Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015

All of our breakfasts have been good to excellent, and today's was particularly good with omelets to order and a wide array of pastries, meats cheeses, granolas, fruits, juices, etc. Is it any wonder that I gain weight on these cycling trips? With one day left to bike, we have cycled just over 300 miles so far.
Olives at the Vic market

After breakfast, we started our day with a brief visit to the market in the Plaza Mayor which was absolutely packed with people. What made this market stand out from ones that I have seen in the past were the vendors selling live poultry and rabbits. 

While we were at the market, I ducked off the square and visited the pharmacy to get some cough and cold medicine. I feel the beginnings of a cold and hope to ward it off before it gets worse. 

From the market, we went to the sausage factory, which was on the third floor of a family business with the meat market on the street floor, a restaurant on the second floor and the sausage manufacturing and food prep on the third floor. In addition to the demonstration of the sausage making, we got to try our hand at it. I was pretty inept at filling the sausage casing -- which was tripe, the small intestine of the pig. I have a video of my attempt, which is too large to incorporate in the blog, but is pretty funny.
At the sausage factory

After that we began our journey away from the foothills of the Pyrenees towards Barcelona. It is obvious that we are getting closer to the city as we see more industrial areas and more congested highways (although we stick to the smaller roads). We had a moderately strong headwind for most of the day, and as it was a short ride (30 miles) I rode all the way to the hotel without stopping for lunch. I got here before the van with the luggage, so I had lunch in the plaza across from the hotel. Once again, I had the butifara and beans (sausage and beans) which is typical of the region, and is the type of sausage we made (and tasted) this morning. The sausage from our factory was definitely better!

Caldes de Montbui, our home for tonight is known as a spa town. We met as a group this evening for a circuit of the four thermal baths in our hotel, spending an hour moving from spa to spa. If the medicine doesn't cure my cold, perhaps the thermal baths will.

Tomorrow we head for Barcelona, our final destination.

Selling live chickens

Gabrielle is a natural at sausage making

Catalunian countryside

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