Spanish Snow

Posted on January 20th, 2008 by Valerie

Hello from rainy Manchester, where I’m visiting my mother. I left Barcelona in balmy, springlike weather. We flew over the snow-capped Pyrenees. And I thought: they look like meringue. And remembered the Spanish expression for beating egg whites till they form stiff peaks: montar las claras a punto de nieve – to snow point. And it was so good to see the snow. Snow, as well as a bit of a lift (sorry about the pun) for the skiing industry, means meltwater, and that means water for the reservoirs. However, as the TV3 weatherman reminded us on Friday, a lot of that meltwater is going to end up in France rather than Catalunya’s depleted reservoirs. In the high Pyrenees the Val d’Aran (where Baqueira Beret is located, a favourite ski resort of royals and celebs plus paparazzi, as seen in the pages of ‘¡Hola!’ magazine) is the only district of Catalunya that mostly belongs to the Atlantic rather than the Mediterranean basin. Here is the source of the Garona – the River Garonne which flows down into France and through Toulouse. Then it goes west to Bordeaux where it forms the Gironde estuary with the waters of the Dordogne and flows into the Atlantic. For all you lovers of useless information out there – and pub quizmasters — the Garonne is one of the few rivers in the world with a tidal bore, which surfers and jet skiers can ride more than 70 miles upstream from the Atlantic. I really had no idea.

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