Stitched Panorama
04 Jun 2012 0 comments Lídia Penelo

The sedentary can also tour the Pedraforca

Are you a VIP member of the couch potato club and happy about it? Well, then you’ve got your chance to redeem yourself. All you have to do is to come to Pedraforca. No matter your age. And what is Pedraforca anyway? It is a spectacular geological specimen at the heart of Catalonia. Despite being a favorite destination for climbers it offers numerous trekking routes, even for those who love to stall and enjoy the view (wink). For this very reason it is considered one of the most important hiking hubs of Catalonia.

The route that we suggest is of moderate difficulty and runs for about 8 kilometers with gentle slopes and panoramic views (yup, wallpaper material). It starts from a meadow called the “jaça dels prats”, where you will find a mountain refuge named after local climber Lluís Estasen, one of the pioneers of mountain sports in Catalonia.

The top of Pedraforca

The beginning of the PR C-123 goes through a forest of pines and firs which leads to the Riambau groove, the resting place of some huge blocks of rock that fall from the top of Pedraforca. Gradually, the path becomes steep and offers one of its first photo ops: the back side of the Cadí mountain range. The climb ends at the Coll del Verdet (PR C-123) where you will find a field called Pletissar. Ideal place for a stop and gather energies for the next section of the hike which will take you to Ajadudes, 2,086 meters above sea level.

Picasso and Gósol

Once at the top, you can head in the direction of Siete Fuentes, where we merge PR C-123 again towards the pass of Teuler. If getting here was easy, you can consider yourself a winner because that’s when the descent begins. You will pass the Font dels Terrers (a fountain) before you arrive at Gósol, a small town with a twelfth century castle. Inside of which you can still find traces of what was once a village with the name of Vila Vella, abandoned when the town moved near by.

Gósol is one of the villages surrounding the Pedraforca

In Gósol, in addition to a relaxing stroll around the streets paved on stone you can visit the Picasso Museum, dedicated to explain the artist’s stay in the village during the summer of 1906, and how he was influenced by the rugged landscape. Most scholars of Picasso’s work agree that the abrupt nature of the landscape gave him the final push into Cubism and break the two-dimensional perspective of his compositions. It was a short stay, only two months and a half. He arrived by train to the town of Guardiola with his girlfriend at the time, Fernande Olivier and then both hopped on mules to Gósol. “It took us several hours riding a mule flanked on one side by a vertical spiky wall that massacred our hands and knees, while on the other we had a cliff that forced us to shut our eyes. The mules weren’t worried in the slightest”, wrote Olivier in her memoirs. She recalls one moment she feared for her life when the reins went slack and she “fell dangerously backwards”. Luckily, the mule driver was alerted and “saved the day”. She should have stayed on her couch. But then Picasso might not have discovered cubism.

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