella central

Andorra la Vella central

From what I learned on my research, Andorra has no airport of its own.  Considering the giant mountains that surround it, perhaps it may be a little bit tricky to fly a plane there. Some of the closest airports are in Perpignan-Rivesaltes and Carcassonne (France) and Barcelona (Spain) to name a few. It’s a four-hour drive from Montpellier and another 3 hours from Andorra to Barcelona.

Produce for sale fresh from the farmer's backyard

Fresh produce for sale right from the farmer’s backyard

Meat, poultry and fresh vegetables are cheap. But if you’re looking for some seafood, this may not be your paradise for obvious reasons.

Railway

Railway

So on your next holiday, try to go somewhere new.  And if nature and
tranquility are what you’re after, I suggest going up to the mountains in Andorra. It’s where you’ll experience nature at its purest and tranquility at its best… plus, the exciting road trip you’re going to have with the one you love.

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