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Published: July 25th 2009
Friday 24th July - Barcelona - Central Catalonia
Barcelona traffic was pretty dire so I was hoping this trip up to Parc Guell with me sat melting in the heat would be worth it. Was it? No. And worse I had to lug all the bungeed luggage round the park, due to the constant threat of theft of anything not bolted down. So I absolutely fried. The trousers were designed to be summer trousers so what muppet in the Hein Gericke design department decided on black as a color?
Call me a philistine but I just didn't see the appeal in Gaudi's work. The guy just seemed to have a serious Hansel and Gretel fetish to me, intent on making all buildings appear like something out of a Hans Cristian Anderson fairy tale - why the almost saintly reverence? Parc Guell was as I expected - yes it was different but its appeal was at a child's imagination level to me. Kids would love it. His masterpiece, La Sagrada, to be fair is stunning (even if it is the only building facade I have even seen that I would describe as suffering from leprosy) but all his other weird fairytale
buildings are just that as far in my uneducated opinion.
The Montserrat range was interesting, resembling a less tinged version of Arizona. Personally I didn't like the place - it was one huge tourist complex, complete with coach loads of tourists from Barcelona on day trips. It was worth the journey though, just for the ride up to the peaks. A superb twisting ribbon of tarmac sheltering under the jagged wind blown peaks with a superb elevated view of the plains far below. And I can see why they are jagged into a saw tooth - it is damn windy here. I stayed a while took some pics, ate and left for Olot.
Goddamn it was hot - 36.5C most of the day. Although the Richa jacket is massively vented, at over 30C it makes no difference, it's just a warm blast that seems to extract any fluid straight out of you. I have taken to filling up every 80 miles or so, just so that I stop for a drink. I still have to cross the plains at some stage to get to Bilbao - it will be even hotter between Lleida and Zaragosa. After another premature
fuel stop I packed water onto the bike and found myself needing to stop every 20 minutes or so to drink.
I arrived in Olot at around 7 pm to set up camp etc. My plan for tomorrow is to take a peek at one or more volcanoes before heading off on a loop on the bike up towards the Pyrenees.
Couple of nights camping here and then, err, somewhere else. I am still trying to decide whether to stay in Spain and come back from Northern Spain; or ride back into France, take in the Millau bridge (which I've wanted to see for a while) and ride home. Probably the former, depends on ferry availability and what happens tomorrow.
Tot: 2.651s; Tpl: 0.083s; cc: 11; qc: 54; dbt: 0.0435s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb