Thursday, 29 May 2014

... catching up ...

Day 36 - Day 42 (San Sebastián - -> La Guardia --> Ruidabella ---> Canet de Mar)
(lots of excuses  - the best one being that castle walls were not built for wifi to go through)
(oh - and a warning - everyone's got a lot to say)

Yesterday we went on a train from near the camp ground to Barcelona.  It took an hour.  At Barcelona we had a walk then we went to a big market.  In the market I liked the look of the lollies.  At the end we got to choose our own lollies.  Mine was a rainbow sour strap.  In the market we ran into Mrs Woody..
After the market we went into a shop called Desigual.  In the shop I wanted to buy a top that said "grrrr".  When we coming back from Barcelona it was pouring.  There was thunder.  When we got back we had to run home in the rain.  I stepped in a big, muddy puddle and splashed Lily.  When we got back all our washing was dripping wet.
At Ruidabella we were staying in an apartment in a castle with 3 bedrooms.  In our apartment there were 5 rooms.  Outside the castle there was a jacuzzi.  It was very warm - it was 34 degrees in the jacuzzi.  Lily, Grace and I didn't want to get out.

It's been a busy few days.  We've driven through the "badlands" between La Guardia and Ruidabella - forlorn, abandoned towns in arid, bland desert country (reminiscent of bad cowboy movies and roadrunner cartoons), seen thousands of wind turbines sitting quite majestically atop hills (50% of Spain's energy is from renewable energy sources - Australia could learn from that!) and thousands more vineyards.   We've screeched to a halt several times as we come across stunning fields of poppies.  Jack's voice is ever present in the back seat - "it says 50 daddy, you need to slow down, way down" "its the third exit daddy"  "she said left daddy" and Margaret remains patient as she repeats far too often "if possible, do a u-turn".  The girls are silent as they power through Harry Potter on their ipads.  We've found less gelati and more ham.  We've bribed the children with lollies to walk  - round walled towns, along country fields to yet another closed for business Spanish town and through Boqueria (the most amazing market we've seen).  We've stayed in a castle with impenetrable walls, an 800 year old hotel with the most enourmous wine cellars and a campground.  We're drowning in wet washing, Iberian ham, indecipherable menus and our own stories.  We miss our pillows, our cats, our friends, real milk, proper breakfast and Asian greens (ok - that's just me) but we're still having a ball

On Thursday for our last day in San Sebastian daddy's plan was to go up the funicular to an 100 year old amusement park. It would have been amazing if it was open. Apparently according to a lady running a souvenir shop it was only open on weekends. Not that it bothered to say that on any of the signs that we saw. So we bought a packet of chips each and ate them. Then we went down the funicular again and walked slowly to the merry go round. Then we payed a visit to mummy's favourite coffee shop. After a potato and egg roll at home we wandered around in search for dinner. Grace managed to find paella which made her happy. I had ravioli with 4 cheese sauce. 
On the Friday we packed up and got in the car for La  Guardia. We wandered off exploring after stopping for lunch . It was nice lunch but we got lost and couldn't find the car. When we did get back Jack said he knew where it was all along. 
La guardia is a great place and it's 850 years old this year!! Jack found his new best friend. A man who worked where we were staying kept calling Jack Skippy and giving us lollies. It was funny. 
On Sunday we drove to castle Ruidabella. In the car we ended up eating the remains of my Easter chocolate to get us going, which was all we had until we found McDonald's. Jack was in heaven. 
The castle was quite big with thick walls and terrible wifi. After getting comfortable we walked a long 4.2 kilometres to Vimbodi under false pretence. Daddy said that if we walked all the way we would get some lollies. We all still think he knew there would be no lolly shop. We managed to get an ice cream at a man's shop who by the looks of it was just about to close. The best thing about the castle was the jacuzzi, we were in there for ages. Saying goodbye to the castle after a tour of it which was really interesting we hopped in the car to Canet de Mar. 
We only had a few stops for photos of poppies and wind turbines. Mummy's certain we aren't related to her because of a few moans from the backseat. 
At the campground we tried the pool which was cold when you got in but quite nice afterwards. Grace and I raced the length of the pool and back and Grace  who had stopped to check her toe hopped out of the pool ran to the other end jumped in and swam the rest! After we went to the playground next to the bar which was the only place you could get wifi so mummy was up there a lot. 
At Barcelona after the one hour train trip we went to a huge food market. It had almost everything. At the market we ran into Mrs Woody, Rhys and Josie. Then after we went into a shop called Tiger and also had a look at a building by Gaudi. We only knew that we were catching up with them because Daddy let slip accidentally that we were going to meet them in Barcelona. Before buying lollies we all chose something kind of healthy. I got a pineapple and mango smoothie. It was yummy. 
We finally got back to the camp ground after running through big puddles and getting really, really wet. We were glad to be somewhere dry and warm. 

