Posts filed under ‘Weather’

Last Visit

This was the last visit to Barcelona’s beaches. It was ana mazing day and lot’s of people were out. Many booths were open on the boardwalk and the crowds were thick.

It was kind of weird though, looking south the sun was shining and the air clear but looking north was another view altogether.

A fog was rolling in off the sea and it had this really strange effect. People were wondering what was happening and the sun worshippers began to leave in droves. Soon, the beach looked like this…….

The fog itself was low and buildings above it still had sunlight. Made for a neat photograph and dramatic effects.

All in all, it was a dramatic last view of Barcelona’s beaches. One I’ll not forget.

May 10, 2007 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

Cantonigròs

This past weekend we went on a camino with Pau and Mireia. This hike had been in the works for quite a while. Sebastian and I had talked about organizing one way back in January. We wanted to hike up north, around Vic and Pau, who is a member of the hiking feferation in Vic, knows many of the trails there. We contacted him about a month ago to see if he was available to go for a hike with us. Sunday was the day we went. We let people know where we were going and when to meet but in the end only Alex, myself and Sebastian went from Barcelona. We left for Vic on the 9:20 train out of Placa Catalunya.

Pau i Mireia

An hour and a half later, we arrived in Vic. Pau and Mireia met us at the train station and off we went. They told us that they had made reservations for lunch and that we would be hiking to the restaurant, eating and hiking back. We were in for a huge, pleasant surprise. We headed off in the direction of Olot, which is north of Vic. The highway progressively climbed as we got further from Vic. The whole landscape changed from what we were used to in Barcelona. Most of the trees were bare of their leaves and the sky, wow, so dramatic. The sun and clouds were having this huge battle for dominance and the clouds were winning each skirmish, although at times it seemed the sun would win. It was like this for the entire day and made for some of the most dramatic skies I had ever seen.

So here’s a photo of what Barcelona was like on Thursday of last week, lush and green. Keep this in mind when you view the photos from our hike.

We pulled into a parking lot for a restaurant and our hike began. we were in an area called Cantonigròs. Pau pointed the way and off we went. The light was really flat so it was hard to get good photos since there was hardly any contrast.

We walked down the highway to a dirt road that went towards the mountain.

Actually, the road ran along a valley in between mountains, the scenery was amazing. We walked past working farms and the livestock was right there. Some of the biggest bulls I have ever seen were here too. These are cows by the way.

The path eventually started to wind it’s way upwards. It started off with a gentle climb and as we entered the forest we ran into some hunters with their dogs. We could hear dogs howling since we entered the valley. I’d never seen hunters with dogs before (except in the movies) so it was quite a treat.

Aparently there are a lot of wild boars here and signs were everywhere warning hikers of the possible danger. We kept on walking upwards and the path started to narrow at points as we made our way across the terrain.

That soon ended as we started some serious upward movements. The path varied from lots of vegetation to rock. The sky kept up the show and at this time, the clouds were really winning the battle. They were so thick it was getting dark.

You could see we’d climbed a fair bit up into the mountains

and of course we had to shoot some photos (just the excuse I needed for a rest)

After our rest, ooops, I mean photo session, we climbed at a much quicker rate. The slope of the path increased quite a bit. I was sweating like mad. I sweat easily, even just doing my weight workout. I keep meaning to ask a doctor if it’s good to sweat so easily or is it a sign that something is up. I’ll have to wait until I get back to Canada I guess. Here’s the view from a little higher up, note the sky again. The sun is starting to gain a little ground.

At this point we’re “almost” at the restaurant. It’s on top of that mountain in the back and if you look closely you can see the trail that leads up. This was going to be fun (tongue in cheek).

We started up the trail and Sebastian, the mountain goat, went bouncing up the trail. You can see where we had come from and now, where we are going.

I went up at a good rate and stopped about half way up. I could actually hear my heart pounding, it was amazing. On the way up there was a marker and it gives you an idea of just how high we’d climbed in 1 hour and 30 minutes.

On top of this mountian were more trails continuing on and walking the narrow trail gave you fantastic views on both sides of the range.

It was weird because the sun was winning the war on one side and it seemed like the clouds were gathering on the other side to attack.

This was an amzing place to be. So close to the edge and nothing to guide you. You really felt the three dimensional world when you looked at the edge of the cliff.

There was also a geological marker placed at the top and there were indicators to different areas on the horizon.

As high as we were, the trail climbed even higher. Since our table was ready we only went so far.

From here we turned around and went back to the restaurant.

The restaurant, Sanctuari de Cabrera, is in a building that heralds from medieval times. It was a church and a sanctuary and the church is still there beside the resaurant. A really amazing place and a fantastic treat.

We had salad, mountain paella, beef, wine, dessert,coffee and penty of great conversation. I might add that at the beginning of the day, we, or should I say they, decided to speak only spanish and catalan. I survived and even managed to get into the conversations.

Pau and Mireia even taught me how to drink wine from a porron, a catalan wine dispenser. It takes a bit of time to master and after pouring lots of wine on my face and shirt, I finally managed it.

Here’s some clearer photos of the porron.

The room was very humid with all the cooking going on and the outside looked so uninviting. Fog was just rolling across the ground and being inside was so comforting.

The cooking was done like it has been for centuries, by fire. The kitchen had few modern conveniences since the place was so isolated.

