Just 30 minutes driving from Barcelona, the Bages is an inland region full of history, landmarks like Montserrat and an old tradition of excellent food and wine. We decided to discover a small piece of this land visiting Artium cellar and Món Sant Benet monastery. It was a gastronomic, cultural and historical journey to the heart of Catalonia. In this post we explain all what we learnt, what we ate and what we drank in this one day trip from the well known capital of Catalonia. As always, we try to recommend unknown but valuable sites and experiences out of Barcelona. Hope this post is useful for your next trip to this mediterranean country.
It was our fist day in Beijing. We landed at the city at around 4 a.m. without having slept much during the flight. We took the train and later the underground to our hotel, completed the check-in and bought some breakfast at a FamiliyMart. Our bodies needed coffee and something sweet to deal with jet lag in our first day in China. We had a plan for it but trips are not always as we expect them to be, so we had to improvise a little bit.
As we already explained in this post, after crossing the security check that is required to enter the Tiananmen Square, we arrived at the sale office to purchase the tickets to the Forbidden City. However, we were told that all tickets for that day were sold out. We were tired and a bit disappointed: our trip to China had not started well. It was a very hot day but anyway we decided to anticipate our visit to the Summer Palace and now we can say that it really exceded our expectations.
knock, knock, knock.
It was 5:30am. The employee of China Railway company knocked the door and woke us up. We shared the small room with another couple from Barcelona. We hardly slept 5 hours and were tired after four full days discovering the capital of China, Beijing. We put on our clothes, went to the bathroom and closed the luggage. The train arrived to its destination, Datong.
For some of our friends and acquaintances it’s still summer. Everyday in the social networks we find lots of pictures of nice beaches and exotic places. But for us routine is back. We are already working and I (Laura) am getting used to a new job. However, we are trying to extend the summer period with weekends of beach, drinks and swimming pool. And this has reminded us of one of the most beautiful beaches where we’ve been together: the Costa Nova beach, near Aveiro (Portugal). Its colourful houses stole my heart.
Aveiro in fact is a synonym of colour. The vibrant houses, the drawings of the moliceiros… The two big cities of Portugal, Porto and Lisbon, are easily reached by plane from Barcelona. But if you want to get lost among the beautifull villages of this country, having a car is a must. So two years ago we decided to cross the entire Iberian Peninsula with our own car to start a roadtrip that we will always remember.
After last summer unique and adventure travel to Namibia, sleeping in a camping tent on the roof of our car, cooking with a gas stove and driving long distances through gravel roads, we thought it would be a good idea to travel this year to somewhere closer, in Europe, and sleeping in hotels with breakfast included… but at the end our inside reality won. We are not tourists, we are travelers!
So we will go to China with the new direct flight from Barcelona to Beijing with Air China, we will spend 14 full days visiting the country, sleeping some nights in the train, having also a local flight, and visiting dozens of places, looking for unique and new experiences and searching for new ways of understanding life, food and culture.