excursion, Pyrenees
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“Suddenly, I feel really, really small…”

Panorama view on the road to Setcasa.

Suddenly, I feel really, really small. Endless wideness spreads out in front of me like a map, the shadows of the clouds above me move on the grassland like blackbirds. A huge painting, spreckled with trees and cattle, the air is so crisp, I almost don‘t dare breathing it. Freedom is a slippery word, which escapes our fingertips as soon as we try to catch it. A dancing feather in the sky of our wishes as it were – we‘re all looking for it, but no one knows where it‘s hiding. At this place, I suddenly get a feeling of catching a fleeting glimpse into it‘s face. I was never a mountain lover, I always gave priotity to the cliffy coastline and the view of the limitless ocean, but now, my heart suddenly beats faster.

Panorama view over the Pyrenees.

We‘re hitting the road into the rocky heart of the Costa Brava early in the morning – the weather coulnd‘t be any better, I‘m sitting in an old car, a full cool bag on the backseat, the wind is stroking my face and the air smells of fresh mowed grass and endless summerdays. The route takes us across Castell Follit de la Roca via Oix, Beget and Espinavell to Setcasa, a tiny point on the map, looking like a coffee stain in the centre of green surface. I‘ve only read about the spectacular pyrenees in several travelbooks before, but it was not until now that I understood it.

Beget is one of the villages we passed.

The rustic charme of the little villages we‘re passing is quite diffrent to the classiness of the coastal towns. I can‘t tell whether the stony walls or the old framehouses are more beautiful, the buildings are decorated with blooming flowers, tired hikers are taking a break in front of the restaurants. From their wrought – iron balconys, the inhabitants are looking down on the narrow streets. I can‘t take my eyes of the wide wilderness – even the most unromantic person in the world softens up on this atmosphere.
Although our cool back is already full as a tick, it‘s impossible to resist the nordic treats – freshmade bread, cottage cheese, smoked ham. I really love seafood and fish, but I have to admit, that this is at least just as well.
After our stop in Espinavell, we finally reach the road to Setcasa. Whereat road is probably not the right word for it, it‘s more a narrow gravel path, curling trough the heart of the mountains like the body of a sleeping snake. It‘s a two hours journey – we‘re extending to three, because we‘re stopping every two minutes to take a look out of the window and to breathe the fresh air.

A cow next to the road to Setcasa.

And at this point, it‘s happening. I‘ve had this feeling once before, when I was on a sixday roadtrip along the Great Ocean Road and the cliffy coastline showed it‘s face with all it‘s roughness. This time, it‘s even more crazy. In the centre of all this endless wideness, becomes the border between human and natur suddenly blurred and the immenseness of it‘s power is awaking to me. I actual get the feeling, that it is impossible to decribe those impressions – they don‘t even fit into my head. I just want to fall into a state of trance and stare out of my window for the next hours.

Setcasa is tiny but beautiful.

After three hours, Setcasa hustles us back into reality. The farm track runs over into a paved road and 80 km/h appears like a car race. I‘m still a bit dazed – but I also grin like a Cheshire cat. Setcasa is as charming as the other villages – it seems to be a attraction pole for hungry hikers, the restaurants are full of people, there are almost more hotels than normal houses and honey, almonds and cheese are sold on the village square. It‘s a perfect place to breathe deeply and return to civilisation after this journey. On our way back, I look back to the silhouette of the pyrenees once again. I‘m gonna come back.


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