The Rain in Spain!

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Day 11 (May 18) ~ Toroella de Montgrí to Figueres

Today we cycle to the final stay of our trip, in Figueres. We'll be passing through some of the areas we visited in 2003, though I doubt we'll see much we recognise apart from the obvious Dalí theatre-museum.

Oh, and it's Amanda's birthday. Happy Birthday Amanda!

Ah, our route is a bit uneven here. It doesn't look like this in Google Street View.

Apropos of nothing in particular, we frequently see signs like this. The UK Highway Code was recently updated to include this guidance for overtaking cyclists, but no noticeable amount of money was spent on telling motorists.

Our route takes us past the ancient city of Empúries. Most unusually, there are actually two ancient cities, one Greek and one Roman, which occupy almost but not quite the same space. The whole area is a single archaeological site that people can visit, and goodness me, on Thursdays admission is free!

The visitor centre itself is uncompromisingly Brutalist [aside: 'Brutalism' as an architectural style is nothing to do with the English word 'brutal', no matter what its detractors might say. It's actually from the French word 'brute' meaning 'raw', as in 'raw concrete', unadorned and not pretending to be anything else.] This is almost like time travel as you leave the 21st century and enter BC.

There are some amazingly well-preserved mosaic floors. In the background, you can see a school group, of which there are many here today, presumably taking advantage of the free admission.

This is all Roman, of course. The Greek city is archeologically just as important but less photogenic. I have to draw some limits or this blog would be even later in the writing and take even longer to read.

Allow me to direct you to Wikipedia if you would like to know more.

And now, in complete contrast, a pretty little beetle on a pretty flower.

We've not had any cow pictures for while. Let me fix that.

In fact, let me fix that twice.

WTF??? We're in Figueres now, and this is what we see.


Doesn't everyone love cows? Admittedly, we haven't seen any to usurp our favourites - Belted Galloway and Highland - but we can still appreciate the second tier of bovinity.

The entrance to the Dalí theatre-museum. It's a bit late now, but we will visit tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's a picture of the allegedly traditional Catalan bread roll that we've never actually seen in a bakery.

That's a lorra lorra bread rolls! And a geodesic dome. And sort of Oscar statues. And eggs. I can relate to a man who has a singular artistic vision and then somehow gets a bit distracted.

"Klaatu barada nikto"

Well, we're all still here, so it must have worked.

This is where we're staying. Dalí himself stayed here too! Nothing to do with 80s superstars Duran Duran, of course (although, when you think about it, things like the video for Girls on Film are actually pretty surreal).

It's late afternoon/early evening, so we'll just take a little walk in the vicinity.

The church of St Peter - Sant Pere

Oh gosh, it's deep again.


Another restaurant with pretensions... But will they be justified?

Ooh... Yummy little clams

Apparently peas are some kind of local speciality.

Ok, dammit, yeah, they can cook here. Recommended.

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