Andorra, some miraculous miracle between Spain and France, the largest of the smallest, dwarf states of Europe. But still so dwarf that on geographical maps is indicated only by the number, as well as Liechtenstein, and San Marino, and other European "kids".
The first few hours in Andorra is the time of rampant fun. About the same, probably having fun Gulliver, who fell into the country of Liliputs and forced to escalate to the sizes and distances. From the Spanish Andorra border to the capital Andorra Andorra La Vella ten minutes drive. From Franco Andorran little more: 15 minutes. On the second day you begin to understand that everyone who meets on the streets, in stores and restaurants, you have already seen. Won with that aunt, you already drank coffee several times, but this man in a notable yellow hat, probably hunting you: otherwise why he is always where you are?
On the third day already freely oriented in the intricant street Andorra La Vella streets, because for each of them, Gulyyuchi, went on ten times. Moscow for 30 years of life in her life in it I don’t know how I learned the Andorra capital in just a week. Even the mountains, at first glance, exactly the same, begin to acquire individuality: it "yours" Mountain, next to your hotel, this "Alien", and the third slightly distance in general the mountain is not metropolitan, but the provincial. On the third day, with full knowledge of the case, you can tell newcomers: in which perfume shop is the largest choice where the most delicious buns are baked, why the alcohol must be bought in the Andorra-2000 supermarket.
Information about the past and the present Andorra also leads to the fun arrangement of the Spirit. Sometime Karl Great with his army stuck in the Pyrenees. As the legend says, a small population helped him from captivity of the mountains, since ancient times the tiny valley. Why, then, in 788, Karl decided that the foundation in the valley of the Principality would be a worthy response for his saviors, the story silent. But the Karl’s principality founded and thus laid the beginning of an almost five-wrestling struggle of two European superpowers, France and Spain, for the right to manage 467 square kilometers of land. Finally in 1278 the case ended with the signing of the world and since then Andorra is under an unusual, double control. From the Spanish side, her chapter is the bishop of the closest to Andorra of the city of Spain. With French first, also a representative of the Church, but after all the French revolutions of the eighteenth nineteenth centuries, the rights to Andorra were transferred to the President of the country. So on the current Constitution of Andorra, adopted in 1993, there are two signatures of the Spanish bishop Johan Marty Alanis and French President Francois Mitterian.
The vast majority of the inhabitants of Andorra considers themselves the Catalars. State language here Catalan, and the love of all Catalan is hardly more than in Catalonia itself. Spanish orientation manifests itself in the manner to dress, in relationships, in the fact that smoking can be everywhere from banks and restaurants to children’s clothing stores. Even improving centers decorate numerous ashtrays. Catalans Catalans, but actually in Andorra, where the entire population is 65.000 people live representatives of 130 nationalities. By the way, until recently, it was extremely difficult to get Andorran citizenship to be given it only to representatives of the fourth generation of immigrants. Now the laws softened a little: for example, the spouses of Andorra citizens will never receive citizenship (only a residence permit), but here children from these international marriages will already be Andorran citizens.
Little Andorra has no her army and its higher educational institutions care for the safety and level of education of its population. But there is a road in the part of 60 people and a few special forces just in case, although it is not very clear to what: everyone who deches to face the forces with Andorra, first forced to figure out the relationship with France and Spain. Even in Andorra there is a taxi, too, a number of 60 pieces. Local joke reads: You order a taxi at the same time order a mug of beer, you will have to wait long. There is a hospital, finally, its prison, in which 22 prisoners can comfortably accommodate. Andorran people call it a five-star hotel: the level of the prison service exceeds all the hopes of the criminal.
Search in Andorra Ibiza Freedom or Azart Monte Carlo Checking Ungrateful. There is nothing here on the contrary, everything is chinno, calm, leisurely. And the vital principle of most inhabitants of the principality should not postpone on tomorrow that you can do the day after tomorrow. And yet, this European dwarf takes more than 11 million guests annually. After all, Andorra is the only country in the world where tourists get a unique combination "three in one": The world famous ski resort, no less famous thermal health resort and, finally, the duty-free zone.
Skiing, helicopters, dogs. Although on your own
Andorra is called the most sunny of the ski resorts of Europe. Here, where the violent beauty of the Mediterranean is replaced by the Great Harmony of the Colors of the North: muffled green, long gray, indifferent beige, sharp white, and the truth generously shines the sun. Although some restrained sunlight is solar light before walking to the Earth, Impregnated Mountain Air. Total Pal, Arinsal, Soldeu El Tarter, Ordino and Pas De La Casa Crau Roig, for which a total of 279 kilometers of equipped tracks and 106 lifts that are able to deliver on top of 132.830 people per hour.
