Alanf’s blog…
Scattered thoughts

Monday, April 4, 2005

  • I’m back from our Edelweiss tour of the Andalucia region of Spain and we had a great time. I have put some photos up on our travel web site: Some of the highlights from our trip were: 1) The art and architecture in Barcelona - Jonna and I are both big art fans so the works by Gaudi, Picasso, Miro, Dali and Goya were all incredible to see. The Miro museum and some of Gaudi’s buildings like Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera were particular highlights. !@(afimages/Blog/2005/4/spaintour.jpg:R200 popimg: “One of the great roads in Spain”) 2) The roads in Spain - I don’t think that Andalucian civil engineers own rulers because their roads are all curvy, even the ones that go through flat areas. There may be no obvious reason for a road to have a turn but damned if there won’t be curves left, right and center. The road surfaces aren’t always great but on a big BMW GS that didn’t really matter. 3) The scenery is stunning - Andalucia is nearly all mountains and hills. The highest peaks around over 4,000 ft high which doesn’t sound like much until you realize its only 50 miles from beach to mountain top. What makes this even better is that fact that Spain has set aside large areas for National Parks and Nature Preserves, so a days ride is pretty much guaranteed to be beautiful. 4) History is everywhere - Whether it is Cathaginian, Roman, Moorish, Medieval or Renaissance there is something interesting nearly everywhere. We particularly enjoyed towns like Granada and Ronda which seem to have focused on preserving their Moorish past. The Alhambra is incredible and justifies a trip to Granada all by itself. We also enjoyed the Pueblas Blancas, the white villages, which are in the hills of central Andalucia. These towns seem frozen in time as they existed during Medieval times. Nice! 5) The food - Jonna had some incredible meals, though I’m admit that Spain isn’t the most vegetarian friendly country so I had pretty limited options (salad, cheese sandwiches and spaghetti). Still the ability to stop and get tapas, small appetizers served in bars, meant that we could try lots of different things whenever we wanted. Being near the coast much of the time meant Jonna got plenty of great seafood and also got to try regional favorites like paella and Andalucian beef. 6) That Spain is so bike mad - Like our trip to Italy, its always cool to be in a country where everyone rides and appreciates motorcycles. MotoGP is one of the most popular sports second only to Soccer. The MotoGP boys were in both Catalunya and Jerez while we were visiting and large crowds showed up just to watch the guys *practice*. Sunday’s timed laps were actually shown live on TV. GP stars like Gibernau, Pedrosa and Rossi were used in advertisements everywhere, even in clothing shops. If only America was so interested in motorcycle racing! Now that I’m back, I’ll try to get caught up on some things I missed like a review of Daytona, the SX races in Orlando, the final MotoGP tests and this weekend’s World Superbike race in Australia. [image from my photo collection.] (6)