I will have to visit Spain next time I come to Europe as we have only had time to visit the Basque region and Catalonia.   They are not in Spain apparently (both are chasing independence).  And we thought North/South parochialism is bad in Tasmania.
I am though impressed by how much of their  power comes from renewable energy - 54%.  Whoever sees Mr Hockey next please tell him wind turbines look much better than coal powered power stations.
Gobsmacked by Barcelona market and could not stop smiling at childrens faces when all the crabs, lobsters started moving and they asked what the tongue, tripe, brain, sheep eyes were.
DK 2721km  to AT 0 but great navigation.
Yes I do have blue nail polish applied poorly to large toenails!

On Tuesday evening we walked down to the beach.  To get down to the beach we had to walk through a channel and under the road.  Lily, Jack and I were sliding down the side of it.  It was hard to climb up the side of the channel. Then we had to run to the parents.  Then Lily and Jack started playing a game near the water.  I kept doing cartwheels and falling over.  Then I joined in.  I tried not to get my feet wet but in the end I got them wet.  Our feet started to hurt because instead of sand there was pebbles.  Lily, Jack and I found another channel to slide on.  Jack left after a while.  Lily and I tried sliding down the edge with our eyes was fun.  After the walk on the on the beach our feet felt really soft.  
Yesterday we caught a train from Canet de Mar to Barcelona.  We had to stand up all the way to Barcelona.  It took about an hour to get there.  As soon as we got there we started walking one way then Dad said we were going the wrong way.  So we started walking the other way.  After a while Dad admitted we were going the wrong way again.  For lunch we went to bakery.  I had frankfurter was yummy. 
We found a food was really big.  As soon as we walked in we past all the lollies....they looked really delicious.  In some lolly stands there were some lollies made out of marzipan.......they looked really cool.  Then we walked through all the fish stands (they stank).  Just before we left saw a stand with brains, hearts, heads  and tongues (it made me feel sick just thinking about it).  When we were leaving we got to choose a lolly......... I chose a long rainbow sour thing with white stuff in the was delicious.  
When we were going home it started raining.  We were lucky to get a seat on the train.  When we got to the train station it was still raining.  So we had to run in the rain all the way home.  We had to go through big puddles. When we were nearly home Jack went in a really big one and Dad had to pick him up and run with him.  In the camp ground a few meters from our cabin my pants fell down.
Grace =)

1 and 2.  La Guardia - celebrating 850 years of being an impressive walled town
3. We screech to a halt every time I see one of these fields
4, 5 and 6.  Castle Ruidabella - we stayed in a turreted tower like real princes and princesses and looked out over vineyards and farms.  The entrance was not so impressive!
7 and 8.  Canet de Mar beach on the night we arrived
9, 10 and 11. Iberian ham, fresh fish, marzipan and chillis at the market in Barcelona.
13.  The day ended in an impressive thunderstorm.  We were dripping as we got home.
14.   i-travelling


  1. Lovely posts, I was beginning to suffer withdrawals! I particularly like grace and David's "style" of writing, it makes me giggle. Px

  2. Wonderful! Thanks for the toenail clarification, David. Am checking out travelling shoes, as Alison knows. Where to next? Where's the photo of Grace's pants falling down?

  3. Great update, perfect bedtime story ;) I love that you (Al & Dave) are referred to as 'the parents'... Photos are brilliant. We miss you ! Xx

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  5. Loving your family blog, makes me smile every time I read a new entry. :)