Thursday, October 12, 2017

Drive out 4 - Isona

This was perhaps the most rewarding drive out, scenic wise.

Just the scale of this place makes you stop and stare.  Note the town in the bottom left hand corner of the picture.

The Pyrenees are older than the Alps but unlike the Alps they have never been glacial.  On top of that they have only been slightly 'weathered', resulting in a crumpled look.

Great cliff views.

Can you spot the village?

Drive out 3 - Gosol

La Seu d'Urgell as viewed from above on our way to

The reason for the trek, Picasso.  He stayed in the village for the summer of 1906. This young woman became the subject of a number of his paintings. His pallette was also influenced by the the colours in the local geology, as evidenced in this portrait.

Local festival icons(?). Gek there for scaling.

That lady again.

Drive out 2 - Andorra

We drove straight through la Vella to Ordino.  La Vella far too busy for us.

Callino as seen from the Roc del Quer.

3,000 + metre peaks,

getting Gek's attention, 'The Wanderer' style.

And no we didn't join the others on the sky walk.  Too damn scary.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

On the Road

OK, looks slow here, but imagine driving this and trying NOT to look at the scenery.  Not easy.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Drive Out 1 - The Solsana Loop

The town on a hill.

The Catalana referendum in less than a weeks time and the towns have plenty of blue and red 'Si'flags

Evidence of old water mills,

but we are here for the vistas.

Miles to view.

Strange valleys too.

Through the rear wheel of a iron cycle piece to commemorate a Tour de France that passed this way.

Cat 'Bridge' in Figols

Somebody loves their cats..  No need to jump or climb in this house.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Espot to Figols

Not a good day for the old camera.   Driving above the clouds this day.

Our pad for the next week,

with a lovely courtyard.

The view from the balcony, one hundred plus goats just to the left off camera.

And across the other side of the valley. Another fab base from which to explore the mountains.  5 stars on the door for Gek's research efforts, as the following posts will testify.

A valley we would explore later, as seen from the hill behind Figols.


One night stop over in Espot gave us the chance to take the 3 hour return hike into the National Park to visit,

Lake Sant Maurici.

 Quite a trek that was.

But well worth the effort.  There is the option to take a taxi back to the town from the lake, which we forgoed (?). Down hill all the way back.  Besides we needed the exercise after so much car sitting. Did mean blistered feet though. Double socks in our boots from now on.

Vielha to Espot and Snow

Our hire car came with built in sat nav, which included an altimeter.  Why you would need a altimeter in your car, I am not at all sure but it was fun to have.  Oh look, we at 6,798 feet and above the snow line.

But only a short drive through the snow before we passed over the ridge and onto the long decent to Espot.

Vielha to Espot

Arties, much more our style, a quiet backwater.

No idea about the origins of the blue cow.

Our first drive into the National Park


On our first morning in Spain, we awoke to snow on the surrounding mountains.

Quaint town, if a little too touristy for our tastes.

Very tidy place

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Toulouse, the City

As in Milan in times past, the well off lived in  secure courtyarded town houses.

The not so well off lived in street houses.  This one from the 14c with the local red clay bricks that give the city it's nickname, The Pink City.

 Inside the 13th century church of the Jacobins,

 Saint-Serain Basilica inside.

Saint-Serain Basilica outside.

A much less visited gem, so much so that I cannot find a reference to it on google.  Would appreciate some help here to name the place.


We were here in Toulouse to visit our friend Christiane who kindly took us on a tour of her home town.

 First, down to the river, Garonne by name.

A great place for friends to meet.