Alpens, Spain

Ahhh Spain, I knew I wanted to bring the kids here but I 
had sort of forgotten what it was that had captivated me
the first time we visited, but now that we are back, I
remember. Spain is alive, it is a vibrant place full of
colour and life. Here in the north with influences like
Gaudi and Dali there is eccentricity and spectacle everywhere.

It's hot and dry, and slashes of colour are set against a
background of pale stone building and paths. Muted pale
green arid plants cover the ground. The rugged windy coast
line harbours beautiful turquoise, clear water beaches,
covered with umbrellas so dense you can't see any sand and
the masses of skin on show remind me that we really do live
in quite a prudish society at home.

We are staying in a tiny hill side village, all stone attached
houses lining narrow stone alleys that are full of neighbours
enjoying each other’s company until late into the night. I
can really appreciate the benefits of siesta here, up early
to do your work, then rest and refresh during the heat of
the day and then be social until the wee hours. The Spanish
seem to have perfected enjoying life to the full.

In addition to sharing with the children Gaudi's unmistakable
contribution to Barcelona, I felt compelled to take them to
Dali's theatre museum, it was not very far away from our
village and I have really enjoyed seeing his exhibitions
when they have been in Brisbane. I like the idea that his
quirky representation of things might challenge the children
a little, but I must say that having an entire museum created
by such an eccentric mind where oddities were every which
way you looked, combined with masses of people - it was all
a bit too much to take in. There was no opportunity for
reflection or thought on any of his pieces, just the 10
second 'look see' and move on to allow others a look. There
were even long line ups once you were within the museum to
see certain pieces, the kids did an amazing job coping with
this, but this is a serious down side to travelling here
during the summer season. I'm thankful that we stayed in such
a delightful little village that days spent at home were a
wonderful break from the summer crowds and gave us an
opportunity to really experience the local culture here.

Think I feel a little more at home in Spain with the heat,
dust, coast and fresh produce then in Northern Europe.
Looking forward to a month in Italy..... Bring on the
summer heat.
  1. Meeting the locals, Alpens
  2. Walking in Alpens
  3. Alpens
  4. Haybales in the fields near Alpens
  5. Umbrellas on the Beach, Platja del Cassels, Costa Brava
  6. Platja del Cassels, Costa Brava
  7. Nativity facade, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
  8. Interior, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
  9. Near the altar, Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
  10. Colombus monument, Barcelona
  11. View from Park Güell, Barcelona
  12. Riding the mosaic lizard, Park Güell, Barcelona
  13. Cates 3rd birthday
  14. Cates 3rd birthday
  15. Cates 3rd birthday
  16. Cannonball!! Cate's birthday picnic, Alpens
  17. Val Nord, Andorra
  18. Tristiana Lakes walk, Andorra
  19. Tristiana Lakes walk, Andorra
  20. Cate's first snow ball, Tristiana, Andorra
  21. Tristiana Lakes walk, Andorra