National Geographic : 1949 Aug
Dust and Smoke Stir in the "Times Square" of Andorra; the Travel Season Is On It is noon in Escaldes, the hotel and luxury-shop center. Cookstoves are lit; sidewalk cafes are filling (left). A wine barrel blocks pedestrian traffic, but no one bothers. Tattered streamers of a street dance hang from a line like laundry (center). Balconied houses, some centuries old, back up to the mountains. A wilder ness lies only a few yards away (page 267). in France only on the black market, from American cigarettes to Spanish cordovan leather shoes. We sensed a Klondike air about this com munity. No gold had been discovered here; it was rather the equivalent of a western American frontier trading post of the past century, offering pioneers the last chance to purchase the products of the civilization they have left. We entered one, a barrackslike structure, lit brilliantly by the glare of strong and un shaded light bulbs. Bolts of cloth, woolen and cotton, were stacked to the ceiling along the walls, with cases of canned goods, shoes, wines, electrical equipment, and groceries. Modern Goods-and Salesmanship We soon found that not only modern mer chandise but salesmanship, too, had invaded Andorra. As my wife purchased bananas and oranges, I asked the proprietress for a box of matches. "We have these, from Spain, with Don Quixote on the cover," she said, extending a box. "Have you read Don Quixote?" I answered that I would take the matches, and, yes, I had read the book.