We were supposed to take the train back to Barcelona Saturday, but now that we’ve figured out that you look for town names at the round-a-abouts, and not street names, why leave so soon? We’ll stay in Girona through Monday, and then head to Barcelona. I was in Barcelona five years ago, by the way. In fact, I blogged all about it, and it’s somewhere here on this blog (caitoceallaigh.com). If you’re reading this on facebook, sorry.
My only disappointment so far is that I have not ventured out to the locutorio to call my distant cousins in Zaragoza. You can read all about them from five years ago, somewhere on this blog. They are very funny ladies who brought me to my Granmda Eva’s hometown, Berdun, an unforgettable trip. I knew I’d always come back again, but that was before I discovered cycling around Girona.
Today, Chuck and I took the train to Figueres, Salvador Dali’s hometown, to see one of three Catalonian museums in his honor, the Teatre Museu Dali. From there, we rode our rent-a-bikes to the sleepy fishing town of Cadaqués, only 31 kilometers away, and not so bad on a bicycle, once you understand the signs on the round-a-about. The journey included one significant climb and descent, with humbling views of the Mediterranean.
I just read this on wikipedia: in the early 20th century, about a third of this village moved to Cuba. What the heck? There in Cuba, they struck it rich somehow, and built ornate homes back in Cadaqués. Well, that explains some things, but I wish I had read this before we rode out there. I might have taken more pictures.
By the time we left, it was after five o’clock, and that’s when Chuck and I thought it would be prudent to ride all the way back to Girona, to get some miles in, because we are serious athletes.
Well, I thought the climb out of Cadaqués was challenging enough because it was at least several kilometers long (my use of kilometers is no accident; I am attempting to demonstrate how European I am now), and plus, with my tyres fully inflated, and my tyre pump no longer dragging along my front chain ring (I just figured that out this morning), I could almost keep up with Chuck, despite his pack with all of our museum-going clothing attached to his back.
Well, I was fine with that. But as we approached Figueres, it was clear that this ride would be too short for our endurance athlete standards. As it was only six o’clock, we still had a couple of hours yet of sunlight. Why not just take the highway back to Girona? Chuck had already found the route back on the map, back at lunch on the beach at Cadaqués. It seemed feasable. We’d be studs.
“Here we are at N-11,” said Chuck, pointing to the highway, in the flatlands outside of Figures.
It is time that I ask you, my readers, to suspend this story, to go back to yesterday, when I felt my first real sense of panic in a very long time, when Chuck’s 50-minute run turned into several hour, as I sat alone in our apartment, with no phone, no way to contact him, no friends to call, just facebook — and what a disaster of a facebook update that would be — as Chuck took a much longer way home than anticipated.
“Everything was fine for the first thirty minutes,” he said. “And then I went to turn around.”
Because that’s how it works in this town. You can’t just turn around. You have to go around round-a-bouts, and trust that you’re getting off the round-a-bout in the correct direction. You are playing Russian Roulette with your destination.
On the other hand, what a way to get those miles in.
Now we were at the N-11, in a country where we could barely understand the road signs let alone Catalan.
And Chuck was suggesting we ride to France.
“You mean França isn’t a town in Spain?” he said.
I’m sorry. I think that is funny!