Monday 20 June 2016

five weeks in Spain - part 1 - little villages

We are back in France after 5 weeks in Catalunya and Northern Spain. A mostly climbing trip I did manage to do quite a lot of sketching and David did do a little jumping.

Our first trip to Spain in springtime, we had better weather than we have ever had on our usual autumn trips. We discovered a number of new, wonderful places, made new friends, hung out with old ones, and revisited some of our favourite places in the world.

Here's the first part of the sketching story ... exploring little villages.

We started in the Lleida region. Two years ago we made our first visit to this awesome climbing area, but the rainy autumn weather meant we didn't get much climbing in. We vowed to return.

Day 1 and sketching already! In the back of Rubio, Lleida region, Catalunya

Me sketching the 1000 year old Ermita De Sant Bartomeu near Alos de Balaguer

Ermita Sant Bartomeu near Alos de Balaguer, Catalunya. David asked me to put our van in the sketch, so there it is, just peeping in. The old and the new, and part of our van-life story. Still considering doing a series of these.

The church in the super-tiny village of La Clua, also near Alos de Balaguer, Catalunya.

Then on to Siruara - famous amongst climbers. Its a very picturesque village sitting on a ridge with big cliffs on either side. One of our all-time favourite places, we have visited often, our first visit being back in 1995 before it had achieved any fame at all. I've sketched the perched-on-top-of-the-cliffs-view often, so here is a back-of-the-town-view most wouldn't spot.

In Siurana, Catalunya

And nearby Arboli, also in the Prades mountains.

Onto Riglos. The pretty village nestled below big, conglomerate towers. Our second visit here, our first being back in 2008, we had forgotten just how special this place was. A climbing and sketching paradise ... I was torn! But I got to do quite a bit of both, and we know we'll be back.

The town of Riglos is dwarfed by the large conglomerate towers behind and home to many vultures.

Then, new for us, a visit to the Sobrarbe region in the Pyrenees. We spent most of our time in the Bielsa valley and around the national park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido. Oh my goodness! I didn't do nearly enough sketching here - definitely need to return again soon.

In the old Roman town of Puertolas, in the Pyrenees, Spain.

In the town of Bielsa, Spain.

Coming soon!
Five weeks in Spain....
Part 2 is flowers - read it here.
Part 3 will be climbing in Riglos.

Check back soon :-)


  1. Hey Renee, just wanted to say I was googling for inspiration for watercolours in Siurana and your page came up - it's by far the best stuff I could find - clever lady xx

    1. Oh yay! That's pretty cool to hear. Hoping to see a Siurana sketch or two of yours soon. What an awesome place, hey?