ANDORRA

I don’t really celebrate Fourth of July any more but if I did, going to another country on a whim seems like a nice way to appreciate it. Seeing other cultures tends to make you realize your own, warts and all, and to have the freedom to do so can be as American as anything else. The nearly three-hour drive to Andorra was a blur thanks to a nap-inducing, air-conditioned ride in a private van that Anthony hired for our group, and oblivious to the sometimes beautiful passing scenery, we left the European Union and arrived in the sixth-smallest country in the continent.

Interesting to note that Andorra has the seventh-highest alcohol consumption per capita in the world though this doesn’t seem to be an issue as I didn’t see a single bum living on the streets nor asking for change. Andorra la Vella isn’t the prettiest city either, it actually falls far from the Alpine standard with its characterless buildings and bland shopping centers. Its saving graces are the supposedly cheaper price tags – though I saw my lotion brand costing more than anywhere else so far – and the surrounding mountainous scenery that’s luckily hard to miss. Glad to have finally made a trip to this country that I’ve long known and given up as unreachable. Andorra is now checked off the list.

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