Up and Over to Barcelona

The longer we live in this privileged location, the more I realize how lucky we are to be in reach of so much.  Both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coasts are an easy daytrip; skiing at a choice of resorts is just an hour away; fabulous walking, cycling, kayaking and just about every sport is on the doorstep; we are also just an hour away from the lovely city of Toulouse and, for a weekend of a very different city culture, Barcelona is just a 3 ¾ hour drive, up and over the mountains from us.

Hence we have just come back from a perfect weekend in one of my favourite cities where it is equally possible to visit fantastic museums and exhibitions, eat some of the best food and drink some of the best wine in the world and spend time on the beach or just wandering the maze of historic streets and enjoying the very Spanish architecture.

We left home on Friday afternoon and set off over the mountains for what must be one of the most stunning cross-border drives, winding up the green French valleys and over the Pyrenees down into the plains of Spain. Just four hours after leaving, we were enjoying a chilled cava and seafood tapas watching the sun go down over the yachts, illuminating the city and hills behind. Barcelona really comes alive in the evenings and at weekends and you can’t help to relax and enjoy the party mood. People were incredibly friendly, service excellent and, of course, the weather was perfect, the cooling breezes from the sea keeping the temperature at a very comfortable level. We saw lots, visited lots, walked lots, talked lots and ate and drank lots; perfect.

The drive home was equally stunning; it is always a great feeling to leave the baked Spanish plains and come back over the mountains back to our unspoiled and very beautiful little corner of France, having had our fill of Catalan culture, a country so close and yet so different. After just two days away, we arrived home feeling as if we had been on holiday and hugely appreciative yet again that we discovered this very special location with so much so close.

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