My Franco-Spanish Adventure...
Though these are posted, I figured I would give a little time to my time outside of the Gambia for once. The greatest experience of all was elevation, something you miss when you live in a river delta.
In Madrid we saw beautiful museums and wondered the streets taking in the sights. I on my first touch of civilization in 18 months enjoyed things like espresso coffee, hot baths, large pizzas, and the ubiquitousness white skinned people. Interestingly it is easier to blend in when your skin is the same then when you speak the same language. Sadly looks draw the greatest first impression.
|Yes for the spectacle it is, we went to a bull fight|
|Enjoying ice cream on the plaza|
Home of the galactic republic...
and Jedi awaiting training...
Montserrat was the first place we visited. A monastery on the side of a mountain outside Barcelona, Montserrat is a stop along pilgrimage routes and a holy place for many in Catalonia to visit and retreat. Here I spent time attempting to capture the spirit of silence and contemplation that is felt here.
Of course we had to visit La Sagrada Familia Gaudi's lifetime masterpiece, still unfinished but incomparably grand nonetheless.
By far the greatest, most refreshing part of the trip was our five days in the Pyrenees. After Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, then Saragossa, and Torla (below: beautiful mountain town at the base of the Pyresnees) we set out to cross the Pyrenees into France.
To paraphrase, there were many adventures that I cannot share because there are no words for them, and there a photos here unexplainable because a picture I believe should often stand on its own.
At the highest point you'll see photos of the side trip Aaron and I took in our attempt to summit Mt. Perdido without ice axes, ropes, or crampons. We ended up about 500 meters short at the foot of a glacial ice shoot 10,000 ft up, it was however, glorious to see bewildered mountaineers question are sanity when it looked like we were 3/4 of the way up.
|Hut at the Breche de Roland, sits in a mountain ridge over looking the cirque de Gavarnie|
|Behind Aaron, the Breche de Roland after just crossing a glacier to get past it into france|
Once through with our mountain adventure we crossed into France. I was tired of taking photos and ended with this grand one with the Cirque de Gavarnie in the background. From here we got sick from drinking the mountain stream water (all but me actually with my Africanized stomach). Camping for another 4 days just outside of town at the foot of the Pyrenees we then parted ways in Toulouse me back to Africa and my friends out towards further adventures.