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Montsec from the Air

 

We talked with friends about knowing Montsec differently and what better than from the air.
Let’s go! We will do the whole Montsec, from West to East. How? In a hot-air balloon, evidently.
The preparation, the joy, and the departure from Cal Soldat first thing in the morning, after a good coffee, cheers us up.

From where we will rise, how the balloon will inflate, how long it will take, what we will have to do… a series of questions that we all ask ourselves the first time of this experience.

We arrive to the starting point. Miguel, from Globos Kon-Tiki, an expert in this kind of navigation, is waiting for us. And the adventure begins!

 

The balloon is discharged, this is gibberish for inexperienced people like us: tarpaulins, ropes, towropes, carabiners, but everything is in place and it gradually begins to take shape.

The hot-air balloon is rising now and… now what? Run, run up to the basket, for the moment it is captive, but only for a moment. And we started to climb, the movement is noticeable, but the ground is further and further away.

We have learned that on a balloon you can never say that you are already up, there is no above, there are metres from the ground and it depends on the variables of the weather that it be lifted more or less.

Miguel walks us over the entrance of the Montrebei gorge; the sensations are different —now, during the activities, everything is sensations—, but these are sensations indeed. The Pyrenees, the river, the north face of the Montsec, spaces that cannot be seen from the ground, even if you go there expressly and, even so, they are not fully appreciated as from a hot-air balloon. Cars look very small. Dead silence.

We set course for the gorge. Very quiet weather allows you to get inside it and hover it from north to south. We went to the other side, the plain of Noguera. You can see the stairs of the wall of Aragon. Enjoying this spectacle of nature is so impressive that you wish you would never go down.

Luckily, there is still a long way to go. We turn left, go up 2,000 metres, and start to hover the Montsec. On the left, the Pyrenees; further to the front, Wall, lake Cellers, the San Antonio reservoir; on the right, Noguera, Segrie, the Santa Ana and Camarasa reservoirs, Lleida.
Montserrat. We cross the Terradets gorge. It looks small from above.

The world is at your feet. Dead silence. Not even the birds are heard. An unimaginable mental feeling. You are not shut, or tied; you are hung in the air and a gentle breeze returns you to this world.

We go to the Montsec in Rubies, the Ariet valley, Santa Maria Meià, Vilanova Meià, you can see the Sió river, Urgell, and Segarra. What’s happening? The ground is getting closer. Oh! How will we stop? We are landing… Done… Magnificient.

When we returned to Cal Soldat we had so many things to tell that everybody talked and talked. Some memorable experiences!

The Horse Soldier, we can prepare activities like this one and others to suit your needs.

Past, Present, and Future of Cal Soldat

 

This photography is part of a collection of 41 protagonists in the book Mírame España, sponsored by Accenture and edited by E. Planet.

Accenture invited Morgana, David and Jaime’s team in order to make a portrait of today’s Spain with their particular vision.

Each photography, the authors tell us, contains details reflecting experiences and, among them and above all, the new female protagonist that enriches society stands out.

 

It is easy to imagine how the enclave and the small houses that make up Cal Soldat were revealed before Rosa’s eyes as the fog dissipated. Thus, she also met the former owner, Isabel, who emerged from the same haze carrying a little girl by the hand, when, by chance, her passion for Romanesque art led her to the nearby castle of Mur.
Rosa is the soul of Cal Soldat. Nestled in a spectacular setting, it is a dream that, with the support of Alejandro, has come true over many years of effort. She transformed the small village of yesteryear into the cottage that is has now become, she faithfully reconstructed the spaces and kept a multitude of objects that Rosa has discovered and recovered, so that her guests feel that it is through them the small village tells them its story.

SPAIN LOOK ME, is a tribute to people who with their efforts, dreams and realities encourage us to believe in ourselves.

Seo of Fog

 

Today we woke up in Cal Soldat. It is winter and, as every morning, I go out to the middle of the patio to see what the day has to give to us. I look at the stones that build the different spaces, they seem to speak with their golden and bright colour due to the impact of the first rays of the Sun.

I wonder what these white stone walls have lived, countless stories, now just memories. I turn my view to the West and, imposing, with these first rays of light, the castle of Mur greets us, always imposing and loyal guardian of Cal Soldat.

I follow the short walk before going to breakfast, and in the background I am attracted to a long, endless view. The vastness grows each step that it brings me closer to the south balcony; my heart beats vividly as it knew what I was going to live.

The presence and beauty that opens before me leave me speechless; only the silence is worth this majestic setting.

An extraordinary Sea of Fog floods my vision and follows perfectly the limits of the Noguera Pallaresa Valley, and the entire gorge of Tremp. From this immense fog, different reliefs stand out in a perfect contrast, the Montsec to the South and, further afield, to the North, the mountain of Sant Corneli, the serre of Sillar and Carrànima.

Suddenly, this landscape, this endless image, offers me the experience and understanding that many geologists would love to exeperience. Seeing the almost perfect and exact scene of this place 55 million years ago. The haze made sea.

Unintentionally, this geological tale catches me and I begin to travel in time, to the moment where the Montsec first emerged from the bottom of the sea… the last sea that occupied the Pyrenees. At this bygone moment, the gorge of Tremp, the North, and the Àger valley are first individualised. These two basins were actually two gulfs, that is, two portions of the sea that penetrate into the mainland.

Seo of Frog

Cal Soldat, during this time, remained almost 5 million years in the water, at shallow depth, under a more or less warm climate where conditions made possible the accumulation of many forms of life, forming reefs, beaches, etc.

Today, the stones with which Cal Soldat and its surrondings were built, we can know further about this sea and much more. The types of rocks and fossil organisms found are part of this wonderful puzzle that is the geological history of this territory. A voyage of more than 550 million years where new reliefs, climates, landscapes, and forms of life appeared, and made of it a quiet and unique book of geology.

Little by little, I leave this wonderful story. I do not know if several minutes or millions of years went by but… the day in Cal Soldat has just begun above the Sea of Fog.

Acknowledgments
Video: But George
Editorial: Gonzalo Rivas