We flew from Basel to Barcelona with Vueling. It worked fine and yes I would fly with them again. I found them slightly more basic than Easyjet but still good enough. They were more generous when coming to luggage. I was allowed to have both my shoulder bag and one piece of hand luggage whereas Easyjet is very strickt when it comes to the one piece.
We flew to Barcelona but we did not see Barcelona at all. The original plan was to do a bit of sightseeing in Barcelona on our last day. It was however, an easy choice to turn Barcelona down on our last day as the national park that we were at then is one of the most beautiful and stunning places that I have ever seen. Pics of that are coming later.
From Barcelona airport we picked up a rental car with a smaller company called Firefly which I do not recomend. We had to stand in line for 1.5 hours to get the rental car. The first car we got was still wet in the drivers seat. We got another car that was dry but was still quite sandy in the turnk from people that had rented it before and driven it to the beach. From Barcelona we drove to Figueres about 1.5 hours north of Barcelona. This is where the Salvador Dali museum is located.
This is the coolest museum I have ever been to. The building in itself is an old theater that Salvador Dali aquired and turned into his own art museum. Dali is the master of surrealism. He was very diverse when it came to art and worked with many different kinds of materials and objects. He did not only do paintings but also sculputes, jewlery and drawings. One of the things that I love with his art is the complexity and detail. When looking at the paintings and drawings there is always something new and something more to discover.
The musum has all of these differnt rooms, halways and stairs. It is a labyrith of cool art and surrealism. The outside of the building looks like a red palace with gigant eggs lined a long the roof.
From Figueres we continued on to Olot famous for being an old volcanic region. The most recent volcanic acitivity took place here only about 10,000 years ago. By geologic time measurment that is only a blink of an eye ago. Volcanic eruptions began here about 350,000 years ago. We visited tha Parc Natural de la zona volcanica de la Garrotxa. This park contains about 30 old volcanic cones up to 160 cm high and 1.5 km wide.
This is one of the old volcanic craters that we walked to. This tiny cute church is located at the bottom of the old crater. Toghether with the lush vegetation as a result of the fertile soils and a humid climate these create a landscape of unusual beauty.
Between the woods are crop fields and farm houses scatterd around. The misty clouds lifting from the rains the previous evening. So beautiful.
One of the things that I found the most striking was the many different landscapes that we got to see and expirence as we travelled around in both Catalunya and Arragon. The diversity was so wide from lush vegetation here around the volcanic region of Olot to the arid regions of semi-desert landscape that we encounterd later.
When coming to food and wine we discovered some very nice wines. We very much liked the red wines from Somontano. Less well known compared to the famous Riojas but with excellent taste. Full bodied and rich in flavor but slightly lighter than most regular reds. The Jamon or dried hams offerd fantastic flavor for our tastebudds. For the most part food was good but nothing really amazing or fantastic at least not in the parts we visited, mostly small mountain villages. Now I am comparing to how easy and how yummy everything is generally in Italy. Not saying that we did not eat well but we had only one more outstanding dinner. But on the other hand we did not go into Barcelona where I am sure one would have had many excellent choices.
Another interessting thing that we noticed in many of the Spanish resturants was the lack of candels and dimming down the lights a bit. Many places had full bright ceiling lights on, not very cozy at all.
So this is a bit of an apetizer on our Spanish vacation. There is more to come.