When we made the decision to move back to Barcelona we said things have to be different this time. We have to explore the city, Catalunya and Spain. Previously I mostly stayed in the city while Paul was away for 3, 4 months or more at a time. Even then, I didn’t explore the city as much as I should have. Also we didn’t have our own transport. This time around we have a motorbike (okay, Paul has, I’m not keen on the helmet messing with my hair or make up, but I do like the ride. Such a girl!) made for road trips.
After 3 weeks of being back in a city, this weekend we decided to get out of the city. Paul had seen train tours heading into Vall de Nuria, a National Park about an hour and half from Barcelona and thought it’s a perfect motorbike trip. Little did we know, we end up 2000 metres above sea level high up in the Catalan Pyrenees. We do some crazy things him and I.
Our, first stop Ripoll, a sleepy mountain town for coffee and walk about. Lots of other bikers from the UK, Germany and The Netherlands stopping off for coffee too. In France and outside Barcelona, there’s an unofficial bikers club code of acknowledging other bikers with a nod, wave or leg out. It’s a great club to be in!
And it was hot!
We passed through Ribes de Freser, (which I realised is where Ribes Aigua, a major Catalan mineral water is bottled and also holding a sky run event), through the park to Queralbs that was to be our turn around point. That was until Paul saw a sign for a vista 11.5km away. It’s only 11.5km away, lets go. It turned out the be the surreal best part of the trip. The paved road ran out 2km up and was replaced by gravel. Entering the park there was a no off roading sign, but cars were coming down, so we continued up. The bike came into it’s own. One of the many reasons why Paul choice his BMW was he wanted a bike that could take on any terrain thrown at it. I swear both of them were in their element attacking the mountain! Just when we thought it couldn’t get any more surreal, we turned the corner to be faced with cows. Yes, cows and their foals. The Milka chocolate, Swiss cheese, cow bell wearing kind. I swear they were the most content cows I’ve seen. The next corner, wild horses and their foals! I’m not sure how wild as there was low lying electric fences and cattle grids. Just to see them being able to be, was enough.
Half way up the top of the world!
It was a pinch yourself moment when we made it to the top. The views were amazing. To walk it, takes about 3 hours, setting off from Queralbs. From there, there are no end of trails. We had to stop ourselves from seeing what’s over that ridge, the next and the next. 2000 meters above see level and on top of the world! We’ll definitely be back to explore more of the Vall de Nuria.
Sound of Music
When we reluctantly made our way back down, our descent was held up by the cows coming up for the evening sun. I’ve read about cows intelligence and these ladies knew exactly where to go, queued to get up the bank and waited for the slower ones to catch up. I don’t know how anyone could possible eat these gentle ladies.
Sunday, back at sea level we went for a run/explore. A great way to explore new surroundings is by running. We headed to the next town up, Badalona and were surprised with a boardwalk and a pier! A completely different Spain to the city beaches I’m used to and just a 10 minute bicycle ride away. It turned out to be a slow run. Some reoccurring heel problems that I haven’t had for a while said hello and we had to take it easy. Paul could have ran on, but he talked me through and didn’t mind pausing to walk the pier with me.
The day ended with Tone It Up’s ombre sorbet recipe. So easy to make, freeze fruit, puree, serve. With me a big mess in the kitchen. *Complete fail* Uh oh!
What did you get up to this weekend? Have you ever been to the Pyrenees?