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Friday, May 06, 2022

Spain 2022: April 16th - Olot Hiking

We were starting to wake up on a Spanish schedule. 8am instead of 6am, but today we had to take our proctor'd COVID19 tests. Arturo recommended that we took our tests the day before, so if we tested negative we had time to make alternative arrangements. That sounded smart. The tests were fairly straightforward, and I was quite happy I brought along my Logitech Brio camera, which had an adjustable stand which made it easily possible to point the camera at the test boxes. One of our tests were defective, missing the important liquid ingredient needed to make the test --- eMed's personnel immediately put a note in so that they could send us a replacement, and I was very grateful that I had opted to bring all 6 tests, rather than just the 4.
 Once we were all done with our COVID19 tests, we left the apartment, though not without mishap. This time, I stalled out at the garage exit, and it took several tries before I successfully exited the garage. Fortunately, there was no pressure, and we made it to Olot in no time, but all the parking lots were full. Fortunately, there were restaurants nearby with huge parking lots that they were happy to let us use in the hopes that we'd have lunch there.

Boen started being annoyed at having to walk so much again. To be honest I should have more sympathy. Every night, my Garmin was registering at least 20,000 steps! He was obviously at his limit. After the purchase of a coke and some calming down, Boen decided to hike with us, and we got a chance to explore one of the volcano calderas. When we were done nobody was hungry, so we decided to drive to Banyoles, where we bought takeout food and ate at the same bench Mike Sojka and I had eaten at 3 years ago.

The Pyrenees which were still snow covered were clearly visible from the lake, and I was reminded again how close we were to the French border. Girona was truly in an ideal location, with 2 hours driving to ski resorts, and of course the Pyrenees offered world class cycling, though perhaps not as good as the alps.

We returned to Girona, stopping at a big supermarket for many bags of the toasted Hazelnuts that Xiaoqin had discovered and enjoyed. They were cheap and very tasty, and having a car made it easy for us to load up! The problem was, they wouldn't last 2 weeks when we got home!

Back at the apartment, I was determined not to waste my last afternoon, and walked onto Girona to buy Xuxos for the kids. The town was very happening, complete with street vendors and people singing Arias on the streets, so when I came back I told everyone to get ready so we could go out walking. We walked past the Girona Cathedral and noticed that there were no lines, so we walked in.
You cannot be a D&D player and not be impressed by the Cathedral's artifacts. (Marc says the Cathedral is the second biggest in square area in Europe, the biggest being in Rome) They have a thousand year old book, 900 year old tapestries, all sorts of artifacts, and a beautiful courtyard, and of course lots and lots of stained glass windows and sarcophagus.
After the visit, we walked around town and got ice cream near the bridge nearest our apartment. With a calm river in the background it looked nothing short of beautiful.
Dinner was excellent and fast --- we were done by 9:00pm for a change, which was a good thing, since we had to drive all the way back to the Barcelona airport and return the rental car.

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