La Tramuntana is a wicked, wicked thing. It is for all purposes, a wind. It’s a wind that blows across the Empordà plain in the far northeastern corner of the Catalan province. But it is like no other wind. It blows straight down from the Pyrenees that the plain sits at the base of. It blows all the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter. But yes, it will be blowing no matter what the time of year.
In the winter is probably the nastiest as I experienced last year. It’s this nasty, shrill cold that when it hits you just right, it pierces every cell. It brings rain that flies at you sideways and sometimes, even snow. It makes the cold winter of Catalonia all the colder.
In the summer, La Tramuntana is a mixed bag. At times it can be refreshing, dusting off the heat and humidity of an otherwise overbearing day. Those are the good days. The bad days are when it kicks up all kinds of dust and doesn’t cool anything, just making it feel like you’ve stuck your head in a blow dryer for kicks. The worst are the nights when it bangs around everything on the house no matter what you do to try and lock everything down. There will always be some loose piece of a ribbon that gets continually slammed in to the side of the house with the force of a wrecking ball, keeping you awake.
In case you didn’t get my gist, I hate this damned wind which probably makes me an honorary local to curse at something I have no control over. If you spend all your time in Catalonia running around Barcelona, you’ll never get a taste of it. Well, that’s not true. About 20-25 minutes before you land at BCN airport, you’ll probably get tossed around a little bit. I believe that that is the work of La Tramuntana. It makes me realize that I could never live in this bastard for any length of time, thus completely legitimizing my need to find a place to live in Barcelona for that day I finally get to move to Spain permanently.
Oh, sorry for all the Catalan Wikipedia links. There isn’t too much on this wind in English. Use Google Translate for some good times.