It is believed that the skiing Andorra is of interest primarily for newcomers, just stuck on the mountain skiing, and for middling, feeling confident in the mountains, but not so much to lose interest in "Green", "blue" and "Red" Route. Actually this is not true: "Black" Trails in Andorra, maybe less than in Switzerland or Austria, but they also have. At least, professionals skiing, collecting descents, like others collect vertices or seas, certainly include Andorra in the map of its routes.
Newbies, as a rule, choose for Soldeu El Tarter skating, widely known for its ski school. Although Soldeu is often coming and "cool" Skiers try out the descent on the famous peak of Encampadan, the height of which is 2.491 meters. PAL is also a great place for beginners at least because the preparation of the slopes here is impeccable. But Pas de La Casa The most high mountain ski resort of the Pyrenees and the very first station of the Andorra itself the subject of the dreams of experienced skiers, since it is distinguished by large height differences. In addition, it is here once a week riding with the torches of fun, from whose participation is usually not refused. In short, I "Teapot", and "Prof" Place in Andorra there is. WITH "Prof" Everyone is just better than any of Andorrman know that the ski resort is in itself. "Teapots" They are often lost. Therefore, here are some recommendations for beginners.
As a rule, ski fans bring everything you need to ride. But at each station, Andorra employs rental items, where it is possible to deal with skis, sticks and boots per day for 9.1 euros per day, or for 6.5 skiing and sticks, or for 3.8 only boots (naturally, if all this is good you rent not for one day, and immediately a few, you have a discount). There is only two "but": First, no ski suits, no glasses, no gloves at the box office have to carry them out of the house or buy in place; Secondly, it’s best to appear in the bus in the morning on Monday, most skiers make up for 4-5 days, and already on Tuesday at the point may not be a suitable pair of skis with shoes. By the way, the same story with instructors "to book" It is best on Monday: classes in the ski school lasts only 15 hours, but there are always many wanting.
To get to the ski station, you need to arrange SKI-PASS (it is also called "Forf") Pass. This document is nomable, it is impossible to transfer it to another person, and in case of loss, it is not renewed will have to pay for the new. It can also be bought for one day (depending on the station the price ranges from 27 to 43 euros per day), but you can immediately for several (only for this you will certainly need your photo). And you can purchase and super-ski-pass, giving the right five days in a row to ride any of five stations. It is worth considering: the stations are not connected by lifts among themselves, so if today you came to Pas de La Casa, then you roll only there, and tomorrow you can plan to visit Ordino or Soldeu. By the way, in Soldeu from this year, contactless SKI-PASS appeared: it is enough to put them in your pocket, puddled with this pocket to the reader and the entrance to the lift for you is open.
About the lifts In general, the conversation is special: they are in Andorra, as, however, and almost everywhere, two types of chair and bugly. Bougiels something like an anchor on the cable to which you need to sit and go up. Sometimes the unprepared people are afraid of the apparent instability of this design, but in fact it is not necessary to fear everything is designed and adjusted, delivered to the top in the best form. Armchairs they are the chairs, sit looking. True, to jump onto the seat and jumping from it, it is necessary to have a certain proportion of agility, because these operations are given for several seconds. And still do not forget that, jumping up, you need to immediately raise your hand and lower down the blocking device so that the wind does not fall out in the mountains in the mountains, and the booths can be quite noticeable.
In addition to the skiers in all their horseshipings in Andorra, fans of the low skis, and snowboarders, and lovers of dog sledding, and even deltaplaneers feel perfectly well. And for some who love the jogging, there is a completely adrenaline HELISKI class in Andorra. It means that you put you on the helicopter and together with the instructor are delivered to the top, where no one has launched any trails and no one has existed, except for the same irrepressible adventurers as you. Down this uninhabited vertex you have to go down yourself want on your feet you want on the pope but better still on skis. And all this for your blood: the first descent is about 55 euros, the second about 45, the third 40. Surprise waiting for the sorrowful way three times. No, not free fourth time only a darm lunch in a mountain hut: Before that a piece of throat will close after a similar experiment with its own organism, Andorranians are ready to remove hats.
