My Catalan Retreat

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Every so often, you just need a break, even if it’s a break from having fun! Not that I’m not having fun when I am not travelling! Visiting Solsona couldn’t have come at a better time – I get to catch up with Liza, see how she lives in her new adopted home, meet her lovely hubby and friends, understand a little of the Catalan perspective, and take things slow. Don’t get me wrong, there are still things I want to see and do, but quantity is not the objective here.

Solsona is a quaint little town with around 10,000 inhabitants and virtually a stone’s throw from Andorra, and only 1.5 hours from Barcelona. It is in Catalonia which means a different language, a different culture and different traditions. You would be wise not to wave the Spanish flag around here. You won’t see one anyway! At least not in Solsona. It’s a charming little place, and the lifestyle is chilled and stress-free. I have been enjoying the relaxed pace, although the late dinners took some getting used to, but I aced on the siestas! The people are friendly, the food great, and so are the wines, so my advice would be to lose a couple of pounds before you come here so you can fully indulge!

I will be spending a total of a month in Solsona. What I am enjoying most so far is the experience of “living” here – going to the Friday market, discovering restaurants and cafes I like, cooking, going for runs in the countryside, hitting the gym, getting an awesome massage for a reasonable price, participating in trivia, hell, even working! it is everyday life, something that I had missed despite having had a grand time on the road this past eight months. Solsona is a small town, so everyone tends to know everyone. Life here reminds me a tad of the few years I spent in St Gallen, Switzerland, but Solsona is quite a bit smaller. That means the hairdresser gives you a hug, a kiss, and friends you on Facebook after he’s meticulously given the final touches to your new hairdo; you are invited to participate in the local English language school, you are welcome to someone’s 50th birthday party although you have never met them, you bump into someone you saw just the other day… it’s small town living at its best. Although I’m a city girl through and through, spending time here has been lovely and enjoyable and a nice change from city living where things are hurried, competition is stiff, and prices high. On the flip side, I know it’s not easy being a resident in a new country where people speak a different language and there’s a whole new world to get used to. But it is lovely to see my friend content here, and there is much to discover, learn and explore. So, Liza, please don’t leave, so I will always have a place to call a second home. 🙂