According to the world map, sandwiched between Spain and France there is a tiny country called Andorra. Nestled in the mountains and known for it’s popularity as a skiing destination, we couldn’t possibly resist passing through.
After an hour in Andorra I still wasn’t convinced that it was a real place.
Essentially just a big shopping city surrounded by nature, at 32°c it felt extremely claustrophobic trying to navigate the winding streets. We drove from one end to the other without finding a street with free parking, let alone anywhere to get out and explore. Lots of billboards advertising cigarettes though. Staring wistfully up at the green grass of the ski paths, we admitted defeat and decided, “Fuck it, let’s go back to France.”
Stopping to get diesel at one of the many cheap petrol station (because the one thing Andorra seems to have going for it in the summer is it’s tax-free shopping), the shouting garage attendant alerted us to the coolant leaking out of the van. A tense wait as he and Josh played a game of charades trying to communicate a solution to our problem, as I waited in the passenger seat running through drills of how quickly I could grab our cards, phones and passports if the van happened to explode. The thought of breaking down here, with our bottles of warm water and little tincan home that smells of feet was utterly horrifying.
Ironically, driving out of Andorra was a picturesque utopia. There was snow on the top of the mountains and once you’d rounded the corner you couldn’t even see tthe rabbit warren of shops and apartment buildings anymore. Damn, Andorra, why you gotta be like that?
This was the first place we’ve encountered that was disappointing, which isn’t bad going considering we’ve been on the road now for almost a month. Time to reevaluate our winter ski holiday!