17 May 2007

The Yellow Train and Spain

Sylvia and Sandy arrived into Carcassonne on the 4th and we haven’t stopped since. Out and about just about every day, including a trip to the Hat Museum (!) just a short drive from Bize-Minervois. I’ve always meant to go and have a look, so it was a good opportunity. Not surprisingly, an awful lot of hats.
And another place I’d been meaning to visit is the Combebelle goat cheese farm just a few kilometres from Bize-Minervois. We timed it so we arrived just at milking time, and came away with a few of the cheeses.
On the way down to Spain, we did a trip on the Yellow Train, departing from Villafranche de Conflent, an overnight stay in the ski resort town of Font Romeu and returning in the morning. Stunning scenery in the Pyrenees and a trip I would highly recommend to anyone.

Left France the next day and headed into Spain. A side trip to Collioure on the coast just this side of the Spanish border – a beautiful little fishing town.

And then on to Barcelona - my second visit, but what a great city to return to. Well, when we finally got there that is. My mobile phone didn’t work in Spain (a problem with my contract – but that’s another story) and I was meant to phone the owner of the hostel when we hit Barcelona and he would make sure he was there to meet us. And it seemed (as we found out later) that there were several streets with the same name, and I’d put the wrong one into the GPS system. So peak hour afternoon traffic, going around and around a one way street system …… and getting nowhere fast. After nearly an hour of this, we figured we were close, parked in a 24 hour car park and hit the streets looking for our hostel. Which fortunately turned out to be fairly close, and a beaut place to stay (small 3 bed, open plan apartment, small kitchen/living area). In a pedestrian street, a few minutes walk from the Ramblas. So a few hectic days in Barcelona – we bought a 2 day jump-on jump-off bus pass – the perfect way to do it. Great weather, food and sights.
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