BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Sunshine, Montserrat, great riding, and good food. That's the way it should be.

Saturday 20/4/13

What a difference a day can make. Today was FANTASTIC!

The sky on the way to Montserrat today.

Montserrat was first on the agenda today and the weather was perfect. I went a different way up the mountain today and it was a dream road. There were a lot of bikes on this road so I think it's a local haunt for sports bike riders.

Lean left...

...lean right. Repeat.

Getting closer.

Found them. The local boy racers, with an MGB thrown in for good measure.

We stopped, took some photos, then let the sports bike guys go first. I didn't want to be in their way and spoil their fun. 

See ya guys. Have fun.

I jokingly said to Suzanne we'll catch them further up the road.

The view from about half way up.

After our photo break we were back on the road, and guess who we caught.

Caught by an old man, two up, on a trail bike.
How embarrassing.

These tunnels were chipped out of solid rock.

Brilliant riding with distracting scenery...

..on the left, the right, up, and down.

Getting closer to the top.

How was the view from the top? You could see for miles. Suzanne wouldn't go anywhere near the edge even though there are railings everywhere. It was quite high with steep sides. How high?

This high.

Take a look at he walk path on the right hand side of the photo. It's about six to eight feet wide, with no barrier to speak of.

If this isn't high enough for you, you can always climb up the sculpture on the viewing platform...

Stupid tourist!

After scaring ourselves looking out over the world we enjoyed a light lunch, and met some Aussies from Tamworth. It sounded weird to hear an Australian accent.

Me being very brave. I'm really not comfortable with heights.

 There's a road down there somewhere.

We made a quick visit to the Monastery, then onto the art gallery. Both places didn't allow photos inside.

As usual, there were statues everywhere.

More than a couple of hours work in this.

The Monastery entrance.

The art gallery is very easy to miss but If you make it to Monserrat make sure you find it. It is well worth the time to visit. Unlike some other galleries we have visited recently, this one contained actual art. At one point I was standing in a room and could see a Picasso, a Dali, and a Renoir without moving. There was a lot of fine art from artists I hadn't heard of as well. All in all a pretty impressive collection.

Our work here was done and it was time to head back down to the flat lands.

I think we'll take that road.

Here we go again.

We should have taken the other road. Less traffic.

Back at sea level we pointed the bike toward Sagrada Familia. We have visited the Sagrada a few times before but we had never been inside. The queue for tickets to enter has always been around the block. Pre purchasing tickets the day before for a certain entry time the gives you easy access on the day. Our simple plan was to ride to the Sagrada, buy some tickets for tomorrow, and ride away. Easy. Well, you'd think so.

We couldn't even find the Sagrada. There was a festival on and one of the major roads was blocked off for miles. We tried skirting around it for about an hour but kept on coming up on dead ends. Finally when I rode up one street and was yelled at by four policemen, all who looked none to happy, (I don't know what the problem was. I was only going one way) I decided that it might be best to give up. We'll sort the tickets out later.

These are typical buildings in Barcelona. They give the city real character. It's not sterile like a lot of other cities.

Even the helmets here are artistic.

It was time for more food. We found a convenient parking spot and sat down outside Nello's Bar where they have a special. A burger and a gin and tonic for a bargain price.

The burger was pretty good as well.

There was a blackboard sign that read Motociclismo, tomorrow, on the big screen. I asked what time the race was on and the waitress checked and told me two pm. Perfect. We'll visit the Sagrada in the morning, then come back here and watch the Moto GP over lunch. 

Our day was complete. Barcelona had turned on it's great weather for us and we'd had a perfect and very full day. Thanks Barca.

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