ROADTRIP: 24 HOURS TO VISIT ONE OF THE SMALLEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD.
With only 79.000 people living in it, Andorra is not just one of the smallest countries in Europe but also in the entire world.
Andorra is located between Françe and Catalonia, it has only 468 km² of area, and it is all located in the middle of the pyrenees. Highest peak is Comapedrosa at a whopping 2.902 metres above the sea.
The river Valira, goes down all troughout the valley, and also through the capital city wich is Andorra La Vella.
The Journey started in Tarragona, a town in the mediterranean coastline of Catalonia, from there until reaching Andorra, a journey of 200km awaited us.
Now, about the car in question. The 3.0 TDI quattro A4 always joins us in these kind of journeys. It's massive torque and relentless power make it a tremendous masterpiece when driving through twisty roads in the mountain passes.
4,9 seconds 0-60mph. Nearly 600NM and 260bhp. That's certainly Porsche territory.
8:00AM: Gone for a walk in the streets of Andorra La Vella
Andorra la Vella is the main town of the country and one of the many parishes in which Andorra is divided in. Today we were going to visit nearly all of them.
The main street is plenty of shops, and specially pharmacies, having a disease isn't a problem at all because in 15 minutes of walking, we counted more than 10 pharmacies in the same street.
It is spectacular, seeing the number of medications and body related products that can be sold in one day.
The temperature was a not very cold 6 degrees celsius at first hours of daylight, wich for the time we went, it wasn't to much of a drama. We were expecting some minor weather changes along the day, but it was also probable to have a bit of snow in the highest terrain levels.
It's frequent to see expensive cars in the streets, such as AMG Mercedes, Audi's, BMW's etc...
Mercedes-AMG GT spotted in the main street. Also some pharmacies.
Dali's sculpture in Andorra La Vella bridge over the river Valira.
10:00AM Heading for the 6km Cableway in Encamp.
Encamp, is another parish in Andorra, 14.264 people live in here. It is located at 1.300 metres above the sea. Funicamp is what they call here the Cableway wich travels more than 6 km through the valley of Cortals, until reaching 2.502 metres above the sea. At the top the temperature was -2 degrees celsius and the fog was so thick that we weren't able to see the landscape.
Cortal's valley from the cableway.
Starting to snow a little bit.
11:00AM Time to go back to Encamp.
Now heading towards Canillo, the most extensive parish of the seven. The idea was to get to the "Mirador del Roc del Quer" but it was impossible, because the road was closed. But that did not stop us enjoying the astonishing views from the road.
Returning to Encamp with the Cableway. That was really a massive drop.
The road wich climbed up to the ski resorts in the parish of Canillo.
01:00PM Lunch time in Andorra La Vella.
Most of the restaurants in Andorra are stupidly expensive, but because it was late and we didn't find any of them wich wasn't full. We went to Andorra La Vella were we saw one that had the same ridiculous prices and we decided to have lunch there. The food was delicius, a mixed salad with foie, and lamb shoulder with some potatoes made my lunch an incredible experience.
03:00PM Driving in search of the snow
The temperatures had fallen down, and at high terrain levels snow started to make presence, so we decided to go again, into the northern parishes. We left Escaldes-Engordany behind, and we started climbing hard, until we reached the beginning of Pas de la Casa, one of the highest roads of the country.
Spotted nice Audi RS6 Avant in the restaurant parking.
Final challenge: Suriving at Andorra's rush our.
At 05:00 PM everybody started firing their V6 and V8's and jammed all the roads of the city. That gave me the possibility to take some photos of the cars wich were cruising at that moment.
The temperature was absolutely freezing. Time to go back to Catalonia.
05:30PM Night starting to fall.
Unfortunately we didn't find any snow covered empty parking lots to do some of the typical things that quattro's owners like to do in this season. More and more cars were getting in the road, that meaned that we had to rush a little bit if we wanted to get out of there.
Audi S6 V10, A4 3.0 V6 and BMW X5. Typical cars in Andorra.
Crossing the Border with Spain, more Audi's and Mercedes.
Journey back home.
The rain started falling when we left Andorra and the views from the road were beautiful until everything got dark and we couldn't see anything. Night had fallen and now we had to drive more than 150km of twisty and heavily transited mountain roads.
Going back to Tarragona.