I am in La Priorat because an old friend invited me. We first met when he arrived in Poland from Canada in 1999. I was his first professional contact there. He has been following my photographic progress on Facebook and kindly thought of me when one of his businesses – a vineyard in Spain – needed photographs for its marketing.
Saturday and Sunday have mostly been dedicated to a photoshoot around the winery and estate. The scenery is spectacular, it's fascinating to learn about the science and art of winemaking and I love the winding roads through this rocky landscape.
This morning I took a break to visit the spectacular mountain village of Siurana. The drive there was slow (it's mostly single track road with a speed limit of 30 or 40 kph that only a knowledgable local would dare to break) but pleasurable. I drove there with the roof down in the Spanish sunshine and it was close to my idea of Paradise. The road is steep and winding, gradually climbing up and around the mountain on which the beautiful little medieval village stands.
The ruined fortress there was the last Islamic enclave to fall in Catalonia and the 800th anniversary of this happy event is commemorated by a cross. I spent a happy couple of hours wandering the narrow medieval streets before returning to my friend's place, I took his sons out for the ride in Speranza that I promised them yesterday. Then we headed out on a 4x4 buggy to climb the slopes of the vineyard to make external shots of the property.
My friend and his family are on their way back to Barcelona, where they now live. I am spending a quiet evening in my hotel, writing this post and catching up with corresponding before settling down to make my "selects" from the hundreds of photographs and post-process them in readiness for delivery to my "client".
Tomorrow, I am heading to France and plan to overnight in Narbonne, a town I have never visited.