This tour follows the trips of Gaudi and Picasso in an regiion of the Pyrenees called High Bergueda.
In 1904 Eusebi Güell, a Catalan industrial business man, opened a factory, Asland, near La Pobla de Lillet, a small village in the Catalan Pyrenees. This factory would produce the Portland cement which Antoni Gaudi would use in his works until his death in 1926.
Eusebi and Gaudi were friends at the time. Eusebi helped Gaudi pay for many of his works (Parc Güell, Palau Güell, crypt of the Colonia Güell, …)
The coal mines in the Catllaras mountain range, near la Pobla de Lillet, supplied the coal that Eusebi needed for his factory.
Eusebi Güell asked Gaudi for a new work: to build a house to host the Catallaràs coal mine engineers (and their families) who worked there. Gaudi started work on Chalet de Catllaras in 1902 and finished it in 1903. We will visit it in the first leg of this trek.
Joan Artigas Alart, a textile industrial business man, friend of Eusebi Güell, asked Gaudi to design a garden to be built behind the factory in La Pobla de Lillet. He wanted the Llobregat river to cross the garden, which is now called Jardins de ca l’Artigas.
The works started in 1903 and finished in 1910. We will visit it to learn more about it during the second leg of the trek.
Gaudi frequently said that originality consists of going back to the origins and that everything emerges from nature’s huge book. Anyone who walks around the Jardins de ca l’Artigas will understand what he means. It’s hard to tell where nature starts and architecture ends, and vice versa.
We pick up any participants who want to be collected in Barcelona and drive to Castell de l’Areny, where we start the walk while a taxi takes our luggage to the first hotel.
This hike crosses the Catllaras range, from south to North. It takes us 8 hours (including breaks) to walk the 16km between Castell de l’Areny and La Pobla de Lillet. We pass by the Chalet de Catllaras, and one of the eight coal mines which supplied the Asland factory in the early XX Century. All the mines are now closed.
We also scramble up La Roca del Joc, a huge isolated rock. From its summit, at 1,615m, we enjoy beautiful views of the Catllaras range, La Pobla de Lillet and many mountains of the Pyrenees.
After the walk we will have the opportunity to use the spa and Jacuzzi in our hotel.
The not-to-be missed visit to the Jardins de ca l’Artigas. We see Gaudi’s reference to religious and patriotic motifs, and his use of materials from the area, not only to match with the surroundings but mainly because it guaranteed him durability. They were already part of the place, so needed no adaptation.
After the visit we start our second leg, which is 16km long and takes us 8h 15m, including breaks. Our first break to eat is at Falgars sanctuary (1,279m). Falgars means “a place full of ferns”.
The scenery is unforgettable. This is a place of pilgrimage. The legend says that a shepherd and his ox found an image of a Virgin made in alabaster in the early Gothic period in a cave. The cave is at 1,052m, in a place full of ferns, below the Sanctuary
We leave behind the sanctuary and get into deep beech forests carpeted by green meadows. Before getting Sant Julià de Cerdanyola, we walk along a challenging mountain ridge (Mill range), where we sometimes have to use hands to progress.
In Sant Julià de Cerdanyola a taxi takes us to the next hotel.
Over two days we follow the journey Pablo Picasso made in the spring of 1906 from Guardiola de Bergueda to Gosol, end of the last leg of our trek. We start in Baga instead and follow another path, parallel but 600m above the one followed by Picasso – now a road. We also climb Pedraforca instead of going round it.
A friend of Picasso encouraged him to visit and stay in Gosol. Picasso made the journey here with his companion Fernande Olivier. They reached Guardiola by steam train and then headed to Gosol, accompanied by just two mules and a mule driver. There was no road between Guardiola and Gosol at that time (the first car arrived at Gosol in 1942), but a medieval track connected the villages.
The parallel path we have chosen passes through a varied landscape, from fields and farms to the rocky slopes of the Cadi Moixero range.
After 81 days in Gosol, Picasso headed to Bellver de Cerdanya on his way to Paris.
Picasso was only 25 at the time, but already a respected painter. He painted more than 300 works in Gosol. After this trip, Picasso’s pictures evolved towards more simplified shapes, towards the primitive. Some of his most famous works painted in Gosol are “Joven de Gósol”, “Cabeza de chaval Gosolà”, and “La mujer de los panes”.
We start our 3rd leg in Baga and head to Sant Miquel de Turbians chapel (X Century). You will see along the way how Pedraforca’s shape emerges from the forests. You seem to see it in front of you all time, but never reach it. You’ll have to wait until the next day. We pass by Lluria’s gorges, a beautiful spot where water has carved a deep gash in the rock.
We get to Saldes after 16km and 7 hours walking (including breaks).
We start early in Saldes to take the path to climb Pedraforca, and we end the day in Gosol, where Picasso arrived in 1906.
There’s no better way to finish this trek than climbing the Pedraforca. It can’t be described – you have to experience it! You see the Pedraforca from the village of Saldes. It is like a giant, daring you to climb it.
After a shower in the hotel we visit the Picasso museum in Gosol, where we will find plenty of information about his works during his 81 days in this remote village of the Pyrenees.
Departure after breakfast.
Participants who drove to the starting point of the trek will be transferred back to their cars. Others will be transferred to Barcelona.
We use pretty and comfortable mountain hotels with character located in peaceful villages and managed and hosted by local families.
Full-board en-suite accommodation. Single, double or twin-bedded rooms.
The foodies will enjoy the excellent dinners, always accompanied by Catalan wine.
Only two places available on our next trip (April 29 2017)
Also places available on:
> May 13 2017
> June 10 2017
> June 24 2017
> September 23 2017
> October 14 2017
> November 11 2017
Bespoke trips: let me know the dates that best suit you!