Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day Trip to Andorra

We set aside an entire day for a trip to Andorra.

To get to this this tiny landlocked principality one has to drive high up into the Pyrenees on roads like intestines!The mountain roads are full on with lots of warnings of falling rock and loose rock containing nets.I had to take this photo through the car windscreen, so please excuse the quality. I wanted to document the rock nets. Some of the nets had been doing their job and contained substantial chunks of the mountain! Little rail tunnel along side the road.

Beautiful rail bridge/viaduct.

Eventually we got up past the tree line and it was at this point we took a couple of available short cuts through tunnels.
Tunnel entrance.
Coming out the other side into . . . . alpine meadows!
It is all very beautiful up here. Andorra seems to have the same sort of look about it as the photographs I've seen of Switzerland. This is where we had our picnic lunch. There were two mating pairs of gray wagtails at this particular spot. It was just so clean and clear! I wish I could tell you how fresh and invigorating the air smelled!
There are lots of ski chalets and ski resorts. Everybody seemed to be busy cleaning and repairing skiing related things in preparation for the next busy season. They were doing that or walking around being exempt from taxes.The fuel was the lowest we'd seen on our holiday so we filled up while we were there.

We got stopped by customs going back into France and asked if we had purchased any tobacco or alcohol while in Andorra. We said "No, none at all." and we were waved off (dismissed) to go on our merry way.

We went there through some beautiful mountain scenery and scary twisty roads. We discovered that Andorra is stunningly beautiful in the summer. Most visitors will never know this as the bulk of Andorra's tourists show up in the winter.

I thought I had seen some small fields of tobacco and I was right!!! It turns out that the meagre 2% of Andorran soil that can be cultivated. A portion of that 2% is where tobacco is grown. Who'd a thought?

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