PictureLeft my mark with a rock sculpture
Vielha is a small town high up in the Pyrenees just 25km from France in the Val D'Aran (Aran Valley) region. We stayed in a nice hotel called La Vall Blanca, which had a view of the mountains. This town is popular during the winter months due to the fantastic skiing in the area, but is also great for hiking in the warmer months. The mountains are stunning, jutting thousands of feet in all directions with jagged rocks and snow capped peaks all over. 

During our stay we went to most of the local shops and had some delicious meals at a couple restaurants/ bars. We ordered a traditional Spanish desert called Chocolate Con Churros, which are spanish doughnuts dipped into tasty melted chocolate. On Sunday we went on a long hike towards a peak called Tuc De Molieres, which involved some of the more steep terrain I've ever attempted to navigate. The views were spectacular, and the glacial runoff water was pure and refreshing.

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Chocolate Con Churros
The thing about Vielha, and other small towns, is that most people do not speak any English. Since we were so close to the border of France, everything was in Castilian Spanish, Catalan, and/or French. Communicating with the locals really tested our spanish knowledge.

Story time. On Sunday, we took a local bus one stop past Vielha to Conangles. In order to get back to Vielha after our hike towards a Tuc De Molieres, we had to catch the only bus back at 18:42 (6:42 pm). Funny, because the bus drove right past us as we were standing there!!! After a failed attempt to hitch hike back to Vielha, we decided to go into a "hut" called 'Refugi de Conangles." Inside was a nice lady named Elana (sp?) who, again, spoke little to no english. I was able to speak with her about our predicament, and she was kind enough to call a taxi to come pick us up. It was a confidence boost for my spanish speaking abilities!

Overall, it was nice to get away from the big city and experience a completely different side of Spain. At the end of the excursion, it was time to head back home....to Barcelona. 

Click on the photos for a larger view, and a glimpse of the breathtaking scenery!
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View from our hotel room
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"Arriu Nere" -- Stream running through town
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Roadway just before the 5km tunnel leading to Vielha
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Glacial runoff in the valley below
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At around 2500m
 


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    zach     kalette

    Hello! 

    Everyone is a pedestrian, including you! 

    As a lifelong resident of Syracuse, NY, I have grown up in an automobile world with little sense of pedestrian culture.

    Here in Barcelona, the city has an extreme level of pedestrian culture! I will be taking a look at the design  of various urban streets and how their physical form affects pedestrian behavior. 

    study     question

    How do the physical elements of urban streets influence pedestrian behavior, as well as create a walkable environment while interacting with vehicles and bicycle riders in Barcelona?  

    sites

    1. Gran Via de les Cortes
         Catalanes 
    2. Carrer de Comte
         d'Urgell
    3. Carrer de la Cera
    4. Carrer de l'Hospitat
    5. Rambla del Raval
    6. Carrer de Sant Oleguer
    7. Avengida de les
         Drassanes