Agbar Tower© City hall of Barcelona
• 2-time stage-town
• Population 1,600,000
• Capital of Catalonia (Spain)
Upon close examination, Barcelona emerges as an assortment of shapes that form a legitimate city map. Outlined against the sky are the remnants of the Roman wall, the spectacular Gothic constructions of the old medieval quarter – the cathedral, palaces, churches, royal shipyards – and the silhouette of Modernist buildings, an architectural style unique in the world, represented in creations designed by Antoni Gaudí. Further wandering through the city and further inspection of the skyline reveals a horizon dominated by the emergence of more recent skyscrapers that dot the urban landscape. These are the constructions of exceptional designers: the Agbar Tower, by Jean Nouvel, the MACBA, by Richard Meier and the Palau Sant Jordi, designed by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, to mention just a few in a long list of creations. Barcelona abounds in buildings, monuments, museums, paintings, sculptures and illustrious figures that have marked the city with their art and played a role in forging its history.
Andorra Arcalis: Arcalis-Ordino sculpture© Andorra turisma SAU
• 1st-time stage-town
• Ski resort in the Vallnord area of the Principality of Andorra
Situated at an altitude of 1 940 metres, Arcalís is part of the Vallnord ski area complex: in winter and spring, 90 kilometres of ski slopes are dedicated to skiers and snowboarders looking for action-packed fun. In summer it is also the ideal spot to discover stunning landscapes like the three Tristaina lakes or the Sorteny Natural Park.
Arcalís is part of the parish of Ordino, one of the seven parishes of Andorra. A haven of peace in the midst of an exceptionally dynamic Principality, Ordino, 2 500 inhabitants, is also a cultural hub with its Auditorium, a School of Music, Nature Interpretation Centre, Postal Museum and a Badge Museum with a collection of 50 000 different badges. Vestiges of traditional society life in Andorra can also be visited in the town, like, for example, the Areny-Plandolit Museum-House, the only 16th century aristocratic domain still standing in Andorra, the Cal Pal millstone and sawmill dating from the same era or the Romanesque Sant Martí de la Cortinada church that houses 12th century paintings.