Monday, June 4, 2012
I am falling in love with the countryside of Catalunya. Little by little, hiking and, especially now, climbing are exposing me to its hidden gems. This is Siurana, an area about two hours from Barcelona near Tarragona. This gorge was like a mini grand Canyon with its colors and the vibrant light.
I went climbing with an international gang I met through the Barcelona Hiking & Climbing group. This is Jorge having a go on the crag called Grau dels Masets (Oest). I think this climb was called "Anau" ("anew" in Catalan).
After a day of climbing, we explored this village perched atop a hill:
A trip I have been planning since I moved here, my Van Gogh mecca finally came into being on a three day weekend just recently. My girl friends, Julie, Shabari and I, rented a car and drove to the South of France to visit the landscapes and towns which inspired Vincent Van Gogh's most famous paintings- Arles and St. Remy- as well as visit other famous towns of the region: Aix-en-Provence and Marseilles.
We arrived late Friday night in the town of Arles, and woke up the following morning to look down on the breakfast courtyard of our cute little hotel in the old part of town:
We spent our first day wandering the streets of Arles. Notice the purple lanterns lining the streets:
Shabari & Julie, my South of France partners-in-crime:
The River Rhone! Picture these lanterns lit at night and the stars shining bright above and you've got Van Gogh's "Starry Night on the Rhone."
The inspiration for "Night Cafe:"
This is the hospital Van Gogh visited to get his ear sewn up after his argument with Gauguin:
Cicadas = a sign of good luck.
The South of France is lovely, and though this trip was a quick overview of four towns in just three days, now I know to where I'd like to return for a longer, slower spell of painting and writing. Such beautiful light, bright colors, and friendly people...