Beautiful Barcelona 

We are smitten with Barcelona! Having heard wonderful things about the cycling infrastructure and Gaudi’s architecture, I was really looking forward to visiting this city.

Originally we had planned to spend several weeks in Spain, but as we mentioned earlier, we loved every single region we visited in France and ended up staying for about 7 weeks there, leaving ourselves one week in Spain.

The last week we’ve had some of the most stunning riding of the whole trip, with a few mountain passes from Port Bou to Rosas. We rode that route on a Saturday afternoon and a Sunday morning, so the car traffic was very light and there were lots of other cyclists playing on the hills, who all wished us a warm welcome and a great ride. The mountains brought back beautiful memories of our time in Mexico, with lots of nopalitos on craggy rocks and views of the sea.

Arriving in Rosas, after a glorious descent, we bikes to the beach and stayed at a campground just a few minutes away from the boardwalk. Jasper swam and built a sandcastle. He is very brave about cold water!

The next day we took the train into Mataro, about 30 kms outside Barcelona. The campground there had a shuttle bus that took us right into downtown Barcelona, so we were able to spend a day walking around, seeing all the wonderful sights and all the pedestrian places. We picked up some Spanish books for language learning. Duolingo is still our favourite language app, but it’s nice to have offline options.

My Spanish has a lot of French in it right now, but it’s coming back! I have a big soft spot for Spanish as it’s the first foreign language that I felt comfortable speaking and it gave me a lot more confidence in French.

It was especially fun for us to walk back to catch the shuttle at 8pm, when the streets were full of people and the parks had lots of children playing in them. So friendly and festive!

For the past two days we’ve been staying in an elegant apartment right downtown that belongs to the family of our good friend Jaume, from Plum Village. 

Jaume is Catalonian and has been explaining what the recent separatist vote means for his region that has sought cultural, linguistic, economic and political autonomy since the Middle Ages. It was great to reconnect with a friend from Plum Village!

As we have been experiencing over and over on this trip, the landscape is beautiful but it is the warmth, kindness, generosity and time together with new friends that is making the trip so special.

This afternoon we are flying to Bogota for three weeks and then we’ll go to Cuba for about three months. The tandem is packed in a bike box and we’re trying plastic bike bags for my bike and Anna’s bike, to cut down on airport assembly time. 

The kids wish everyone a very happy Halloween  and hope you are all enjoying roasted pumpkin seeds!