Exploring Catalonia

I had mostly passed through Catalonia on my trips from the north to the south and vice versa. I had usually only stopped in Barcelona to visit my friends living in the city. After meeting Mariona on the Canary Islands she invited me to the area where she lived, so I decided to dedicate a little more time to explore the coast, mountains and lakes of Catalonia.

Arriving in Vic

We met in Vic, a small-sized city about 70km away from Barcelona which offers several historic sights like the Plaça Major in the center of the old town.

There was a spacious parking lot in front of an old warehouse used by a non-profit association called La Fàbrica de Somnis.

Mercedes 508 parked in front of La Fàbrica de Somnis

I met a couple of friendly people and also spotted a few interesting mobile homes there.

Truck converted into a mobile home

We went on a couple of short trips to visit some of the beautiful places around Vic, like the historic village Rupit,

Old houses in Rupit

the scenic waterfall Salt de Sallent,

Salt de Sallent

and abandoned farms near Santa Pau.

Abandoned farm near Santa Pau

Visiting Barcelona

When visiting my friends in Barcelona, the soccer field where I had stayed in the past didn’t exist anymore. There was a big construction site and my favorite parking in Barcelona was not available anymore. After driving through all these tiny alleys of the neighborhood, I finally managed to squeeze my van into a parking lot off the road.

Parking in Barcelona

The next day, I explored the area in more detail. On my walk, I spotted an abandoned restaurant. There were a bunch of vans parked in the big backyard and I could hear the noise of an angle grinder cutting metal. I got in touch with the people working on these vehicles. We seemed to have common interests and got along, so they invited me to stay at their squat with my van.

I met a bunch of interesting people at the squat. One project really caught my attention: The conversion of a huge bus into a mobile home.

Bus converted into a mobile home

Driving along Costa Brava

I spent another night at the squat before leaving the Catalan capital to explore the Costa Brava with Mariona. Our first stop was near Palamós where we spent a nice and sunny day walking along the coast, swimming and relaxing in bays with turquoise water.

Bay with a little beach north of Palamós

The road led us further north to Roses, where we enjoyed walks in a peaceful environment.

View on the coast near Roses

We spent a couple of quiet nights in the area where cows greeted us in the morning.

Sea view with cows

It was just a short ride from Roses to Cadaqués, a really beautiful and ancient town that seemed full of art. I was told that every house was meant to be painted in white to preserve the town’s beautiful look.

View on the bay of Cadaqués

The area in and around Cadaqués seemed quite popular and touristic, so we parked the van out of town near Punta de s’Alqueria.

View on Punta de s'Alqueria

Before leaving Cadaqués we enjoyed a bike trip through the natural park around Cap de Creus. The area is very beautiful and full of hiking trails leading to stunning bays.

View from Cap de Creus

Enjoying the mountains

Costa Brava offered a lot of beautiful places. The area was obviously very popular. Places that where legally accessible by car seemed quite busy. Finding quiet places to spend relaxed nights in a van during June wasn’t trivial, so I felt like driving into the mainland to discover some places in the mountains where we could stay for more than just a single night. I picked a random lake on the map. After a short drive we ended up at Pantà de Boadella which seemed like a perfect place to stay and relax.

Lakeside of Pantà de Boadella

The atmosphere was just perfect: warm and sunny weather and a lake with refreshing water right in front of us.

Relaxing in the hamock at Pantà de Boadella

The mountains in the back of the lake inspired me to take my mountain-bike for a long ride around the lake.

View on the dam of Pantà de Boadella

After hanging out at Pantà de Boadella, we drove further into the mountains to Sadernes. From there we went on a hiking trip along the river of Sant Aniol that led us to an amazing natural pool with a waterfall.

Waterfall and natural pool at Gorg Blau

Wow! I was really impressed by the beauty and variety of Catalonia. Mountains, forests, rivers lakes, beaches and the sea. All within an area that is more than ten times smaller than Germany. Amazing!

Ruby on Wheels