Village Life in Spring

George and Juan Carlos preparing the calçotado.Whilst Phil was away this weekend I discovered village life in Spring. I enjoyed my first Calçotado in the village of Sardas on Saturday. Sunday I joined the Sabiñanigo Mountain Club on a relaxing walk between the villages of Mianos, Artieda and Ruesta. I completed my weekend with a trip to the Panticosa spa (La Paul) with my good friend Jaqueline.

Calçot is a Catalan tradition where large scallions, a little like spring onions but milder, are roasted on coals and eaten with romesco sauce (almonds, garlic, olive oil and red peppers are the main ingredients). It´s mucky business eating the calçotades and even the most seasoned of the 45 diners ate with blackened fingers & romesco flavour t-shirts! Later in the evening there was more eating, drinking, music & dancing. Plenty of time for me to listen to the traditional ´jotas´, folk songs from Aragon.

Sardas villagers dancing the night away.Sunday´s walk was a relaxed affair with brilliant sunshine, a left-over-from-the-party cold meat sandwich & an energy drink to get me through the day. An hour on the coach gave us all a great opportunity to nap. We started at Mianos, east of Berdún, set atop a hill and made our way to Artieda. Another spectular village atop a hill overlooking snow capped mountains with cobbled streets lined with pink blossom trees. Just after breakfast a villager invited us into the 12th century church to admire the beautifully kept interior and climb the bell tower.

Walking through ArtiedaWe made our way along an old narrow path to Ruesta with the cool blue Yesa reservoir on our right. At Ruesta an albergue (hostal) with a sunny terrace & cold beer was our lunch stop. A national project (Confederación General del Trabajo) is trying to reinvigorate the area after it was abandoned when the dam was built.

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