Sunday, November 13, 2011

My First Trip to the Pyranees!

And we're off! From school on Friday, four mountain-savvy girl friends and I caught the bus to the heart of the city where our rented car awaited us.
We drove 4 hours to Vall de Boi, a gorgeous valley northwest of Barcelona in the Pyranees. We rented an apartment in a ski village near a town called Taull.   We had the "village" totally to ourselves, as it was off-season. We were definitely chancing it by heading into the Pyranees to hike this late in the Fall, but we lucked out with perfect bluebird weather for our hike on Saturday, and we caught the last glimpse of the Autumn leaves for the season. Arriving late on a Friday night in the dark is the best. The next morning we woke up to this scenery:

We geared up to drive to the village of Boi where we would grab a 4WD "taxi" ride into the park. A little stretching first...

We had to wait a bit in Boi for the taxi ride, so we wandered around the little medieval town for a minute. 

This is Sant Joan church (built in the 12th century).

The ride into the park... Our Catalan driver's English was excellent. When we asked him how he learned English, he said it was through Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Paul Simon. So we sang a little rendition of "Heart of Gold" together.

The Park's name means "Twisted Waters."

Our Bob Dylan driver-friend assisted us with the map reading before sending us off.  He made a reference to the refuge ahead as a place we could seek "Shelter from the Storm."

Aah, mountains.

Estany (Lake) Llong.

 Up to something...

Down from something...

We couldn't have picked a nicer picnic spot.

With Lake Llong behind us, Lake Redo awaited us ahead. We hiked up into its hanging valley.

Deer tracks.

Playing around with my camera settings...

The crew.

And back to our cozy apartment... 

This is the view from our balcony:

Alpine glow warms my heart.

We read, talked, drank wine, cooked dinner, drank wine...

On Sunday morning, we wandered around Boi before heading back to the city.

Slate rooftops.

 Some specialties shops were open.

 Is that Ottoman architecture??!

And coffee and hot chocolate before hitting the road...

A GREAT "prequel" to my trip to Montana in just a few short weeks...  Gotta get the hardy mountain girl back into my system :)