Trails and Rails – Catalonia – September 2017

This is a walking holiday, but one that uses local rail lines for access to the walks. The lines pass through unspoilt Catalan countryside, where pretty villages huddle around their church and wine cellar. Between them roll hills of olives and vines, interrupted by occasional rocky crags or coves, and seemingly randomly-positioned railway halts. Recalling the days when the trains on these lesser-used lines were of great import to the country and its government, each off-the-beaten-track station seems to be home to an enormous traffic office (now often derelict) where, presumably, teams of civil servants supervised the running of the railway! One line goes west and inland into the Priorat, an area famed for its wine as much as its beautiful countryside. The other line goes north to Montblanc at the foot of the Prades mountain range.