After my recent grim working trip to London I weren't 'arf 'appy to get myself back to Barcelona. As soon as I stepped off the plane into the warm air my body relaxed like a single muscle & its gait transformed from uptight hunch to gently poised saunter. I almost shed a tear of relief as I spied the distant mountains elevated against the pure azure skies of a sunshine sprayed Catalunya.
Within a couple of days I was settled back into my creative groove & ventured to another local town I'd yet to explore, Vilafranca Del Penedès, approximately 60km west of Barcelona.
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I'd been told by a couple of friends that Vilafranca was a small, old & picturesque town, though I found it to be a mixture of run down modern habitation architecture, such as ugly blocks of flats on the outskirts, oldish but unornamented urban traditional dwellings & a few fancy old houses dotted around the old town centre.
Within a few minutes walking from the train station I found myself winding through back streets of closed shops (it was mid-afternoon afterall) & alleyways brightly daubed with political slogans, no doubt affirming the local allegiance to independance through revolution!
Eventually emerged from the dim & empty side streets into an open space resembling a market area, but without a market. I had approached the Gothic basilica of Santa maria from the rear, & compared to what I had encountered so far it seemed loftily out of place in comparison to the general rundown feel of its immediate environment.
I discovered the towns walls & buildings were covered with graffiti & adorned with art works, more so than I would usually expect for a place of such small size.
I next ventured to the outskirts of the town, having passed no more than about 20 people in the space of an hour. The place was deserted, I suppose the local inhabitants must have been enjoying their 3 hour lunch breaks, dinar i migdiada. It makes a change to be able to photograph a town bereft of busy bodies during daytime hours.
My circuit of Vilafranca ended, of course, back at the train station, with the sun now much lower in the sky. At the back of the station there is carrer de Comerç, a short road marking the edge of an old industrial site, & lined with some very pretty old warehouse buildings.
.......and that was a little bit of Vilafranca del Penedès.
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