Winter Wonderland in Aiguestortes


As we decided some days ago to spend an extended weekend in the cold and snow, we rented a holiday flat in Espot, directly next to the Aiguestortes National Park. In general it was too warm for the season (usually it would be around –6 to -10° and 30 cm of snow; this time –1 and 0 snow Zwinkerndes Smiley). Anyhow we tried our luck and yes, … a bit higher up there was winter Smiley

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Frozen puddles and rivulets caused marvellous ice sculptures

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Spray is frozen in the trees

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and we are getting ready for the hike… Our first one lead us from Espot up the track to the lake of Sant Maurice (which we didn’t make in the very end as it was extremely icy on top). At the moment we are at around 1.350 m – the top is 1.900 m…

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Looks more like late spring…

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Barren, beautiful landscape

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and a nice tea break

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Through hazel leads the path 

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to the place where you meet the normal access road from the parking place (in summer when the road is open…). Here suddenly winter was there

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Obviously

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Gorgeous frost

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and beautiful structures

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Thistle in the snow….

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Everywhere are old huts, now used as shelter or storage

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and a green snow-woman in front of the trees Zwinkerndes Smiley

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As I told, we didn’t make it to the very end – the last 400 m or so where just too treacherous…

So next day our drive took us towards Port Ainé which is at 1.650 m and the hill station at 2000… As our car was in the workshop we had a rental car and this had – what else in Spain? – summer tires… With these the whole looked a bit scary so we started very low (no risk…)

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As the road got better during the day (sun, salt, etc.) we took the risk to get up – and yes; it was beautiful up there…

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Just the approaching snow and cold front caused us to retreat and the way down was no fun… No… Next time only with our trusted Golf (winter tires) + snow chains…

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But in the end we made it home to a nice fire

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And the lady of the house was reading theological books (which she didn’t like…) Zwinkerndes Smiley

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Next day we didn’t want to repeat the descent from Port Ainé so we chose another valley (there are quite many of them in the area) and from a secure base at around 1.400 m we ascended

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Now winter is really visible

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A frozen waterfall

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In beautiful sunshine this is pure pleasure…

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Encrusted leaves and twigs

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Blue sky, some snow, normal hiking boots and off you go…

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Winter wonderland Smiley

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Brisk air

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And magnificent views of the surrounding area

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As we were the first hikers (ok, there was a hare before us Zwinkerndes Smiley) it got quite heavy work when the snow got deeper…

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Ursula is leading the trekking expedition

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Not very much after that point (at around 1.850 m) we turned as the snow got deeper and deeper and it was already quite some strain…

So back into the valley where we came from

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And here you can see the nice small little road sliding up the hill towards our base

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Always taking notes about art ideas Zwinkerndes Smiley

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Catalonian flag basked in sunshine Zwinkerndes Smiley 

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and back again to our fire art

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drawing with flames Smiley

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Our way back to Girona led through magnificent back-country in Catalunya which we didn’t really know before

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Wonderful mountains

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Icy peaks (> 2.300 m)

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and a final farewell to last autumn’s leaves

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Kategorien:Catalunya, Spanien

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