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A Society Spanish Holiday 6th to 17th November 2007

'The walking was good, plenty of ups and downs. One particular section was rather tricky (especially looking down) and set many hearts racing, but we all triumphed. The views were magnificent and the colour of the trees glorious. Someone was heard to say, "Better than New England in the fall".

I think that most of us found the Spanish style of living - where they eat from 8.30 pm onwards into the night and don't seem to go to bed until about 4 am - not to our taste; still 'Chacun a son gout' (as they say in France?)
An excellent and very enjoyable holiday well and efficiently arranged - our grateful thanks to Sybil and John'.
. . .by Meryl Cochrane

Spanish Holiday 2007


Having travelled by train and plane the party of 25 arrived at the friendly Hotel Estrell in the hill village of Rupit on the afternoon of the 6th.

rupit


Rupit is 845m above sea level and, as one would expect in November, the nights were chilly and frosty. Thus we were wisely clothed for the start of walks.


dressed warm

but soon warmed up in what turned out to be 10 days of nigh perfect walking weather.


This typical view looking back at Rupit was taken on the first day.

typical view

The scenery on the whole holiday was first class but none of it was exceeded by that of the first day.


beautiful scenery

Our leader (Burt Palmen) was obviously anxious that we should not miss a bit of it.

leader Burt

and organised a coffee stop

,coffee stop

so we could drink it in. It was just as well that the view made up for the trial of crossing this wobbly bridge.


wobbly bridge

an awful start for an awful lot of our walks.


There is much exposed rock in this area and this is a picture of the pinnacle

pinnacle Rupit

after which Rupit is reputably named.

The summer rainfall had been low, exposing the limestone at the head of a normally mighty waterfall.


dry waterfall

 

This is typical limestone country with impressive cliffs and hills.


limestone


Rupit is a beautiful village both as seen approaching from one of our walks.

Rupit village

and at close quarters

.close up

 

It can be seen that Rupit is built on the bare rock although some parts look like Dickensian London; presumably retained for the tourist trade.


dickensian

Rupit has largely ceased to be a working  town and now gets most of its income from tourism which is helped by its proximity to Barcelona. Although it was the end of the tourist season, we benefited from the number of restaurants that this tourism has generated.


Around Rupit we experienced the autumn colours that we would find in greater abundance later at Olot.

autumn colours

It was whilst walking in the woods that Eugene’s party acquired an extra member who luckily reappeared after disappearing for worryingly long intervals.


extra member


People also disappeared. Sue and David managed to absent themselves from the group photograph.

group call

 


Olot was next, and is a full-blown town with more noise, dust and streets lined with plane trees that provided carpets of percussive leaves.

plane tree avenues

We decided that we would celebrate this contrast by having lunch on our first walk in amongst a dump of rocks in the otherwise empty car park of a factory.


lunch in rocks


There was a large food market in Olot where you could buy netted snails.

market

Luckily Rita decided on oranges!

oranges


Here we are walking above Olot.

above Olot

The volcano we climbed may have been extinct but we still found that getting to the top was hot work.


overheated

We went on to walk through a famous wood which consisted almost completely of autumnal beech trees and which stretched for miles.


miles of trees


On the last day in Olot, Eugene’s short walks party perversely walked longer than the long walks party.


short walks party

It was all too much for John, who enjoyed a nap, well deserved after all his efforts in organising the holiday.


well-earned rest


Many of the party took advantage of the holiday to spend a few days in Barcelona which is one of Europe’s outstanding cities. Barcelona is made unique by the designs of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi whose work characterises the city with both highly decorated art nouveau dwelling houses.

art nouveau

and the massive cathedral of Sagrada Familia,

Sagrada Familia Cathedral

which staggers on in a state of perpetual construction eighty two years after Gaudi’s death.

Finally, we had an excellent and well balanced holiday with the well deserved blessing of lovely weather. Our thanks to John and Sybil.

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