Monday, May 25, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

Steve limbering up before the start

Montse (one of our guides)

Rick and Any before the ride

Me, at the Empuries (Greek) ruins.

Cadaques seen from above

Our hotel
Today was another wonderful day, but I need to start with a story about last evening. Five of us were enjoying a dinner in a very nice restaurant with a pleasant, quiet, ambiance. Just before dessert, the sound system started blaring "We are the Champions" so loudly that I yanked my hearing aids off. We could hear wild celebrations in the bar and on the street outside. The election results had just been announced! The conservatives had held all 9 seats in the local government (city council?) for the last 28 years. Today, the left party (Catalan separatists) took 4 of those seats. Four of nine is not a majority, but a huge step forward, giving them negotiating strength, and the celebration was intense.

Today's highlights were the wind, a visit to the well-preserved Greek ruins at Empuries, the crossing of the Pyrenees (albeit a very little piece), the wind, the beautiful city of Cadaques, where we will spend two nights, and, (did I mention), the wind.

Lest anyone thing I exaggerate about the wind, I should point out that we just had our evening briefing. Tomorrow's ride has been cancelled because of the wind which is expected to pick up even more,  We will hike instead.  Off to dinner, now. Will finish this post later.

Just learned that the forecast is for the winds tomorrow to be 40 miles per hour, with much stronger gusts close to the sea.  Good decision not to ride.

Dinner tonight was excellent, as usual. We ate at Compartir (which means "to share"). The entire dinner consisted of plates of small portions of delicacies to be shared.  How about rabbit ribs with an apple aioli? Far too many others to remember, let alone mention, but you get the idea.

Cadaques, where we are staying was the home of Salvador Dali for many years. His museum is at Figueres, which we will be visiting in a few days. In the meantime, we will enjoy this postcard-picture-perfect harbor town.

The ride today was 46 miles long, ending with a climb up and over one (little) piece of the Pyrenees. The climb was not too steep, but the wind made it difficult. The descent, however, was really beautiful.

Early in the ride we stopped at Empuries, the only part of the Iberian peninsula, where the remnants of an entire Greek city can be found. It is remarkably well preserved, and you can see the ancient agora (the central square or market place) and the temple of Asclepius, the god of medicine.

I had missed the marking for the suggested lunch stop, so I fueled up with a banana and an energy bar before tackling the hill, arriving in Cadaques in time to explore and take a few pictures before our evening meeting.

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