My wife and I love the experience of traveling off the beaten path and serendipitously discovering local treasures; be they local events, culinary delights, crafted originals, or just special people. We had just such an experience while traveling west on N-260 (south of Andorra).
While heading toward Cataluna's only national park, we had a most enjoyable "Hidden Gem" experience. We arrived in Bar on a simple whim. We wanted to see what life is like in a centuries old "micro village" rooted on a side hill location where farmers were active on impossibly steep non forgiving terrain.
Once there, we saw little evidence of human activity but did spot a yellow sign with a somewhat cryptic arrow pointing down a narrow pathway. Formatge Barida, the sign read. With no clear idea where we would wind up, we trundled on to the next sign - and the next...
In minutes we were past the resting dog and on to someone's porch and back?? door. A knock produced an answer and a most fascinating gentleman. He promptly invited us into his cheese making parlor and with a combination of barely confident Catalonian/Spanish/French we managed to discover much about his goat cheese operation. It was modest as an operation, but the cheese was nothing less than glorious!
After a subsequent introduction to his hard working goats, we left with cheese in hand and spent the rest of the day snacking on his wonderful creations, while planning tomorrow's cheese snack menus - rife with complimentary cuisine.
For those of you who cherish the journey that uncovers rare unanticipated hidden treasures, this should be on your itinerary (if indeed that is not some sort of travel oxymoron).
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