16 de July de 1787 - Una entrada en Barcelona desde Montserrat (777)

Leave the convent [Montserrat], and take the road for Barcelona, which, in richness of vegetable accompaniment, is inferior to that by which we came; we were several miles descending. Pass Orevoteau[???], where is a hedge of aloes four feet high : here we are in a high road, for we meet for the first time a cabriolet. Passa wretched ilony desert, which yields only aromatic plants, scattered with dismal evergreen oaks. Esparagara is the first manufacturing town we met with; woollen cloths, stuffs, and laces: the town is near a mile long. Near Martorell, see the triumphal arch, said to be built by Annibal; it has been lately repaired. In that town every one is employed in lace making; they have, however, another occupation not quite so agreeable to the eye, that of picking vermin out of each other’s heads, in which numbers of them were employed; nor can any thing be more stinking or filthy than their persons, or more dirty than their houses: to view either, is enough to impress the idea, that cleanliness is one of the first of the virtues, and doubly so in such a hot climate. No new houses in any of these towns. The country is disagreeable, and rendered worse by many beds of torrents, without a drop of water j arid and hurtful to the eye. Apricots, plumbs, melons, &c. ripe, and sold in the streets.

Come to a noble road, which they are making at the expence of the king; fifty or sixty feet wide, and walled on the side to support the earth, of which it is formed. The country now is far more populous and better built, many vines, and much cultivation.

It will probably be found, that the great reputation of this province has arisen from the improvements in the lower, flat, and irrigated parts; if so, it ought to be discriminated; for by far the larger part of it is mountainous, not less in proportion, I should conceive, than seven-eighths.
Pass a large paper mill; and continuing on the same fine road, join another equally great and well made, that leads to Villa Franca. Turn to the left for Barcelona, and cross a bridge of red granite, a solid, durable, and noble work, four hundred and forty paces long; but, though built only eight years ago, is in a bad and inelegant stile. Now meet a great number of carts and carriages, drawn by very fine mules, and mark every appearance of approaching a great city. Within two or three miles of it, there are many villas and good buildings of all sorts, spreading to the right and left, and seen all over the country. I have been at no city since we left Paris, whose approach carries such a face of animation and cheerfulness; and considering Paris as the capital of a great kingdom, and Barcelona as that of a province only, the latter is more striking beyond all comparison. This noble road does honour to the present king of Spain; it is carried in an even line over all narrow vales, so that you have none of the inconveniencies which otherwise are the effect of hills and declivities. A few palm trees add to the novelty of the prospect to northern eyes. The first view of the town is very fine, and the situation truly beautiful. The last half mile we were in great haste to be in time for the gates, as they are shut at nine o’clock. We had had a burning ride of forty miles, and were a good deal fatigued, yet forced to undergo a ridiculous search, as every thing pays an entrée to government on going into the town; and we had still two miles I believe to pass, first to the French crown, which inn was full, and then to La Fonde, where we found good quarters.

My friend thought this the most fatiguing day he had ever experienced: the excessive heat oppressed him much; and, indeed, travellers in general are much more prudent than to ride during the whole day in the middle of July, choosing rather to expose themselves to fatigue here in the morning and evening only. But after a succession of dog holes, with perpetual starving and mortification in the mountains, the contrast of this inn was great. It is a very good one, with many waiters, active and alert as in England. A good supper, with some excellent Mediterranean fish; ripe peaches; good wine; the most delicious lemonade in the world; and good beds, all tended to revive us; but Mons. Lazowiki was too much fatigued for enjoying them. –40 miles.

, Travels during the years 1787, 1788, and 1789, undertaken more particularly with a view of ascertaining the cultivation, wealth, resources, and national prosperity of the kingdom of France (1794). Read on

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  • Aníbal (1) Aníbal Barca (en fenicio, Hanni-baʾal —que significa «quien goza del favor de Baal»— y Barqa —«rayo»—), conocido generalmente como Aníbal, nacido en el 247 a.
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