After a good night’s sleep, we awoke in time to watch the sun come up although disappointedly a few clouds spoilt the perfect sunrise image. As we sat drinking tea and making plans for the next few days. There was a knock on the hab door and a very stern policewoman made it clear in no uncertain terms that we weren’t supposed park here and we were to move – pronto. She then sat in her patrol car waiting whilst we hastily packed up our things and swiftly moved on.
We decided not to go back to Banyuls but to continue on the coast road to Spain. Crossing the border was as you would expect (in the EU!) a non-event with only a single border guard showing interest in the occasional car coming from Spain. However as we crossed over the hill and into Spanish territory we saw a good number of armed military. In fact for the first 3 or 4 miles they outnumbered the few locals that we did see in the towns which had an isolated feeling to them on this hilly out-of-the-way back route.
We settled on Cadaques as our destination for today. We’d read that “Cadaques was a picturesque coastal town with magical beaches and we would be enchanted by its charm and enjoy discovering it’s Old Town with the labyrinth of cobbled streets, bright white buildings and blue details, full of shops, restaurants and craft workshops”. [this obviously wasn’t written in February when most of the shops and restaurants are closed]. Also what we didn’t pick up in our research was just how tortuous the route to get there would be.
But in the end weren’t disappointed it was a pretty place and we enjoyed walking along the (tad windy) sea front and exploring the vertiginous back streets. At the top of the town there was a very simple church with vertically stacked tombs which I thought unusual but I suppose it saves space.
Following signs towards Port Lligat the village where Dali lived and his house that has now been converted into the Casa-Museo Salvador Dalí.
Unfortunately the museum was closed, but as we planned to go to the Dali museum in Figueres the next day, our art fix would have to wait.
Driving in this corner of Spain the roads are reminiscent of the narrow, twisting lanes with steep gradients in Devon and Cornwall (Porlock or Mevagissey for example). However the similarity ends there as the ‘driving style’ takes some getting used to. Tailgating, must be taught in school, overtaking at the last possible moment is an art form and indicating your intentions at roundabouts is entirely optional.
European zebra crossings also do not have the ‘zig-zag’ markings on either side of the crossing, that are compulsory in the UK. In France and Spain the rules are different, pedestrians by law can and will, just walk onto a crossing without waiting to see if you’re going to stop. They’re cool, you’ll stop! They don’t hesitate to see if you’ve seen them, they just expect everyone to stop.
And, along with innumerable (some quite vicious) sleeping policemen it makes a driving journey through French, and now Spanish towns and cities quite interesting!
That’s all for now