When we left, it seemed like the sun was finally going to win the war, at least in the valley we were heading down into. The dark clouds were still blowing across so it could go any way.

The return trip took far less time than it took to get up there and when we finally made it back to the car, the sun poked out and gave us a grand farewell.

Shortly after that photo, the clouds waged a massive assault and won the day. Less than 2 hours later, the rain started.

Pau and Mireia had given memories that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. A fantastic day with fantastic friends.

February 19, 2007 at 8:11 pm 5 comments

We did our share

Tonight, from 19:55 to 20:00 we turned off all our lights to express concern over global warming. It was neat. We watched the buildings across the street and as people turned off their lights, they came out onto their balconies. We waved at each other and felt connected. Here in Barcelona, the lights were turned off at the Sagrada Familia and other tourist buildings. In Paris, they turned off the lights at the Tour Eiffel.

Paris

February 2, 2007 at 1:00 am 3 comments

Winter is (finally) coming…

This is what the weather forecast is for the next few days:

tiempo
All I can say is: I hope the forecast for friday is way off the mark. Otherwise we may have to rethink our decision not to turn on the heat…

January 22, 2007 at 12:54 am 2 comments

Winter has arrived in Montreal

Friends and family have been telling us how unseasonable weather has been in Canada. It reached 10 degrees celsius over the Christmas holiday!! There was no snow to speak off… And this is in the country where snow is not uncommon in october!! Winter in TO - CBC archives

Well, winter came in with a vengeance yesterday. 20 cm of the white stuff blanketed Montreal and the temperature is expected to fall to -22 tonight. Tomorrow, it will reach -17. Normal temperature at this time of year is a high of -6 and low of -15. It’s -8 in Toronto right now but with the strong wind it feels more like -19.

People here in Spain and in Brazil often ask me how can live in that kind of cold. Of course, they don’t believe me when I tell them it’s not as bad as it sounds. The clothes are appropriate, houses are built to insulate against the cold and the heating systems are very efficient. I have honestly felt colder in Brazil that I’ve ever felt in Montreal (or Toronto).

In Canada I’ve learned that winter and cold weather do not necessarily equal dark weather. Since the sun never quite loses its strength, in Brazil the coldest days are overcast, rainy days. So, I’ve always associated cold weather with a lack of sun. But Montreal rectified that. With one of the coldest winters anywhere I also found it very sunny. The coldest days were always the sunniest and there’s nothing as beautiful as a sunny day in a snowy landscape! Just hope for no wind…

Click here for a vocabulary of all the different kinds of snow we get in Canada.

January 16, 2007 at 11:48 pm 3 comments

Barcelona Weather (Nov 30, 2006)

Wow, got up this morning and found the temperature to be 7 C. I looked at Toronto and it was 16 C and Montreal was 10 C.

IT”S WARMER OVER THERE THAN HERE ……………. I’ll let you know what the daytime temps are like.

Ok, by the end of the day we had a high of 18 C so it wasn’t too bad. I notice it’s currently 6 C in Toronto and 17 C in Montreal.

Enjoy the day wherever you are.

November 30, 2006 at 8:01 am 1 comment

Amazing weather – the Canadian dream?

It reached 28 degrees yesterday!! (and I’m not talking Farenheit!) We’ve been told it does get cold here in the winter and judging by the state of things when we arrived in april, the trees lose their leaves at some point. The only problem is: we have no idea when this so-called winter starts.

I’m used to having warm weather at all times of the year but to Alan, the Canadian from Quebec, this is a-m-a-z-i-n-g. He’s never had warm weather for six months before and is extactic. Let’s not forget, weather defines the way the rest of the world views Canada and the way Canadians view the rest of the world.

Growing up in a country that still defines the world through a first-world vs third-world dichotomy, I expected when I moved to Canada that Canadians would not to be too interested in my third-world country. I didn’t count on the Canadian obsession with warm weather. Invariably, it went more or less like this:

Canadian: “So, where are you from?”

Alex: “Brazil”

Canadian in a tone of shock: “WHY???”

Alex confused: “Excuse me?”

Canadian still shocked: “Why would you leave such a warm country with beautiful all-year-round beaches??”

I then quickly realize that although Canadians love their country and like some snowy weather once in a while, by January/February they are totally fed up. Most dream of retiring somewhere warm. They go to Florida or if they can’t get too far, move to Vancouver where it is said winter is shorter.

The rest of the world have a similar attitude. This is what I get from every single person I have met here – irrespective of nationality:

Foreign friend: “So, where are you from?”

Alex: “I’m originally from Brazil but I live in Canada now”

Foreign friend in a you-must-be-crazy-to-live-there tone: “Brrrrr, cold”

That’s it. No matter where they are from, no matter if they never actually been to Canada, everybody knows Canada is cold. And they are totally shocked when I tell them we have beautiful hot summers and that winter is not actually that bad.  I don’t think they believe me.

Maybe that’s why Canadians are generally nice to people from other parts of the world: wherever they are from, winter must be milder and shorter!!

But you know what? I think this Brazilian will miss the Canadian winter and its snow…

Snow in Queen's Park, Toronto

October 24, 2006 at 9:31 am 7 comments


May 2022
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Flickr Photos

Blog Stats

  • 124,900 hits