Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Viva España!

France was wonderful. Apart from the appalling lack of signage - and let's not discuss the perils of driving on those completely mental 130kmh. I may never recover.

Anyway, we enjoyed the beautiful alpine scenery around le Bourg d'Oisans, spent an idyllic couple of days in a little B&B at Saint-Gervasy, before finishing our French tour at historic Carcassonne.

18th century stone cottage in Saint-Gervasy. Perfect location, comfortable bed, private living room and terrace - AND use of the pool.

The incredible example of Roman engineering that is the Pont du Gard.

Carcassonne. Medieval fortified town with intact chateau and ramparts. Amazing.

After that, it was goodbye to France and hola! to Spain. We've spent the last three days in Barcelona, which is a bit of an ugly duckling city. Sprawling blocks of flats and office buildings from the 60s and 70s, mostly. Its redeeming features are its Gaudi buildings, the Montjuic attractions (palace-museum and castle-fort) and the old Barrio Gotico - the gothic quarter. The waterfront is quite nice too.

Palau Montjuic - set high on a hill, with multiple terraces - and thankfully, many escalators too. My poor diseased lungs aren't up to climbing all the stairs.

We executed a perfectly planned visit to la Sagrada Familia. Pre-planned Metro trip, pre-purchased tickets, scoping out the entrance procedure, and a quick breakfast before we headed across the road to wait for our 9:00am admittance. Only one problem....I left my camera back in the hotel room. 

Bike Boy offered to dash back on the Metro and retrieve it, but I decided that it was enough to just soak in the many details of the building and enjoy the whole experience. It was the best thing I've seen on this trip....and this is the only photo I have, complete with photo-bombing pigeon:

The gothic quarter is very interesting, but also very touristy. Way too many hustlers selling crap on the streets, and too many places selling overpriced and not very good food. It takes some work to find an authentic and reasonably priced meal around there. The architecture is stunning though.

Tomorrow we plan to fit in some final sightseeing before we wave goodby to Barcelona and travel by train to Logroño, in the north-west.


I've been as sick as the proverbial dog for almost two weeks now; it's been at least a week since I've been able to sleep without propping myself upright on a pile of pillows. The horrible virus finally buggered off about six days ago, but it left behind a lovely chest infection as a souvenir. 

Today I discovered that in Spain, you can buy antibiotics over the counter at pharmacies (we tried in France, but no go). So I'm all set now to kill this bug dead...hopefully I'll be feeling normal again in a couple of days. I'm fed up with not sleeping, coughing my guts out and feeling wiped out after walking one or two kilometres.

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