Exploring Catalunya.

Trip Start May 30, 2013
Trip End Nov 25, 2013

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Where I stayed
What I did
Lots of Spanish villages.

Flag of Spain  , Valencian Country,
Saturday, June 15, 2013

99..98..97..96..95.…..sleep escapes me in the midnight air; ...my mind refusing to switch off in the dark, recalling the days events, with  Garry snoring quietly beside me. Maureen & Richard had said “we’ll call by for you, at 1 oclock and we’ll walk into the village to the Luncheon“.  We had tickets to a lovely Spanish Restaurant with an  outdoor courtyard and bar with umbrellas all set up for the afternoon booking for 60 people (fancy sunhats provided). Entertainment was a couple who WERE members of a  famous group in the UK (looked a little like the Yardbirds, in their pic by their bar, in their heyday)…now middle aged , (but still performing locally),they own the bar up the street-     they arrived on a pedal bicycle built for 2 …singing into their microphones as they rode in off the street. A great 3 course meal put on by the owner , (a little ‘bald headed Frenchman’ ), all to the music of the 60’s and 70’s…….. Cliff Richard, Abba, the Beach Boys … (they were all there) and Mike (the old Rocker) ,played a mean guitar …his renditions of the Shadows hits were brilliant. Sangria and cold tea by the jug and all we  “baby boomers “were singing along too, the words just coming back as if the songs were new. Many danced and the French owner danced too with his beret on his head and a  FAT large green plush soft frog on his shoulder.To ward off the effects of the Sangria , I insisted that G & me take a LONG walk before going to bed- so up we hiked behind the village , through the canopy of pines, up  to where the “real money property owners live”….oh boy , the Spanish sure know how to give their properties privacy and individualism- their entries all covered by either conifer hedges or wrought iron and security warnings:  where we could get a peep into their properties, there were lots of tiling and beautiful pools….many looked empty and a few looked like they had been empty for a long time.  9.30pm , still broad daylight, BUT time to head for home and back DOWN the large cobbled stepping stones,through the trees - home to where the “tourists” live. What was going to be a small stroll before bed , had turned into a 2 hour marathon hike!!.
A strange sight we spotted while travelling on a back road during the week - a farmer ploughing his field …….. plough attached to the horse, and the farmer standing on the plough and  holding the horses tail for stability and balance- bet the horse wishes he’d get a tractor.!!

Awake early (in spite of a light sleep last night), so packed our cooler and headed out for another day exploring in the car ….set the GPS for Tortosa - a town inland , in the  Catalunya’s deep south , that was taken during the civil war  by the Nationalists in 1938. The battle cost 35,000 lives . Situated on the fast flowing Ebro river, the Cathedral survived and is overlooked by an old castle that has since been turned into a Parador (hotel). The Cathedral was begun in 1158 - a magnificent building- we entered through the ground floor and at one stage we were 3 floors down  in dirt corridors ,(1 person wide), where people sheltered from the waring factions .The Cathedral consists of 3 naves with side chapels (ceilings to rival the paintings of the Sistine chapel ..)an example of full Baroque style. Much of the medieval quarter still stands, and we enjoyed picking our way around the almost empty buildings that surround the Cathedral. Moving out to the coast early afternoon , we made for Delta de L’Ebre (mouth of the river that flowed fast through Tortosa)…The biggest wetland in Catalunya , with the noise of the birdlife able to be heard from the Marina. We took a drive a short way on the marshy wetland , that was covered both sides of the narrow elevated road, with rice fields fed by narrow water ways from the river . A seafood village (Les Cases Dalcanar) famous for its prawns , was nearby, so we made our way south, down to the port and enjoyed a Clara (shandy) and a plate full of  Langoustines (large prawns) .

After a full day out , we have arrived home just in time - the skies have opened , and we are in the middle of a torrential downpour and storm - the road outside , running downhill to the ocean, has turned into a torrent.
Off in the morning  for our weekend in Cuenca with Richard and Vivienne- more about that in the next episode
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Susan on

Wonderful photos. Sounds like you are having a great time. Looking forward to joining the adventure soon!

daviderinb on

Your new camera is doing the job nicely, and you point it so expertly in the right direction, with imagination too! Great photos!
We are envious of your climate over there, we are ant-arctic here! xxxEnD

glenna gray on

I wish that we could have been there for the music. Enjoy!!!

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