Clearly, Catalans have a selected attraction to mountains. I discovered this one winter weekend a 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Barcelona inside the Pyrenees as soon as I visited La Molina, the oldest ski resort in Spain, with a peak rising 2,537 meters (8,320 ft). The put together expertise, through vistas worthy of the Alps, was noisy with kids plucking guitars and singing.
I skied with Pedro Pereira, a Barcelona paper salesman who moonlights as a ski trainer. Pedro took me as a lot as 2,300 meters and confirmed me snowfields the place we broke our private trails. Later Pedro bantered with buddies crowded spherical a desk in a restaurant, as we banqueted on rounds of latest bread smeared with tomatoes, olive oil and garlic.
The subsequent day I drove in the direction of south of Tarragona. Trafic packed the freeway, and I might even see that the lure of discovering a quiet place inside the photo voltaic had set a whole bunch of Catalans on the switch. When I completed inside the village of San Carlos de la Rapita, I guessed I had hit land’s end. Shipwrecks cluttered the harbor. The metropolis smelled of salt hay and shellfish.
All the movement centered on the fish auction-until a helicopter swooped in for a landing. Then I seen previous the masks of the fishing fleet. On the other side of the harbor sat three oil-rig service vessels, full fields of drilling supplies and a squadron of choppers. I began making preparations for leaving this “paradise lost”.
But someting made me hold: first, solely a cup of espresso; then, the spirited dancing of the cafe waitresses; later, a variety of the biggest snails I’ve ever eaten; and ultimately, a desk of fhisermen who handed a wineskin. So it was a sort of nights-eating paella and attempting to fathom rough-spoken Catalan. I found two points: Fishing remained the massive enterprise proper right here, and the oilmen have been welcome.