A little bumpy …
Very easy to get the train with the bikes today. Lifts at stations, plenty of room for the bikes and trains very clean indicative of our Spanish experience.
We are off on a route I found on the internet. Note to self … don’t expect the trains to run on time … 20 minutes late, however there were sooo many people coming off … the flower festival is the attraction no doubt, at least there was plenty of room for us.
Off the train and a ride to where we see a morning market … we see cherries … John hands over 2€ and we get a bag of cherries … the grower said that it is the first day of cherry sales … yeah!!! They are nice … his orchard is about 5km away.
The path is well sign posted however I have it mapped on my garmin. We pass through back paths and roads … at times rather rough and bumpy. ‘I hope it’s not all like this’.
We are amongst new corn crops, oats, potatoes, canola, apples probably more that I couldn’t identify. Here we are in the middle of the country, ahead we see the silhouette of the mountains … these are the Pyrennes.
Passing by a little town of Vilanova de la Muga .., don’t blink! We back tracked and found an intersection with a restaurant and Cafe. A few tables out the front some local senior gentleman having their wine and beer … about 4 ladies on bikes having coffee. John does the typical ‘bikie’ thing and moves a table under the shade. I’m sure we haven’t offended anyone. Coffee and pastry later we head back on the bumpy roads.
As we go further east the mountains become clearer, there appears to be snow on the far northern ranges. Our route is empty of other cyclists until we approach the outskirts of Roses. The hills are a mass of houses stretching to the top, how do they build them? Before we know it we come across an unexpected Citadel in Roses. The high walls attract us as we see people walking at the top. It was the home of the Greeks many years ago who founded this area. It was a relaxing stroll through the grounds; seeing the excavated areas and views from the wall were breathtaking.
The beach is only 100m away, the wide path and long beachfront is looking relaxed before a hectic peak season to come. It is easy cycling a few beach umbrellas and sunbathers. The town centre is also very quiet the odd bar is open … we have a panini at a Cafe amongst mostly closed shops … it is 2pm and shops have closed for siesta, due to open later in the afternoon.
John is taken back and claims it is his favourite place on the Costa Brava.
We leave to head back on our loop on the foreshore, some restaurants are open; a canal area called Empuriabrava looks very affluent as we cross over small bridges.
Back in to the rural area to find the medieval town of Castelló d’Empûries. We ride to the Basilica de Santa Maria high on the hill through quaint narrow alleys. It’s a short ride back through more rural areas to Figueres and onto the train.