Spain (Part 2)

In Terrassa is an excellent Science and Technology Museum which has a wonderful collection of exhibits. Here’s just a small sample.

The computer section was especially interesting to me, and they’ve got an amazing collection.

Gosh, an Intel MDS. I developed software on one of these back in the late ’80s:

The museum is housed in an old textile mill which has the most amazing roof.


Time for a long scenic train ride. We took this ordinary suburban train out of Barcelona.

After a three hour ride through the Barcelona suburbs and eventually up into the mountains we arrived in France at La Tour de Carol. This interesting station, formerly a border post, has three different types of train: Le Train Jeune is a metre gauge line over the mountains from Perpignan, there is a standard gauge French Railways line from Toulouse, and our broad gauge route from Spain.

Last time I was here I arrived on the metre gauge, intending to travel on to Toulouse and beyond, but due to a strike I had to take a bus, so it looks like I will have to come here for a third time to do the standard gauge!

You can see the long station building, mostly closed up now that there are no border formalities.

Returning to Spain, we stopped off at Ribes de Freser where there is a rack railway for a scenic ride up to the ski resort of Núria.


At Capellades is a fascinating museum of paper-making which was a significant industry in this area due mainly to the characteristics of the local water supply.

These hammers are used to “beat to a pulp” the raw materials. Very noisy in operation.

I’ve never seen anyone actually making paper by hand before.

The museum also covers the history of printing.

We headed to the town of Igualada for lunch and unexpectedly found a preserved gas engine which had powered a textile mill here until 1955.

In Martorell where we were staying is the mediaeval Devil’s Bridge. Sadly it was destroyed during the civil war (As was the transporter bridge in Bilbao) and this is a 1965 reconstruction.


At Vilanova there is an excellent railway museum.

Most of the railways in central Barcelona have been hidden underground over the years, but the Estació de França remains as an impressive terminus.

And so a great holiday draws to a close, it’s time to fly home.

Spain (Part 1)


A holiday in Spain started in Bilbao. The stations in the centre of town look good. Here’s the inside of the broad gauge station and the outside of the metre gauge station next door.

We headed north to the oldest transporter bridge in the world.

The walkway across the top provides fine views.

Next, on to the Maritime Museum. Here are a few of the outside exhibits, I didn’t take many pictures of the interesting stuff inside this museum which is hidden underneath a roundabout.

A little further up-river is the world famous Guggenheim Museum. Me go in an art gallery? Never!

A funicular took us up for views of the city.

Descending back to river level we entered the old town where I admired this Art Deco market hall, said to be the largest indoor food market in the world. It was built in 1929 on the site of a mediaeval market.

Next to the market is the church of San Anton.


The Euskotren Museum at Azpeitia has a very good collection of exhibits.

Hang on! Isn’t that a familiar shape? Yes, it’s a London trolleybus.

The museum offers steam train rides for a few miles down the valley, we were hauled by this tiny steam engine named “Zugastieta” which had to work hard on the gradients. It was built by Sharp, Stewart & Co of Glasgow, as long ago as 1888.


In the centre of Lleida is the Old Cathedral on a heavily fortified hill. (I was pleased to discover there’s a lift to save me climbing up.)

Good views of the city from the top, in the first one here you can see the arched roof of the station which, very unusually, is arched lengthways along the platforms.

Next, a scenic train ride up into the Pyrenees on the line to La Pobla de Segur.


If it’s Monday it must be Montserrat. We ascended on the rack railway.

At the top is a tourist trap, I mean monastery, with a number of impressive buildings and views. There were large crowds of tourists, to give an idea of the size of the operation, we ate in one of the restaurants which I noticed advertised seating for 450 people.

Descent was by the Aeri De Montserrat cable car.

On to Barcelona, and you can’t come here without seeing how they’re getting on with the Sagrada Familia. Have they finished it yet? No, but by coincidence, four of the towers – representing Matthew, John, Mark and Luke – were completed over the last few days, marking an important step in the construction process.

At Placa d’Espanya are some interesting buildings. Is that a bull-ring?

Continued in Part 2.