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Girona, Costa Brava






Sept. 23: Girona, Figueras, Costa Brava


This morning we got up from our comfortable beds, and moseyed on down to the dining room for breakfast. Heide and I were the only ones there. Kurt and Phil joined us a little bit later. We had a breakfast of toast, orange juice and coffee, and then went back to our rooms to pack up and check out.

The owner's son was working in the hotel, and we asked him where Lance Armstrong's flat was. He pointed it out on the map, so we had to go find it. We followed the map, and discovered it -- it's very easy to tell which one it is because the windows are so new. We snapped a few photos, and went back to the hotel to pick up our luggage.

We lugged our luggage up the street over the cobbles to the University where our car was parked, and loaded up and headed out.

Now that we knew the city a little bit better, it was easier to figure out where to go. First, we had to stop by a bike shop to see if we could pick up some local kit. Decathlon is a big sporting goods chain here, and they had nothing of interest to buy, so after a ten-minute detour we headed on towards Figueras.

Figueras was about 40 minutes away, over local highways. So it was a little bit slow going. The signs in the city direct you right to the Dali' museum. The city itself has absolutely nothing to recommend itself, as far as we could tell. (Perhaps there were charming parts of the city, but if so, we didn't see them.)

The Dali' museum is quite striking as the roof is lined with egg sculptures and naked women. We bought our tickets and went in.

The exhibit was quite crowded, especially for a Friday. We later found out that today was a holiday in Barcelona, so I suspect there were a lot of people from Barcelona visiting.

The exhibit is on five floors, but only has a fraction of his work. Most of his best-known paintings are elsewhere. But the exhibit did give a nice overview of the range of work he did. There was no audio guide for the exhibit, which was a pity.

My favorite part of the exhibit was a set of line drawings (pen and ink) he did, almost cartoons, really. A lot of them were captioned in English by Dali' which gave some more insight into the mind of the artist.

We left the museum, hit the gift shop, and then did a quick tour through the adjacent building which housed an exhibit of jewelry that Dali' designed.

We retrieved the car and headed on over to Cadaques. Cadaques is a fishing town on the Costa Brava (on the Mediterranean). To get there you have to traverse some very windy and hilly roads. Heide was not too pleased, but she soldiered through.

We were stuck behind a big truck and a line of cars, so it was slow going. One car did manage to make its way past all the cars and the truck, which is quite impressive considering how windy the road was.

We finally rolled into town, and parked in a big parking lot. We set off for the coast on foot, in search of a place to eat. We found a nice little cafe overlooking the water, and had a meal.

We wandered around town some. Cadaques is a picturesque town, with lots of white buildings in the unique style of the area. They look very fishing-village like (check out the photos to see what I mean). There is a small cobbled older part of town that's open to pedestrians only. We walked around the town and stumbled upon a cathedral with the most ornate altar I've ever seen.

We walked around a bit more, found some facilities, and then finally got in the car to leave. The trip back up the little hill outside the town was much faster, and soon we were back on the toll roads heading towards Barcelona.

It was quite tricky navigating through Barcelona and finding our hotel. But finally we did. We eased into the nearly empty parking garage, and parked the car. We got our keys and headed up to our room.

Our room was very modern and nice. It had two twin beds pushed together and a very small rollaway bed. I picked up my bags from Heide's room, and then we all went down to the hotel restaurant for a very fine dinner, before retiring for the night.

I still hadn't done my presentation, so I went down to the hotel lobby where I could plug in my laptop and started working on it. Ian was there, and wanted to talk about usage reports, but I was able to put him off until the next day.