Barcelona, Valencia & Benidorm
17.04.2007 25 °C
We are in Benidorm. a quaint little Spanish seaside village turned into a haven for thousands of overweight sunburnt poms. It is like Surfers Paradise only larger with every shop selling cheesy souvenirs and every restaurant selling delicacies like Cornish pasty, Baked beans and Chips for €5, and every club featuring someone like Wee Willy Matthews, Britains King of rock and roll or Peatloaf, the Irish Meatloaf show.
Everyone seems inclined to take their shirt off to grab a bit of Spanish sun to show off to the mates back in England. In most cases it is totally unacceptable behaviour for the blokes and in the case of the women it is even worse. The telling factor is that the shirtless people of which we speak are not from the Supermodel convention down the road, nor the Under 50 and Still Buff Club, of which most of you dear readers belong, but the blobby, aging, smoking, boozy type with all body parts heading south.
We had a pizza for dinner tonight which seemed like a good decison until both of our meals turned up with tuna on them - probably as a result of Vicky´s request for cheese.
Most disappointing, however, is the complete failure of the highly anticipated Fred Flinstone Theme in the hotel. A seedy Bam Bam and Pebbles child minding centre seems to be the sum of it.
Valencia (yesterday) is a large industrial city trying very hard to keep up with its much more attractive sisters Barcelona and Madrid. The big deal in Valencia at the moment is the America´s Cup. We visited the harbour area which is a bit like the pits at the Clipsal track, only a bit more upmarket. For example the Italian team is sponsored by Prada. Souvenir polo shirts there were €72, about $100, so needless to say we didn´t buy anything.
Our last days in Barcelona were fantastic. The weather cleared and we picked up our rental car - a red citreon C4 - and hit the road. We spent a day travelling to Monsterrat, a monastery in the mountains about 60K out of town. Strangely, it was a bit commercial but the physical beauty of the place was more than enough value for the drive and walk. We took a funicular to the top of the tallest peak and just as we looked down the clouds opened and sun streamed in on the monastery nestling in the valley below. Strewth!
We also visited the Joan Miro Gallery and the site of the Olympics, all on a large hill overlooking Barcelona. Our visit concluded with a visit to a park overlooking the sity that featured designs, building and mosaics from Gaudi, the bloke who designed the church we mentioned in our last posting.
So it is off with our shirts and on with the sombreros and off to Granada.