Catalunya is not Patagonia

The only reason for this title is a subtle reminder to, next time, bring a 100m rope and climb that route. Looks amazing. But also, the title holds a lot of truth, as Catalunya has arguably less wind and is more renown for its high quality red wine. Both facts contribute towards a very enjoyable holiday, and the fact that you’ll find more world-class sport climbing crags than in any other area of comparable size anywhere else, well that too (of course, that depends on your subjective definition of enjoyment, but it very well suits mine).

So, finally, after all those years of dreaming about it, reading about it, seeing movies about it, having people telling me about it, finally, tickets to Barcelona were purchased. Also, a very welcome change to the Swedish weather: If spring does not come to us, we come to spring! And spring it indeed turned out to be, the feeling of warming sun rays on your naked arms is something very well appreciated, once having lived through a Nordic winter (in fact, within a day I managed to get the first sun-burn on my forearms ever, which tells you even more about the Nordic winter).

Starting out with an all-day private tour-guide trough Barcelona and very welcome taste-introductions of clara and the legendary pam tomacat (excuse my spelling, but I’m too lazy to searchengine it right now), we soon got a bit overwhelmed by all this exciting urban things to explore and people and cars and AAAH so much concrete! so we fled to first have a look at legendary Mont Serrat and after that, to the province of Lleida to meet up with our international climbing crew in St. Llorenç de Montgai, known for it’s most famous resident, Chris Sharma (in certain circles, that is). We thought we’d check the rock quality too, just to be sure, and ventured from one paradise cliff to the next; We now can all approve Chris Sharma’s decision to move here and in fact, should just do the same. But then, there is so much more to explore and after a week of bungalow-luxury, we shortly laughed at our international climbing friend’s decision to go back to Sweden and ventured on South, geared with the little orange tent and lots of motivation. Tarragona houses some of those spots like ‘Siurana’ or ‘Margalef’ or ‘Mont Sant’. In short, every single of those places features some 1000+ climbing routes of unimaginable beauty, so after climbing a few of them, one simply has to move on to be completely overwhelmed by the next area, the next day.

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One thing that has to be further noted is that in all likelihood  the secret to climb 8b is to get a camping van, VW style. Because simply everyone down there seems to have one of those vans, and simply everyone seems to climb superhard, too. Direct correlation. So, dear father christmas, please a VW bus, next time. Thanks. For one thing is certain: That wasn’t the last time in Patagonia äääh Catalunya.

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