Bielsa, Spain to Palaminy, France

This morning we woke up to beautiful blue skies outside our window.

The Parador in Bielsa is surrounding by snow capped peaks and waterfalls.

We knew we wouldn’t be able to check in to our Chambre d’Hôtes for tonight until 4pm so we didn’t leave Bielsa until noon. Near Bielsa we stopped next to a dam and reservoir.

You can see Duke on the dam here.

Duke and Roger met a shepherd and his dog Luna and had a nice conversation.

Here you can see the shepherd, Luna and the sheep.

We headed north into France, stopping often to enjoy the sites and to make sure we didn’t arrive at Palaminy before 4.

A chateau we saw along our route.

We arrived almost exactly at 4. We weren’t sure if we were in the right place because there weren’t any signs and no one was home. But at about 4:10 a couple of cars pulled in. The owner apologized for being late and told us they had been out picking daffodils for our rooms.

Chambres d’hôtes Les Pesques – the 250 year old farm house where we are staying

When we asked about dinner she checked nearby restaurants but couldn’t find a restaurant that was open Sunday night. Eventually we agreed that she would call and order pizzas that we chose from her favorite pizza place. We went and picked up the pizzas and a bottle of wine. Our hostess provided plates, knives, forks and wine glasses and we had a feast in our room.

Picking up the pizza.

Arties to Bielsa

This morning we got a relatively early start for our mountain drive from our Parador in Arties to the Bielsa Parador.

We made multiple stops to enjoy the nice weather and the views.
There wasn’t a lot of traffic on the mountain roads.
The Bielsa Parador is at the end of a dead end road surrounded by towering cliffs and waterfalls.
After getting settled we went for a short hike.
The trail was steep and rocky.

We had dinner at the Parador

I started with stuffed peppers.
I had salmon with orange sauce for the main course.
For desert I had cheesecake with raspberry sorbet.

Cordona to Arties

Today we traveled north and a bit west from the Parador of Cardona to the Parador of Arties in the Pyrenees mountains. Since we arrived at Cardona late Thursday night and had very little to eat on Thursday we were at breakfast in our Parador when it opened.

Breakfast in the Cardona Parador

After breakfast we explored the castle. It was a highly strategic site during the War of Spanish Succession. The nearby salt mines made the Dukes who owned this area incredibly wealthy.

Exploring the castle
The town of Cardona and some of the salt mines.

Our reservation and the deal we had reserved included dinner last night. Since the restaurant was closed when we harried we had lunch today instead.

My snails to start
Roast beef rib with sweet potato fries
Desert of puff pastry custard and red berries.

After lunch we got on the road and drove through the mountains to the ski resort of Arties. It was a drive of about 3 hours. Along the way we stopped for groceries.

The bread slicing machine in the Aldi where we stopped
The view as we got into the Pyrenees
Ski lifts as we went over the Baqueira Pass

Once we arrived at the Arties Parador we had our welcome drinks played cards and had a picnic dinner.

The Parador of Arties
Skiing around Arties
Map of snowshoeing areas around Arties
The lounge where we played cards and had dinner
Starting dinnee

Casablanca, Morocco to Cardona, Spain

This morning we went out and found a place for breakfast before leaving Casablanca.


Then we drove to the airport and turned in our rental car.

Turning in the rental car.

It took us 6 different checks including security, immigration and checking bags but we finally got on our plane for Madrid. In Madrid we only had an hour between flights and we had to go through immigration and travel a long distance to the domestic terminal. We made it but just barely.

Duke on the plane to Barcelona.

We landed in Barcelona around 6:30 but our bags didn’t. They finally showed up about 10:30 and then we were on the road in a new rental car. We drove about an hour to Cardona where we are tonight. We arrived too late for dinner. It was a long day and we are all looking forward to breakfast.

Casablanca Day 2

This morning we found a place for breakfast and then walked to the Hassan II Mosque and took a tour.



The scale of the Mosque is astounding. It is the third biggest in the world, the biggest outside of Saudi Arabia and it has the tallest minaret in the world. The mosque is stunningly beautiful. It is constructed almost exclusively of Moroccan materials.

The Hassan II Mosque
The inside can hold 20,000 men
The wooden women’s area above the main floor can hold 5000 women
The Absolution area is below the main floor

From the mosque we walked to a bookstore that had some books in English.

And of course lots of books in French

Then we had tea and played cards.


For our last dinner in Africa we went an absolutely wonderful African Fusion Restaurant called NKOA.

My Fastella Marocaine
Gayle’s Tuna
NKOA Restaurant