Thursday, 26 January 2012

Catalonia, Spain

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.

25.01.12 Olot, Spain 050


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. 

25.01.12 Olot, Spain 00225.01.12 Olot, Spain 00425.01.12 Olot, Spain 14125.01.12 Olot, Spain 14325.01.12 Olot, Spain 152

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.

25.01.12 Olot, Spain 025

25.01.12 Olot, Spain 03925.01.12 Olot, Spain 05225.01.12 Olot, Spain 03425.01.12 Olot, Spain 033

Here’s a view of the town Olot, from one of the volcanoes in the area:

25.01.12 Olot, Spain 072

And one of the beautiful buildings in the centre, and the bullring reflected in a modern office block.

25.01.12 Olot, Spain 07825.01.12 Olot, Spain 097

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.

25.01.12 Olot, Spain 109

25.01.12 Olot, Spain 11725.01.12 Olot, Spain 120

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:

25.01.12 Olot, Spain 135

And the new side, depicting Christ’s death:

25.01.12 Olot, Spain 12825.01.12 Olot, Spain 130

What a lovely trip!  I am sure we will be visiting this region of Spain again.


Melissa said...

It sounds like a nice trip. Great photos!

Alison said...

I am so glad to hear you enjoyed your trip to Barcelona and the surrounding area! DD studies in Barca and it has become one of my favourite cities- next to NYC-we have never gone north of there looks very pretty..fab pics!
Alison xx

Chicken Licken said...

Wow some amazing pictures there Linda. Looks gorgeous.

Helen said...

Fabulous photos as always. I love Barcelona, I spent a couple of days there a few (10) years ago and remember it well, would so love to go back.

Sian said...

That's a lovely selection of photos Linda. Plenty of scrapping material there!