ANDORA – ANDORRA

Parlament Andore-Casa de la Vall, Andorran Parliament

Parlament Andore-Casa de la Vall, Andorran Parliament

Pogled na glavni grad u dolini-A view of the capital in the valley

Pogled na glavni grad u dolini-A view of the capital in the valley

Stara crkva-Santa Caloma Church

Stara crkva-Santa Caloma Church

Zona za kupovinu-Andorra la Vella high street

Zona za kupovinu-Andorra la Vella high street

Crkva San Migel-The Church of San Miguel

Crkva San Migel-The Church of San Miguel

Crkva San Migel-The Church of San Miguel

Crkva San Migel-The Church of San Miguel

Dalijev sat i Pariski most-Dali's La noblesse du temps and Paris Bridge

Dalijev sat i Pariski most-Dali’s La noblesse du temps and Paris Bridge

Jezero-Lake Engolasters

Jezero-Lake Engolasters

Kapelica-Chapel of Santa Filomena, Sant Julia de Loria

Kapelica-Chapel of Santa Filomena, Sant Julia de Loria

Most iz 12. veka-The 12th-century Romanesque bridge, Pont de la Margineda

Most iz 12. veka-The 12th-century Romanesque bridge, Pont de la Margineda

Parlament Andore - Casa de la Vall, Andorran Parliament

Parlament Andore – Casa de la Vall, Andorran Parliament

Sediste Saveta ministara-The House of the Valley is the seat of the General Council

Sediste Saveta ministara-The House of the Valley is the seat of the General Council

Zastitnica mesta-Patron saint of Sant Julia de Loria

Zastitnica mesta-Patron saint of Sant Julia de Loria

Minijaturna planinska zemlja, skrivena među vrhovima Pirineja, opkoljena je moćnim susedima, pokroviteljima i vladarima, Francuskom i Španijom i zvanično je dvostruka kneževina, u kojoj vladaju dva princa: francuski predsednik i katalonski biskup. Ako neki deo francuske javnosti još želi monarhiju, formalno je ima u Andori. Oni periodično smenjuju svoju vlast u toj zemlji koja je pretvorena u veliku slobodnu carinsku zonu. Zbog toga su kupovina i skijanje dve najvažnije aktivnosti zbog kojih se u Andoru skoro jedino i dolazi. Moderno uređeni i relativno strmi skijaški tereni privlače sve veći broj turista, posebno zbog blizine Barselone iz koje se u jednom danu može uživati i na moru, i u planinama.

Šetnja kroz pirinejske doline i putovanje vozićem iz Perpinjana u Francuskoj ka Andori, onom strmijom stranom, neodoljivo podsećaju na prolazak kroz švajcarske Alpe. Romantični pansioni, nalik srednjovekovnim krčmama, smešteni na okukama planinskih rečica ili u seocima čini se još žive životom davnih vremena, a evropska današnjica kao da sporo dopire do nekih krajeva ove zemlje.

Moj prvi prolazak kroz ovu državicu bilo je davno romantično putovanje vozom (Inter-rail), kada smo nas troje studenata medicine – Smilja, Ivan i ja – krajem sedamdesetih godina prošlog veka krenuli na studentsku razmenu u Španiju. Uvek zvuči kao “davno” kad se kaže da se nešto dešavalo u prošlom veku, ali su sa tim prošlovekovnim razdobljem  povezana i druga dva moja prolaska kroz Andoru, nažalost pretežno motivisana kupovinom. Veoma smo uživali u letnjim pejzažima dolina i planinskih prevoja na putu koji vodi ka Andorra la Vella, glavnom gradu na najvećoj nadmorskoj visini u Evropi (više od hiljadu metara). Moja prijateljica Mila Dragićević često mi je pričala da se na obroncima Pirineja nalaze skijaški tereni koji su među najlepšim u Evropi. Žao mi je što ih nisam osetio pod nogama. Osetio sam, s druge strane, Andoru koja je tada bila još daleko od savremene Evrope, skrivena negde u Pirinejima i još dalje od ostatka sveta. Danas mu je, svakako, mnogo bliža, iako se nalazi na odstojanju od Evropske Unije.

Mikrodržave Evrope, njih pet, mogle bi, možda, da imaju i sopstvenu uniju.

Jul 1981.

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This miniature mountainous land, hidden amongst the peaks of the Pyrenees, is surrounded by powerful neighbours, benefactors and rulers – France and Spain. Officially it is a dual principality, ruled by two princes: the French President and Catalonian Bishop alike. Perhaps, those French citizens mourning the long lost monarchy may find solace in Andorra’s formal status. These two rulers take turns in ruling Andorra which  has become a huge duty free zone. Hence shopping and skiing have become the two main activities in Andorra, most visitors coming exclusively for that reason. Skiing resorts boast most up to date facilities as well as challenging pistes, attracting increasing numbers of tourists, especially because of the proximity of Barcelona – in one day you can enjoy the sea and the mountains alike.
Trekking through the Pyrenean valleys and riding on the sightseeing train from France’s Perpignan to Andorra along the steep hills remind me fully of passing through the Swiss Alps. You can find picturesque pensions reminiscent of medieval inns, appearing at a river bend or tucked away in villages that seem to belong to a time long gone. It seems as if parts of Andorra are slow to take in the advancing influence of modern Europe.

My first visit to this tiny country was a romantic train journey (by Inter-rail) a long time ago – when three medical students, Ivan, Smilja and myself, left on a student exchange visit to Spain, at the end of the seventies in the last century. It sounds like a very long time ago, indeed, whenever you refer to ‘the last century’, however my other two visits to Andorra, predominantly shopping trips, also date back to that period. However, what sticks in mind are the summer valleys and mountain notches on the way to Andorra la Vella, Andora’s capital with the highest altitude amongst European capitals (more than 1000 metres above sea level). My friend Mila Dragićević used to tell me about the skiing slopes on the side of the Pyrenees, amongst the prettiest in Europe. I regret I never trod on them. However, I did experience the old Andorra, far removed from modern Europe, tucked away in the Pyrenees, hidden from the rest of the world.
Today, Andorra is much closer to the modern world, even though it is deliberately keeping its distance from the European Union.

Maybe one day, the mini-states of Europe, five of them, can form a Union of their own.

July 1981

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