We spent a few days visiting Maurice’s nephew and partner who live in Spain. They live about 1.5 hour drive north from Barcelona, in the Catalan region of Spain. It was really lovely to spend some time with them in their new home! Did you know that they don’t speak Spanish here, but Catalan, which is completely different to Spanish! Catalonia is an autonomous region of Spain, and the people guard their Catalan identity with pride.
We spent the first afternoon in Barcelona walking down La Rambla, and around the old quarter. We ate in a traditional Catalan restaurant, which included snails! We visited a market, where we marvelled at the brightly coloured displays of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and sweets.
They took us on a lovely drive over the twisty mountain roads to Cadaques, a gorgeous little seaside village north of Barcelona on the Costa Brava. It has survived modernisation, partly because of it’s most famous inhabitant, Dali, and partly because it is so difficult to get to! It is a very pretty village with lots of white buildings and small alleyways. The weather was perfect, bright and sunny, but cold. (The sun is Spain is so much brighter than the sun in the UK!) We spent most of the day there, exploring the alleyways, and ate paella at a seafront restaurant.
Here’s a view of the town Olot, from one of the volcanoes in the area:
And one of the beautiful buildings in the centre, and the bullring reflected in a modern office block.
We borrowed their car and took ourselves off to another lovely ancient village called Besalu. We wandered around more little streets until the sun went down.
On our final day we weren’t flying home until later, so we caught the train back to Barcelona and the metro to La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s wondrous cathedral. It is still under construction as it was interrupted by the Spanish civil war in the 1930s. Here’s a picture of the older side, which depicts Christ’s birth:
And the new side, depicting Christ’s death:
What a lovely trip! I am sure we will be visiting this region of Spain again.