Ville d’AX les Thermes

In March this year (10/3) I visited a tourist village called Ville d’AX les Thermes, which is located in France, on the border with Spain, and where we stopped on the way to Andorra. It is a mountain ski resort with lifts. At the same time, it is a mineral water resort. They have a large pavilion there, where the entrance is for a fee and where you can have some procedures in style and under supervision. In several places of the village, there are also small pools with lukewarm and really warm water, where anyone can immerse their feet (recommended for up to 15 minutes) and which are completely free. Together with some tourists from our group, as well as with some residents and guests of the village, I did this, and received a boost of energy and health. I saw a few good-looking guys there (particularly skiers) and even took pictures, but unfortunately they were taken against the sun, and the quality is poor, so I am not going to publish them. As for food, it is there everywhere (cafes, restaurants, shops). Healthy, and not so.

And here are some photos to give you an idea of how this place looks like:












Visit to the Montserrat monastery, Spain

I am gradually recovering after a long trip. Am browsing my photo archives. I have decided to periodically publish some stories and photos relating to some of the places I visited recently.

Here’s my account of the Montserrat tour.

The official name of the tour (9 March 2017) was Early Access to Montserrat. We were supposed to meet at 6.50am at Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona. There was a small delay with the bus, so we bought some coffee, chatted with our lovely bilingual (Spanish and English) guide Sacha and amongst ourselves, the tourists. Finally, we got on the road, and headed towards the Montserrat mountains, to the monastery called Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey. It is about 50km away from Barcelona. Thanks to an early start, we avoided crowds and were able to enjoy the early morning which was magic at the mountains. The monastery is an impressive site, has a few large buildings, and you could visit the basilica with the famous black Madonna, a museum with paintings by El Greco, Dalí, and Picasso, and other wonderful works of art, and even taste good wines produced at the monastery. The Boys’ Choir is one of the oldest and famous in Europe, and we saw their videos and listened to their recordings. I managed to have a ride at Funicular de Sant Joan (a very steep train), and enjoy the views at the top. There are lots of other things you could do there, including hikes, but we were pressed for time – the tour was to finish at about 2pm at the same Plaça Catalunya. It was an unforgettable day, and I would like to come back to explore it even better sometime in the future.

I was in high spirits after visiting such a remarkable place, and full of energy (also, the fact that the tour finished early helped), and I went to a gay venue where I met some nice guys. I had a good time with them.

And here are some pictures of the tour:

























 

Departure

Today is my last day in Spain. Tonight, late in the evening, will fly back to Australia. Moscow saw me off with snow, suddenly it became very cold there. In Barcelona, it was warmer – 16 degrees. My Russian trip was successful – I managed to see my relatives, and of course, talk a lot to my mother. I managed to see some other things, although I didn’t have much time for that. It was great nevertheless. In Moscow, I caught a cold, and am still feeling the consequences. However, I perservered with my tour program in Spain. Visited the charming Cuenca, with views of the gorge and the ancient city itself, with hanging houses, narrow streets and an impressive cathedral. Yesterday I was in Valencia, one of the largest cities in the country. Also liked it. The combination of old and new, interesting architecture, parks … Today I will explore something not far from the charming Barcelona. Spain is beautiful and not expensive, and the Spaniards themselves are nice and friendly people. The food here is excellent. The variety of everything is incredible.

But soon I’ll be heading for Australia. The fifth continent is waiting for me.

I hope to visit Spain and Portugal again, not in the very distant future.

Interruption

I apologize for the interruprion in communication. On the last day in Portugal, and then during my transit in Spain, I did not have access to the Internet: neither in trains, nor at train stations … It was like a conspiracy. I arrived in Moscow on Monday and was a bit unwell initially. But now I have access to the Internet- I bought a local SIM card.

I liked Portugal: Lisbon is a beautiful city, with signs of the former colonial grandeur. I also visited the charming Sintra, a city of palaces, and, by the way, Byron’s favorite place. I was in transit in Madrid and visited, for a couple of hours, the Prado Museum: as usual, I was deeply moved by the Spanish art: Goya, Velasquez, El Greco… In Moscow I communicate spend most of my time with my mother: we were very happy to see each other after one year.

Forced break

I apologize for the interruption in communication. My hosting company had technical problems: for several days I could not use the site to update records and even my own sites disappeared.

Now I am in Seville, yesterday had a day trip to Cadiz, tomorrow again on the road: by train via Madrid to Lisbon.