Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Country #104: Touring Lucky in Andorra.

T-Mobile recently up'ed their roaming game. Already my favorite for providing free 2G data and text messages in over 140 countries, they declared that all summer long, their users could access high speed data all over Europe. For someone with a very close relationship to Google maps, this was huge. As with most corporate absolutes, the announcement was then followed by an asterisk which led to a disclaimer that said "** Except Andorra. Apologies to the proud people of Andorra!"

Why the tiny 180 square mile country was singled out, while its French and Spanish neighbors were free to roam willy nilly is a mystery to me. I learned about this slight on my 2.5 hr road trip from Barcelona to Andorra la Vielle. I was using the BlaBlaCar app (think carpooling meets uber for long distance trips) and my driver, Marco, was a Spaniard who worked in a resort in Andorra but returned home every other week to see his girlfriend.

He gave me advice on what to do during this day trip, that honestly speaking, I was doing only because officially- and despite all reason- Andorra is its own country.