The first skiers appear in the mountains in the area of the tenth in the morning, the latter leave from there in half the fifth evening. In 17.00 stations closed, freeze, and the whole life goes down from the mountains in the city. And the time of very different entertainment comes.
Move into any side leads to the result
So, how to entertain yourself in Andorra, waiting for the next ski morning in his life? The first thing that comes to mind is to go to the Caldea SPA Center, located in the capital of Andorra La Velatla. This is the largest center of thermal waters in the south of Europe. The entrance to Caldea costs 22.8 euros, and for this money you can smoothly flop from one pool with thermal water to another, from a hot sauna in a bath with grapefruit floating in it, from the Turkish bath in the jacuzzi and so on. Massages, shower Charcot and other amicing body rides in the center are also available but for individual pleasures and pay separately. In general, Caldea in Europe is very popular, and precisely thanks to her, many tourists who do not have any ski interests are still choosing the holiday location Andorra. Wellness treatments in combination with clean air, long walks and early sleep give a stunning effect. If water causes you a rejection in liquid form, then it may be attracted to a solid in the form of ice in the ice palace Canillo. In the afternoon, an ordinary people ride on a rink of 30 to 60 meters, and the clock at 10-11 pm, the disco on ice is fun, but also with an indispensable satellite patriarchhood, like everyone else in Andorra.
If you do not want to deal with water in any form, do shopping. However, you will probably do it, because it is stupid not to take advantage of the fact that since 1950 Andorra has been a duty-free zone. Living near Andorra European people with whole parties drags alcohol, perfume, home appliances, jewelry, watches and, of course, ski equipment. For example: in Moscow, the price of a decent pair of skiing comes up to $ 700-800, in Andorra the same can be bought for $ 300-400. Excess comments. Only one misfortune: in Andorra there are export rules of goods. And the norms are very tough: 1 kilogram of coffee, 200 grams of tea, 1.5 liters of alcohol fortress over 22 degrees, 3 liters Fortress less than 22 degrees, 5 liters of table wine, 75 milliliters of perfumes, 375 milliliters of cologne. As for the rest of the goods, their total price should not exceed 504.85 euros (per adult) or 259.64 euros (for a child up to 15 years old). Honestly, who and what exports from Andorra, is worried about not so many Andorrants themselves, how many Spaniards who conduct customs control in the Spanish Andorran border. The recently alerted customs officers of Spain detained a whole group of the British, dragged home Ballantines boxes, which in the UK is worth the horror, and in Andorra there are only 18 euros per liter. But actually, if everything competently pack and not glow at customs with huge boxes, there will be no problems, but it is between us.
Another indispensable entertainment in Andorra attending restaurants in national cuisine, which are called "Bordos". The best are in the suburbs, but also in the cities themselves you can find very attractive institutions. Going to Bordo, do not pick up and do not order Menu Del Pia (comprehensive lunch) delicious, but does not bring complete moral satisfaction. When the surrounding starts, smacking from pleasure, the local La Parillada grill is taken from different varieties of meat, or Mariscada is also a grill, only from fish and seafood, or Catalan sausage Butifarra, or Trout in Andorraska, you will not want to look at a complex lunch.
Finally, Andorra is so successfully located geographically, from it without much time costs can be reached to the mass of all kinds of interesting places. A little less than three hours and you in Barcelona, on a date with Gaudi. Or: a little less than three hours and you are in the railway, and then in Figzeuros, on a date with another genius of the last century Salvador Dali. But within easy reach of Andorra also Toulouse, and Zaragoza, and French carcassonne former strongholds of heretics. Shorter, entertainment a bunch would be a desire and money. By the way, about money. Andorran hotels that are distinguished by small sizes and cozy atmosphere, for some reason completely refuse to change money on reseption. Banks, like, however, shops, and souvenir shops, and in general, almost everything that works in Andorra, open from ten in the morning to the hour of the day, and then from three to five half of the sixth. After that, go for free, look at the mountains.
At three o’clock in the morning, every nightlife in Andorra stops. Latest restaurants are closed, the sounds of the last discos are cleaned, the last visitors from clubs diverge. Complete silence comes so that in this and so quiet country nothing distracts residents from dreams of hot deserts, roaring rivers, noisy cities, huge icebergs, multi-million nations. All of the fact that can be granted to citizens and guests of the small principality, from all sides of the peaks protected by the peaks of the Pyrenees.