Friday, November 11, 2011

Still In Barcelona, Spain

Continuation ( Euro Trip : Barcelona, Spain)

The next day was, we were bound for Pyrenees - mountainous and a bit rugged with all the beautiful formation bordering France from Spain.

We needed to wake up early and be at the post office for our rendezvous. There we met Brian an American guy who's been living in Barcelona for less than 10 years - typical American, chatty and warm.

The travel was more than an hour or two from Cataluña post office or was it Correos Barcelona, ahh nevermind. It was interesting because Brian was on for a real deal - simply say hello to some Catalan history was what he did. We haven't had our breakfast so when we arrived at the starting point of our "mountain trek", we parked at this cafe. They served some really tasty breads and the coffee was good. Since it borders France, they say merci for their thank you :)

The trek started with some history about the houses which dates 1400 during the medieval times. The place was totally quaint. The cobble stones and the house in bricks but not the usual red bricks, instead, those that are just stacked stones perfectly stacked like some jigsaw. I can compare them actually to the stacked stones in my grand mother's farm in Cebu as her farm is on top of a plateau so they have this mini terraces. But in the Pyrenees, they were made for their house. As we continued our excursion on foot, we were greeted with a lot of houses where you would know who owned them because they have labels on their front door (I'm not sure if they do have back doors). And the dates as to when their houses were build were also on display. The way they displayed those markers were engraved. Then, we passed by a church so I had my simple prayers then we continued on until we reached the back side was it? Sort of a road to the other side of the mountain that is. It was beginning to be a real trek. I was not complaining, in fact, I loved it! The mountain air is so fresh and since it was a bit cool, the sun did not really pricked my skin. I am not sure as to how my mates felt but for me it was getting to fun.... We trek to the hillside descending and at the bottom of the hill we began to climb up. Lots of trees or should I say we were entering a forest but the village was still visible. The place was so calm and I guess we were the only ones making the noise. We knew that it was a trek so we were aware of what to expect. In fact, when I was still in Singapore, I trained myself to always walk from the office going to Buona Vista mrt station (imagine two train stops from my office). We continued to walk and when we reached the top, we arrived at this chapel - frail looking chapel but still a chapel from the outside. It was not advisable to get it as there might be falling debris. The view beyond the hill was fantastic and on the other side, you can see the village. It felt so great being on top. We did not stop there, as we were still starting our journey :) There were another mile of walk going to next mountain. It was another combo of some descends and ascends. Then we arrived at a roadside and Brian asked us if we wanted to follow on the road or go to a challenging trek, translated to mountain climb minus the gears. I said I was game for the challenge and my right hand shoot into the air :) Then everyone followed suit. Hehehehehe ;) And Brian was not joking as the trek proved really challenging. I went to Europe for a mountain trek which was funny because, Cebu is mountainous too and I have never tried to do some mountaineering, ironic! Well, well, well, we reached the top and the view was amazing. It was well worth it! Cam whoring was the labor of the day! It is actually a bit dangerous because we were a few meters from the mountain's edge so one false move and you'll be meeting St. Peter. After the trek, we started to descend and mind you it was challenging as there were dried leaves all over the place and that it proved slippery, so we had to be very careful. After that grueling descend, we were taking a flatter track going to another mountain edge. Along the way, people were just laughing boisterously and sometimes we would be singing :) Typical Filipino or should I say Cebuano! After another say 30 minutes of walking, we reached the mountain edge where there's a falls. Really nice and the place it breathtaking though the place is a bit hot already as it was around 11AM. We rested at the edge. We talked, laughed and sing some children's rhymes which was a bit silly. After that nice rest, we continued our journey and this time we were heading back to the village. Halfway to the village, we drank at this cold mountain spring which was really refreshing :) It was another 30 minutes of hike before we reached the village.

We had our lunch at the village. To feel and experience the Catalan culture, we tried deep fried rabbit matched with red wine and drank the wine the Catalan way. I honestly did not like the rabbit meat because of the strong smell but nevertheless I was full =)) Should I say I was a bit tipsy too :P

All for the good Barcelona trekking at the Pyrenees plus the breakfast and luch, billed each of us around 50 euros. And we gave Brian a tip of 30 euros.

After the trek, we asked Brian where to see some nice shops and so we alighted at the post office and head to the Las Ramblas. And there the shops were like mushrooms and all over the corners and there was a huge crowd. There was no recession or some sort of financial turmoil in that area. Everyone was like busy shopping :) As for me, I bought a pair of H&M high cut shoes. Some of my friends also shopped and bought personal stuffs. It was a long walk and I was still full from the lunch I had and I really did not feel hungry :) We continued roaming the shopping district of Barcelona until night time. We were walking and walking until the girls decided to go to the mall to buy some night snacks and breakfast. As I have mentioned, I was really full and so I did not buy food or anything. Peter actually went ahead after shopping so while the girls were buying at the grocery, I was busy doing my thing at the loo and then checked some stuff at the personal care section. After the girls paid their purchases, we decided to call it a night and so went back to our hostel.

And Oh, the place we went to was called Rupit ;)

To be continued ....