travel

Exploring Catalunya – Lleida & Huesca.

Recently, me and a few friends decided to experience Southern Spain on a short 5 day road trip. My story continues here.

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Lleida

Our first night in Lleida proved uneventful. There wasn’t much going on on a thursday night. Disappointed, we pub crawled the city in the search of some sign of vivacious life.

The closest we came was a bar called Fission which was full of young university kids. There was a fussball table that came to a brief rescue to our boredom.

We were home early at 3AM, and settled in for the next day. We were hoping to drive around that part of Spain. Most of our trip was free-flowing, unplanned, every one of us wanted to experience something a little different.

Next morning, I was pleasantly surprised. Our rather dull neighborhood on Carrer Cardenal Remolins by the Lleida Pirineus Train Station had transformed into a bustling hub of activity.

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Kid’s Carnivale at Lleida

Hundreds of children from the age group of 3 to 12 streamed by us. The city seemed to have chosen a space-astronaut based theme. It was a bit bitter sweet for me. I was reminded that perhaps, I was going to lose my family in the coming months. But still, there was such joy in the hearts of the parents, that it lifted my spirits.

We found a few nice open squares to people watch as they appeared to be preparing for some carnivale themed event.

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We found a pretty charming Patisserie Monraba, where I got my espresso and some delicious sandwiches. I bought my wife some chocolate ( she is a big fan) . I wanted to avoid getting her something that implied that I had expectations from her. But a small token to remind her that I was thinking of her.  ( My wife and I are separated)

Coming into Lleida, its obvious to all, that there is a castle / cathedral of sorts on a hill. And it so happened, that we were living right under it. So I scouted out google maps and found my way up to La Seu Vella Cathedral ( The old Cathedral).

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Facade and the bell tower

The structure dates back to the 1200s, and is designed in the style of Romanesque/Gothic. The details in the cloister were striking to me.

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Cloister with detailed stone work

We rushed through most of it and headed back to grab the car to head out to Huesca.

Huesca

We didn’t spend too much time in Huesca. The focus was to grab some nice food and then head out. We found a spiffy restaurant called Tatau Bistro, they had some nice wines and some delicious tapas. The theme seemed to be old-school Americana, which seemed strange in a small town in Europe.

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We walked briskly through town to get a feel for its character, all the while talking about what to do next.

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We were given several suggestions by the locals, Benasque and Benabarre amongst them. Both were in the Pyrennese foothills. So we decided that a drive into the nearby mountains would be worth it. And so off we went.

 

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