Trip Part Dos – L’Avenc de Tavertet

We bravely set out from Barcelona in our hire car.  Well, R was brave as he was the one that had to remember to change gears with the right hand, drive on the wrong side of the road, navigate the very narrowed-laned streets and listen to me screech panicked directions.  But we made it and slowly headed north-west into the countryside.  We were heading for the Collsacabra mountains about 80 kms away.  

The town of Vic
However our first stop was the charming town of Vic.  The medieval town has a large town square with a weekly market.  Unfortunately we missed it and arrived as they were cleaning up.  We managed to find a charming café for lunch and wondered around before continuing our trip. We had intended to stock up on food as our accommodation was self-catering but everything was closed for siesta. Ah sure (to be said with an Irish accent), we said, we’ll find somewhere closer to L’Avenc to stock up….

R standing in front of the original house with the new extension on the left
 From Vic we started heading for the mountains, and as we continued the weather grew worse.  Dark threatening clouds loomed and the temperature dropped.  The roads steadily grew narrower and the pot holes larger.  The towns were all closed up and deserted. The last few kilometres were on a one-laned dirt road.  Just when we were beginning to worry there it was: L’Avenc de Tavertet.  

 I first found out about L’Avenc when I picked up ‘A Castle in Spain’ in the Library. I’d never heard of Matthew Parris but when I took the book home R recognised the name.  He’s a fairly well known journalist over in England.
It’s a great book about his family’s (very) long journey to restore this 13th century house in a truly breathtaking setting.

We arrived mid-week and for most of our stay we were the only ones there.  We had bracing walks each morning before our breakfast and then recovered in the huge indoor heated pool.

No they haven’t been sucking on lemons, the strange faces are due to an extremely strong and cold wind

Our first walk was up the hill behind the house and out to a rocky ledge with sweeping views down the cloud filled valley.  It was gorgeous to watch the clouds slowly disappear as the sun got hotter.

The next morning was an easier and less muddy tramp through the cliffside fields full of wildflowers.   

We also did a short drive to the town of Rupit for lunch. The old town has been wonderfully preserved partly due to it’s inaccessibility -it’s a long way from anywhere. Apparently on the weekends its full of Barcelonians getting away for the weekend and enjoying its delicious restaurants.  As it was a weekday we had the place pretty much to ourselves.

So, if you’re ever in Barcelona and want to see a bit of the countryside you really couldn’t find a more beautiful and breathtaking place than L’Avenc de Tavertet.  Just go.

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