25th September 2012
We stayed another night in Valencia and once again walked into town. We visited La Almoina, just behind the basilica, which is an archaeological site, under glass, at the very centre of Roman Valentia. Parts of the forum, basilica nymphaeum and curia can be seen as well as remains from the Visigothic, Islamic and Reconquista periods.
I the afternoon we visited the Modern Art Museum, which is free for “retired people”. Yay! There I saw many artists I had never heard of, and will google furiously when we get home, some I was vaguely aware of, like Julio Gonzalez, a contemporary of Picasso and also a visiting exhibition of Frank Stella. There was also an exhibition of collage works from the museums collection.
In the evening we went with our hosts to a local tapas bar, very authentic and delicious. Patatas Bravas, deep fried potato pieces with very smooth aioli dressing. Simple and heavenly.
26th September 2012
We are heading towards Barcelona today, at a leisurely pace and will stop somewhere on the way. We stop for lunch and a swim at Peniscola (That boy in the back. Yes, you! Did I say something funny?). No accents in the i-pad. Today the rain in Spain fell mainly on the coast. Yes, we have had rain for the first time on our holiday, but it clears up after about half an hour. We stay for the night at Cambrills, just south of Tarragona, a very touristy beach town, millionaires yachts in the harbour. Actually, we stay in a cabin in the camping ground, which is expensive enough, and they have the cheek to charge 6 euros for wifi, an offer we declined.
27th September 2012
We are in Barcelona. Skirting the ring road, we reach the seaside at El Masnou, where we get a room at the camp ground. This is a good idea from several points of view. It is relatively cheap, you can leave the car there and there is good wifi. How much happier could one be? The town has a small Marina on or two restaurants and the train runs into Barcelona every 10 minutes.
We head into Barcelona for a quick look, grab some maps, and head down the notorious La Rambla, which is apparently heaving with pickpockets and bag snatchers. If so they would have to struggle through the treacle like hordes of tour parties, following flags like bewildered Martians. The market is even more crowded and, if not so aesthetic as Valencia, is equally provided with every kind of produce. This is about enough foe us so, tired and a bit foot sore we return to El Masnou.