Mountain Trip in Priorat Spain
02 September 2014 | Priorat Region of Spain
Due to our boatyard delay, we extended our rental car and when Dave’s brother and sister-in-law, Carl and Pat, arrived on Tuesday, Sept 2,by train from Barcelona, we repacked for an overnight trip into the nearby beautiful Serra de MontSant mountains.
Following our land GPS and driving directions in our Nat Geo tour book of Spain, we drove along the Ebre River up into the mountains. First stop was the Castell de Miravet, a medieval Knights Templar castle on a panoramic hilltop at the river bend.
With 300 meters of warning, our GPS said, “Turn left. Take ferry. Leave ferry.” Ferry? Yikes? It was 5 pm. Was the ferry still running? Would our rental car fit? How much would it cost? We turned left onto a steep dirt road to the ferry landing. It was a small wooden “ferry” which looked a little bigger than Huck Finn’s raft!! The cost was 3 euros for a car and all of us 4 passengers.
This ferry was propelled by the river current and a clever cable system which Carl and Dave (both engineers!) spent the next few hours trying to analyze with fluid dynamic theory. The ferry ride itself was about 10 minutes long and traversed the 200 meters of the swiftly flowing river.
The small town of Miravet was delightful and the huge medieval castle on the hilltop was fascinating. After several hours at the castle, enjoying the panoramic views over the river valley, we headed back on the mountain road to find a small town hotel that was clear, cheap and basic.
Wednesday morning we continued the journey higher into the mountains past many fruit and olive orchards and vineyards. We stopped at the 12 century La Cartoixa monastery where wine cultivation was introduced to the region. We also enjoyed a lovely lunch at the small town nearby.
The curvy roads were fun until about 5 pm when Dave (the driver) had enough and we headed back to the boatyard in Sant Carles .