Olot

Spiritual Connection

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Spiritual Beech Trees of Catalonia, 2018

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” (Martin Buber)

Such it was for me. After the tram ride though long-dead, eroded volcanoes we had lunch then showed up again at Lava Parc for our next adventure – a carriage ride to see the beech forest. I kept asking Xavi “are we there yet?” “are we there yet?” and he patiently said “…..you’ll know when we’re there.”

And I did. The carriage lunged up a hill and slowed down in a sea of green – the beech forest. We all grew silent and the guide told us this grove of trees exists because of a particular soil mixture that occurred due to the volcanoes. And, these trees only grow here, in the heart of Catalonia, and in Iceland.

We slowly clambered out of the carriage, which left us to hide behind a curve in the road.  Our chance to experience this place without intrusion.  As we fanned out I left the group and went into the forest.  Touching a larger beech tree I began suddenly to weep.  Tears flowed from emotions deep, deep within me, and would not stop.  I wanted nothing more than to lay here in this forest and sob.  Most of my photos are blurred from emotion.  My reaction was not unnoticed by Xavi who, when it was time, came to help me out of the forest.  Tears blurred my vision.  My family, who know me well, gave me lots of hugs and we left the forest behind.  I am weeping while telling the tale.  This was an unexpected experience, a surprise reaction, a truly rare moment that I’ll never forget.

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Lava Parc

 

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Extinct volcano, Lava Parc, Spain

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” (Rosalia de Castro)

Before traveling to Olot, Spain, I didn’t have much time to research for travel. Therefore, we just took things as they came and delighted in each discovery. We were wide open and accepting…and the surprises were many. Olot is called the “City of Volcanoes” because it is ringed by 42 inactive volcanoes, four being in the city center. One day we went into the countryside just northwest of Santa Pau to Lava Parc. There, we took a slow, rambling tram ride through a lush Catalonian countryside to experience them.

 

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During the tram ride we passed a horse farm – oh, but I could live right here!!! With these horses!!!

 

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Seen from the tram as we travel up the side of the extinct volcano – the soil, which is already being reclaimed by nature.

 

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Before protections were put in place, villagers began mining the volcanoes for resources. You can see that now that they are protected nature is reclaiming the cut portion.

Returning from Spain

 

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Boarded Up, Besalu, Spain 2018

Jet lag has left me and I’m revisiting a recent trip to Spain via processing the photos.

Besalu was my first time experiencing medieval villages of Spain.  The textures of old wood juxtaposed with stone the color of sienna made me want to weep at its beauty.   We visited family in the village of Olot in Northern Spain, about an hour and a half north of Barcelona.  There, my son-in-law acted as interpreter and tour guide for our week long journey into Catalonia.  I’ll post pics as processed.