From Barcelona to Puigcerda
I was planning my quasi-annual pilgrimage in Spain and decided to invite a friend who also needed to clear his head. I won't go into how we ended up starting our walk in Puigcerda, a town we had never heard of and never really learned how to pronounce, but let's just say it was a compromise that turned about to be the perfect choice.
i took a lot of pictures of this lone hot air balloon as if it were the most interesting thing in Puigcerda, but I found out later there's also a famous lake in the middle of town that people come from as far away as France to see, but somehow we missed it. I also found out later (just now actually) that Puigcerda is literally one mile from the border with France. It was a popular vacation town in a beautiful region in Catalonia.
Day 1 of walking. The first part was not very pretty but it was nice to get moving. After an involuntary nap outside the tourism office in Alp, we took a much prettier forest path to La Molina.
In the town, we asked directions from a very nice retired couple who offered to drive us to the refuge (though it was close and we totally would've made it ourselves). When I said we were from New York, he said "el centro del mundo.....para la gente que viven allí." For him, the center of the universe is not New York, but Paris.