La Molina in a Day
Updated: Dec 23, 2018
Day 3 of our "snow weekend" (read about Day 1 & 2 here), we decided to drive to La Molina.
Originally, when we booked a holiday weekend in Ribes de Freser, we planned to visit Vall de Nuria for two consecutive days. However, as we do not ski, we decided this could make Day 3 boring (all the excitement of something new would be worn off!). Also, while we had really enjoyed the Cremallera journey on day 2, we had now experienced it so the cost (circa €63 for the 4 of us) didn't make sense.
So off we went, in the car, to La Molina. Ribes de Freser is quite small, so we were quickly out of the town and on the road. The road was windy, and quickly a line of cars were behind me as I was driving around 50km (I am sure driving the locals crazy with my speed!) However, even with the snail's pace, the groans of 'Mommy, I am feeling sick' began from the back seat. You would think we were prepared for such a scenario, but of course, we weren't!
So where do you stop the car on a winding road for sick children, which then whittles down to such a narrow size that cars have to stop to pass each other? Answer: Nowhere.
So while our son first was feeling sick, it was our daughter who got sick first. There was a panic to get the sick bag, salvaged from our backpack, from one child to the other. She did great for a 2 year old - managed to get sick into the bag without any help from us. We then finally got a spot to pull over where our son also got sick into the, now well christened, shopping bag. However, as always with kids, they bounced back within minutes and after getting some air, we were back on the road.
The drive was beautiful - we hit a t-junction in the final stretch to La Molina where snow covered mountains were rolling ahead of us. A sight to behold!
Tip: as with Vall de Nuria, we discovered the SKI TRAIN from RENFE would bring you from Barcelona to La Molina, bus to the slopes and a day ski pass for €42 per adult and €32 for Infantil (2018 prices). So a very cost efficient alternative if driving is not an option.
We reached La Molina and continued to drive to Sports Carles Adsera where we had read there was a sledging area (checkout link here). We rented a sledge for €15 for the full day (while we could buy one in Decathlon for that price, apartment living means not gathering excess items! Note: you need to leave ID with the owner), and headed to the sledging slope.
It was amazing to see the speed small kids were doing, with no helmets, and literally crashing off at points. Note to self: next time, bring some helmets for ourselves. I didn't go on the sledge, but my other half and the kids did and they had a ball. We also went up the mountain and slid down, sin sledge! Great fun, and we finally only stopped to save damaging our clothes :)
Returning the sledge, we hit the Sports Bar for a hearty lunch, sitting outside on the terrace watching life in the mountains. It was beautiful.
Interesting Side Note: the owner of the Bar skied in the 1968 Olympic Games in Grenoble.
We were thinking to next go to the Tubbing in La Molina as we had a free pass for 2 kids from Super 3 Catalan TV. It was a gift to my daughter as one of their December birthday members list (that and free passes to CosmoCaixa - pretty cool!). (Tip: Not already in the Super3 club? Join here). Or maybe instead we would relax where we were in the mountains.
So we decided to skip the tubbing, and headed off for a walk across the ski slopes, which were closed as the snow was not heavy enough at La Molina. It was wonderful for us, as we do not ski (yet!) so got to enjoy a lot of the area ordinarily inaccessible. I also learnt that what I thought was simply a snow shovel in Decathlon (see here) 1 week earlier was, in fact, a basic sledge: when a woman went flying down the slopes on it! Worth a purchase as at only €2 approx, you have a simple sledge for the smallies while it takes up no space at home or in the car.
We played in the forests and around the slopes, and then decided to drive back to Ribes around 3:30pm, as I wanted to pass the narrowest parts of the road before darkness fell. We had another lovely evening in Ribes, popping into the local shops while walking the small main street. The children slept soundly after another very enjoyable day in the snow.
The next morning, we checked out of our accomodation and went for brunch in a lovely cafe on the main street. Leaving Ribes at 12noon on a Sunday, we accepted we would be in traffic and were sitting outside Ripoll for maybe 40 mins in heavy traffic. But it flowed free at the opposite site of Ripoll, and we had a straight, uneventful run to Barcelona. Again, only a small toll fee (< €2) for the entire trip home.
A wonderful weekend end to end, and we will certainly be back to enjoy both snow and nature weekends in the area!