Spain 2011 – Aragon Pyrenees

March 7th was the most beautiful day of our travels. The weather was perfect. Sunny and crispy as it can be only in the mountains. We got breakfast in our Hostal by River Ara in Fiscal -with the view of the river, for the hostel is built right on the edge of the river. Kind of scary, because that edge was very high. Here is the view:

So then we started our driving-through-the-mountains day stopping at almost every little town we found on our way. The first town – Sarvise:

Oto in the distance:

Broto -seemed like old was connected with new to get a mountain resort:

There was even a waterfall in town with twisting rocks on its side:

Then we turned from the main road towards Balneario di Panticosa -a ski resort, and saw this:

It seemed like a fairy tale, this little town of Torla, where we had an extended walk. it also seems so low under the mountains. But actually you have to climb to get into it from the parking. As every town here in Pyrenees it is on a hill or a higher edge between the very high mountains. I can’t imagine a more picture perfect town…Even on this very bright sunny day when the pictures also don’t come out as good, almost the same as on rainy days:

Everything looks pretty grey, I agree, because of the grey stones they used for buildings and the lack of flowers – too early in spring. So at least those jackets were making the walls of a shop brighter.

This is already another town on the way where we had our lunch – Menu Dia.

Here we proceed on the road to Balneario di Panticosta, by a reservoir – what a beautiful name!

This one on top – is looking back from where we came.

Balneario is “downstairs”, ski elevators were everywhere seen on the right – but there was nothing to do for us and we didn’t even land there, just looking from the top road was enough.

Then we drove through Jaca, didn’t stop there either, and again up to some lower mountains towards Monasterio De San Juan De La Pena, it is mentioned in all tourist books and is on a back road but on one of the main pilgrimages routes:

Here is what opened to our eyes once we drove up in a forest, as it opens to pilgrims eyes:

Actually this is a new monastery. But is is built in a kind of a Gothic style. As we didn’t get into any excursions…our knowledge about places was not as deep. I couldn’t get enough of that view that pilgrims first see as they get out of the forest:

The lawn was full of very tiny daffodils and the forest – some blue spring flowers that bloom in Lithuania and it was very sentimental to see them. We used to go to the forests by our city on Sundays to pick some of those spring prophets. I am sorry. I don’t know their English name. And their color didn’t come right in pictures, so no flowers :-). Instead – the lower monastery, which was arranged under a sandstone rock, very similar to Utah rocks:

Then again – lots of driving, with medieval towns here and there:

Till we reached another monastery- de Leyre:

Also on a hill, also to the side of a main road, also with views:

They had a hotel there, but it was still closed and also – when we looked at its prices – they were not for dollar zone pockets. We also noticed that there is a spring of Virgin Mary, where we filled our bottles with very tasty and maybe even sacred water:

The whole little garden where the spring was was charming! I wish we had to eat some sandwiches here. but our schedule was different, the sun was setting and we had to find a place to sleep which was the hardest task on our whole trip (lots of road construction on the way, so the workers occupied all the scarce hotels, motels).

(more in next blog)