My journey today with Dagmar started to the south of the Pyrenees and wound west to Girona, then turned slightly north into the Pyrenees and finished at Olot. The distance was 61 miles. The morning sun rose to 24C. I knew nothing of these places. My knowledge of Spanish architecture was from trips to Cuba and South America over 10 years ago. Back then, I loved the faded grandeur of their cities built in colonial times but I have never seen them in Spain. Figueres, our start, is worthy of a longer visit and Salvador Dali's museum would be the first place to explore. Last night, we sat in a courtyard of old stone buildings with narrow balconies and deep windows while eating our meal. Architects strive to create atmosphere and in this courtyard they succeeded 400 years ago. Every town so far has a grand church. This one is at Girona.
Every town has squares as their centre points. Sometimes they are open where people can walk around, sit or talk such as this at Figueres while others have beautiful gardens and water features such as at Olot. This was at Figueres
There was no cycle route to Girona so we cycled on a main highway. We doubted that this was a great idea and had stopped at its start on a major roundabout. A local highways van pulled up behind us and the driver, understanding our dilemma, got out and explained that the road had a wide shoulder and little traffic. He felt that we should not worry. The road had a good surface and gentle hills so the miles rolled away fast. We gazed at the distant Pyrenees to the north getting closer. Girona came and went and we now followed one of the most scenic paths on an old railway that I have ever seen. Views started with allotments, then poppy fields and we peddled alongside a clear stream through forests, spotting red roofed villages as we went.
On several occasions, seeds like dandelions floated through the air and landed giving the appearance of snow
We peddled on to the summit of the railway path and dark clouds started to appear. A group of about 70 school children came the other way, a few oblivious of us and we both just avoided several head on crashes. The clouds grew menacing and at the summit the weather changed to thunder and a ferocious rain storm. My suncream poured off my forehead into my eyes which combined with the salt from my perspiration made my eyes sting. I had to keep wiping my eyes on the descent which at the same time had turned from a cycle path into a torrent of water. We reached Olot an hour later completely soaked, checked into a hotel and was greeted as if it is perfectly normal for guests to arrive like this. Today was a good adventure