This Sortie will take place on Thursday 9th June due to work commitments on the 10th
So we reach the 10th and final leg of our current Misfit Squadron Friday Tour.
We start at Barcelona which as you'll remember from last week Barcelona is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It's the capital and largest city of the community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits, its urban area extends to around 4.8 million people, making it the fifth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, the Ruhr area, Madrid, and Milan. Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Gaudí which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Barcelona is also a transport hub, with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat, which handles over 50 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network, and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe.
From here we fly North along the Costa Brava to Lloret de Mar. With a population of 39,364 in 2009, it is the second largest town in the this reagion of Catalonia. Lloret de Mar attracts summer visitors on package tours. Its main beach is one of the most popular Costa Brava beaches, and is consistently awarded the Blue Flag for cleanliness. In 1987, 27% of the total tourism establishment offering of the Costa Brava was concentrated in Lloret de Mar, but with 49% of the total hotel beds offering. Every year, Lloret welcomes 12% of the tourists who visit Catalonia and over 40% of the tourists who visit the Costa Brava. Lloret de Mar is ranked the fifth largest sun and sand destination in Spain and the largest in Catalonia in terms of the number of hotel beds. 50% of its hotel accommodation offering is concentrated in hotels with three stars or more and, while 64% of the five-star and luxury hotel accommodation on the Costa Brava is located in the town. Lloret de Mar's hotel offering in 2013 consisted of 30,000 hotel beds and over 120 establishments, of which 13,000 beds were in three-star hotels and 11,000 in four and five-star hotels.
Next stop is Girona. The city had an official population of 103,369 in 2020. It's the capital of the province of the same name. Since much of the old quarter of this ancient city has been preserved, Girona is a popular destination for tourists, and film productions have used it as a filming location. The Barri Vell and the Girona Cathedral have been the set of several films, including The Monk and episode 10 of season 6 of Game of Thrones.
Now things start to get interesting again. We leave Girona and fly West back into the Pyrenees where we were Ten weeks at the start of the tour, this time on the Eastern or Catalonian side of course. First stop here is a touch and go at LECD, then we visit the Principality of Andorra. This is a sovereign landlocked microstate on the Iberian Peninsula. Believed to have been created in 988, when it was transferred to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Urgell. The present principality was formed by a charter in 1278. It is headed by two co-princes: the Bishop of Urgell in Catalonia, and the President of France. Its capital and largest city is Andorra la Vella. Andorra is the sixth-smallest state in Europe, with an area of 181 sq mi and a population of approximately 77,000. The Andorran people are a Romance ethnic group of originally Catalan descent. Andorra is the world's 16th-smallest country by land and 11th-smallest by population.The capital is the highest in Europe, at an elevation of 3,356 feet above sea level. The official language is Catalan, but Spanish, Portuguese, and French are also commonly spoken.
Next stop for another touch and go is the airport of LESU, then onto LFIP as we fly over the famous The Col de Peyresourde at an elevation of 5,148 ft. This Col was first used in the Tour de France in 1910 and has appeared frequently ever since. The leader over the summit in 1910 was Octave Lapize. In the 2016 Tour on Stage 8, it saw eventual race winner Chris Froome make a daring descent attack from the top of the Col that caught many of his main rivals off guard, resulting in a solo stage victory.
Almost done now save for one final fly over before landing. We now visit Lourdes which is a market town in southwestern France. Prior to the mid-19th century, the town was best known for the Château fort de Lourdes, a fortified castle that rises up from a rocky escarpment at its center, but In 1858 Lourdes rose to prominence in France and abroad due to the apparitions claimed to have been seen by a peasant girl who was later canonized. Shortly thereafter the city with the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes became one of the world's most important sites of pilgrimage and religious tourism. Yearly from March to October the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is a place of mass pilgrimage from Europe and other parts of the world. The spring water from the grotto is believed by some Catholics to possess healing properties. An estimated 200 million people have visited the shrine since 1860, and the Roman Catholic Church has officially recognized 69 healings considered miraculous. Tours from all over the world are organized to visit the Sanctuary. Connected with this pilgrimage is often the consumption of or bathing in the Lourdes water which wells out of the Grotto. At the time of the apparitions, the grotto was on common land which was used by the villagers variously for pasturing animals and collecting firewood, and it possessed a reputation for being an unpleasant place.
From here it's the final 70nm to our final port of call and the very end of the tour. The City of Toulouse is 93 miles from the Mediterranean Sea,143 mles from the Atlantic Ocean and 420 miles from Paris. Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus , the SPOT satellite system, ATR and the Aerospace Valley. It also hosts the European headquarters of Intel and the CNES's Toulouse Space Centre, the largest space centre in Europe. The air route between Toulouse and the Parisian airports is the busiest in France, transporting 3.2 million passengers in 2019. Toulouse counts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the city's unique architecture made of pinkish terracotta bricks has earned Toulouse the nickname La Ville Rose ("The Pink City").
So there you have it, The A2A Misfit Squadron Friday Tour of Spain done. Thanks to one and all for flying along. I hope you enjoyed it. Till the next one. (Greek Islands in Late summer) See ya.
Aircraft Type PA24
Take Off 1800 local
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