From Prague To Atlantic Coasts IV.
The 3rd Day - Spain At Last!
After solid relax, we had a very good breakfast, drinkingk our coffees and juices, and eating the toasts and croissants with jam or butter, we put our luggage into the car and continued our drive in direction to Spain. And the distance was not too remote. The countryside in west direction from Beziers started to change slowly, and we could follow, during our drive along the coast, a view to monumental Pyrenees. The air-condition protected us reliably against burning heat outside, so, we could fully enjoy passing countryside. We recognized that holiday-period started, as we overpassed frequently caravans of German, Dutch or French origin. We approached quickly the gate into Spain Kingdom, i.e. border town Le Perthus (582 inhabitants), overcrowded with small shops, casinos, restaurants and motor vehicles. Provided you would decide to stay in this town for a while, you could probably valuate Fort de Bellegarde, local citadel, constructed in the second half of 17th century. The complex was used for the last time by Gestapo (German secret police) as a prison for escaped and captured persons and enemy agants.
So, a blue plate with yellow stars of Europen Union, informed us that we left France and arrived to Spain. However, our first impressions were not too positive. We went through La Jonquera, small town, struck fully with chaotic building boom. On that occasion, we found that shortly we could pass the locality of Figueres, birthplace of Salvador Dali, famous artist. Ant it is worth to have a stop there, which could not be omitted! So, when we arrived there, we knew immediately that the shops are fully of artist´s artefacts, such as models of statues or various souvenirs reminding his works. So, we enjoyed a look there and went to visit Dali Theatro-Museo.
Salvador Dali personally participated on its construction. The nucleus of the building is formed with a construction which was town´s theatre during his young years. When the house was open for public in 1974, the visitors could admire extensive collection of his artistic works, following the beginnings of his works up to works from the last era of his life.
Anyway, before we got the museum, we went up and down narrow medioevale streets of Figueres, when we found free parking place on small square, which served as a market place on the other day.
When we checked at least hundred times that there was no prohibited area for parking (in blue zone of guarded parking - we got a shock, being informed, before we left that our vehicle could be pulled away), we walked to museum bulding. We were not disappointed, expecting long queue. In front of the museum, on small square, a long queue of people was to be perceived. We placed an order, admiring, at least from outside, the original appearance of the building. Anyway, the stay, under burning sunshine, was made shorter with a presence of musician-guitar-player, presenting Sting ´s hits, and local old eccentric fellow. This person gave probably very important information to the people advancing ahead at the entrance. Nevertheless, his properties captivated our attention. They were: old children carriage, full of various objects and toys. Some of them were exposed in front of museum walls, together with playing children organ. When this man begun to sing, together with young guitar-player, so quite bizarre picture, similar to those, made by Dali, was created.
The entry ticket cost EUR 10 but we paid EUR 8 on base of our student´s identification card. So, you cannot worry such investment. The museum is not only an exhibition of Dali pictures, statues, but also of optical illusions, jewels (you can find it inside an independent section, with an extra entrance) and you can admire this unreal and attractive show. We felt each other as in different world, in Dali´s surrealistic dream.
When we returned into real world again, we had to absorb all preceding impressions, and we concluded that, in order our experience could be fully improved, we could take a lunch somewhere. We chose gyros restaurant, just round the corner, and after a couple of minutes, when our stomachs were full, we returned to a place where our vehicle was parked.
So, we got in GPS navigation our next target - i.e. Barcelona, and we passed the town of Girona (a stay there was impossible, owing to lack of time), admiring magnificent cathedrale and a part of local Old Town quarter. However, we lost the way and arrived up to the top of high hill with boastful villas. This diversion from the route took us half an hour at least.
Barcelona was distant a couple of hours of drive. Owing to the fact that somebody from us chose the wrong way in navigation, we arrived to highway, where a toll was to be paid. At toll gate, we arrived to wrong terminal, of course, but we paid a toll and continued our drive ahead. Nevertheless, thanks to navigation, we found suitable accommodation in motel F1, Mollet del Valles, environment area, approx. 20 kms distant from Barcelona city centre.
Moreover, we met a receptionist, who helped us a lot. He marked us in a map, which sightseeings in Barcelona we must visit. We were thankful to him and started to investigate the environs, passing a lot of coffees, where local persons-fans followed in TV a match with Germany. Nevertheless, Mollet brought us a surprise with a big number of Moslems,we met in the streets. In motel, we ate the „fruits“ of our shopping (very tasteful papaya, for instance) and went to bed, in order to take the force for the next day.
Next chapter: Barcelona - a town of dreams
Text: Maxim Kucer & Jakub Štantejský
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
Photo: Maxim Kucer & Jakub Štantejský
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