BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Monday, 29 April 2013

Adios Barcelona. Hola Cadaques.

Tuesday 23/4/13

Our last day in Barcelona coincided with the Sant Jordi's (Saint George's) Day festival. The Spanish treat Sant Jordi's Day in a similar way to the way we treat Saint Valentine's Day. The guys give the girls roses, and the girls give the guys books. As a result, there are flower sellers absolutely everywhere.

Rose, roses, roses, and more roses.

And more roses.

There is still resentment about Catalunya (the province Barcelona is in) being a part of Spain, and people are happy to express their feelings.

Catalan flags fly everywhere. That's subtle.

Some banners aren't so subtle.

I decided that as it's our last day in Barca we had to ride down La Rambla one last time, but these guys had different ideas.

I could get through that gap, but...

Oh well, no biggie. It was another perfect day for a ride, so ride we did, avoiding the motorways of course.

The longest straight piece of road I've seen in ages.

We saw a little restaurant on the side of the road near Roses, (the town, not the flower. What a coincidence eh?) so "Restaurant Can Vila" was chosen as our lunch stop. We were looked after extremely well and the food was superb. Thank you Manuela.

Pre lunch nibbles. The wine and beer were ice cold.
The food was amazing.

After lunch it was onwards. Cadaques is a little fishing village on the Costa Brava, where the Pyrenees Mountains meet the Mediterranean. The interesting thing is that there is only one road in, and it's over a bloody big mountain. We were driven there in a van on our previous visit and I had said I'd love to ride this road on a bike. Suzanne just closed her eyes in fear and said "No way!" 

Well, it's a few yeas later, and here we are.

How can there be so many great biking roads in such a small country?

It doesn't look high, or steep, but trust me, it is.

This was a lot of fun.

A gradual, winding climb that went on forever.

We eventually crested the mountain and were rewarded with a spectacular view of the Mediterranean and Cadaques.

The village of Cadaques.

After about half an hour of descending the mountain, we rolled into Cadaques and into the centre of the village. We pulled up on the side of the road and started looking at the sat nav to locate the hotels. Our standard ploy is to start in the middle of town, and work our way out until we find a hotel within our budget range.

A minute later we met Roger and Michael, a couple of BMW riders from Switzerland. They saw the bike and came over to say hello. We must attract the Swiss for some reason. It turns out that these guys work at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland so I laughingly said "Cool. You can take us to see it when we visit". To which Micheal said "Yes. Fine." Um. Wow. Nerds of the world, eat your heart out. I better watch some Big Bang episodes and brush up on my physics before we go.

This is the website for the collider where the guys work

Then Michael invited us to stay with him in Geneva if we get there next week. We'd love to, but I don't know if we can stretch the credit card that far. We really are pushing it right now. I'd love to go, so we'll see.

While we were talking to the guys I heard someone say "That sounds like an Aussie accent" and so we met Michael and Pam from South Australia. 

After chatting for a while we moved on and stopped outside the first hotel we found. Suzanne did her usual check the room price, but came out with a disappointed look on her face saying it was too expensive. What the hell, we splurged and booked a room in a hotel where the front door is fifteen paces from the Mediterranean Sea. You only live once.

The BM having a rest. I think Alan was a little scared on the ride here.

After settling in we went out for a walk along the water's edge, and to find dinner, at the usual Spanish time of ten o'clock. To our surprise, everything was closed. We did find one restaurant open, "Es Taronger", but it was closing. Luckily the Aussies we met earlier, Michael and Pam, were already there. They went in hard and did a big sales pitch which got us in for a last minute meal. Thanks guys.

Andreas, the owner, told us that because it was so late, all we could have was the fish. No problem. Dos pesces, y una botella de vino blanco per favor. The fish was Sea Bass, and I don't think I've ever enjoyed a fish so much. It was exceptionally good. I don't know what we are going to do about food when we get home. We have been so pampered and spoiled while we've been away. Everything has been so fresh, and so tasty, and so cheap.

We had a chat with Michael and Pam and it turns out they are staying in the same hotel as us. When Andreas overheard this he told us it is the most expensive hotel in town. OK, it was a bit pricey, but it was only about a third of what you'd pay in Perth for a hotel nowhere near as nice. And the location, it just doesn't exist anywhere in Perth.

After dinner, which came to a total of thirty five euros, we asked Andreas if we could get another bottle of wine to take with us. "Of course" he said, and gave us two wine glasses to take as well, as long as we promised to bring them back the next day. We also got an apology because he couldn't let us take his corkscrew because he only had one. Customer service is alive and well in Spain, and you know what, we'll eat there again tomorrow. Thank you Andreas.

We enjoyed a very pleasant stroll along the shore back to our hotel.

The scene outside our front door.

It had been another memorable day. Perfect weather, ideal riding roads, more delicious food, nice wine, and some great people.

We are so very lucky to be able to enjoy this.

No comments:

Post a Comment