The next leg of our Porsche road trip was going to take us to Andorra, a landlocked microstate on the French and Spanish borders, in the Pyrenees mountain range. Andorra is home to some beautiful mountain passes, and although April perhaps didn’t seem like the most ideal time of the year to travel there hoping for good weather – it would be have been better if we were into skiing – it was as far into the Pyrenees as we were able to travel with the limited time we had to enjoy the sapphire blue 911 GT3 kindly lent to us by Porsche.
After we’d reluctantly checked out from Château de Riell we soon arrived at the next hotel stop on our Porsche road trip, Hotel El Castell de Ciutat, a quirky four star spa hotel in La Seu d’Urgell in Spain, and a 10 minute drive from the Andorra border. We enjoyed a cosy evening at the hotel – which was obviously very well maintained and charming, even if you couldn’t help feeling you’d walked into 1978 – eating good food and drinking excellent Spanish wine, looking out on fierce thunderstorms and the lightning flashing across the hills. In the morning we woke up to a pretty gloomy landscape, the car desperately needed a new wash after the rainstorm, and my dream of sunny mountain pass photos was at risk – but at least it wasn’t raining anymore, we had a gorgeous GT3 parked outside, and the best we could do was to fire up the engine, get the GT3 looking shiny again, and start exploring the best driving roads in Andorra.
Because our first day of the Porsche road trip was spent only on the motorway, covering the long journey from the Côte d’Azur into the Pyrenees, it was exciting to finally get a more suitable drive in the 991.2 GT3 on winding roads where we were able to test the performance – after all I hadn’t driven a GT3 since the 991.1 GT3 I had for two weeks in April 2015 for Top Marques Monaco. 3 long years had gone by without a single drive in a GT3, and I hope I’ll never have to repeat that, because Andorra was a reminder of why I fell in love with this car in the first place. I’ve driven many exciting cars but I’ve yet to find another car that goes beyond being just incredibly fun to drive, and also ticks every box on my list of what I’m looking for in a car that I’d want to do most of our long journeys in. Not only has your car got to be practical for the purpose you intend to own it for – in our case it would be road trip after road trip, for business and for pleasure – but it also has to feel like something you want to spend time in, something you’d choose above anything else that is parked on your driveway, and something that makes you lust for a road trip adventure. Without question I’ve never clicked with a car like I click with the GT3 – it’s one of those cars that no matter how many hours you end up spending behind the wheel, it seems unlikely you’ll ever get bored. The 991 GT3 is also one of the best sounding cars I’ve ever driven, and to have that as your soundtrack for the whole day – you can imagine the grin on our faces.
Three mountain passes and several hairpin corners later I knew we had only touched the surface of what Andorra has to offer – the map was full of small twisty roads, some leading up to what looked like nothing particularly interesting – but you don’t see the destination unless you do the journey. There were serpentine routes going to what looked like normal border crossings, but at the border a thrilling tarmac road suddenly turns into a thin gravel track down a high mountain, or into the deep forest. I’ve seen photos of what the passes look like in the summer and I’m looking forward to the day we return for another blast through the Pyrenees and Andorra – perhaps for another Porsche road trip, perhaps even with our very own yellow GT3 that I dream of every day.
We might not have had the perfect weather for photos, but it was the most perfect day and location for enjoying a fantastic driving machine.