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Archive for September 30th, 2012

What a flurry of writing! There is a reason of course. I have just waved Cottager off on his flights home and have FOUR hours to burn here at Toulouse airport before my own flight to Prague. Four hours and free wifi and a lot of stuff to catch up on means one achy iPhone index finger and stares of amazement from the Frenchman sitting opposite me.

Why Prague, you ask? Because I’ve never been there and neither has my current work-spouse, AB. So we agreed to meet there today and spend a few days wandering about before she goes off to Russia to visit another colleague of ours who is on assignment there while I go to Paris to visit a former colleague and my previous work-spouse AJ.

Does that make sense?
If you aren’t clear on what a work-spouse is you can get up to speed on-line. Try Wikipedia.

Really have to stop now or will get an RSI. Cottager took the iPad home, you see. More (short) posts from Prague.

Thanks for the great holiday Cottager! Travel safe, my dear.

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This lovely town is certainly swarming with tourists in the summer but in early autumn it keeps all it’s charm while losing the crowds. We spent two nights, hiked to an olive oil mill and then a castle high above and also did some shopping – another benefit of traveling in September is that the stores are clearing out almost everything at 50% off or better.

We had two good dinners here at reasonable prices for a tourist hub. But our hotel was over-priced and under- charming (can’t wait to hook up with my old buddy Tripadvisor on that one!). Keeps it interesting. A few pictures then.

The view from our hotel room;
And from the castle;
Walking about in the evening;

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We chose this town for an overnight stop on our way back to France from Barcelona. Unlike some bigger places on the Costa Brava it is not known for it’s party scene. What sealed the deal were coastal walks in each direction – one to Cap Roig botanical garden and in the other direction to a lighthouse with a stunning view. We headed for the garden first, and spent an hour wandering the meticulous sloping terraces of a lovely old chateau.

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On the way back we stopped at platje Golfet, a near-deserted beach where we swam in the crystal clear water before following the coastal path back to our hotel in town for a picnic lunch on the deck. After lunch we climbed to the lighthouse, rewarded ourselves with a jug of Sangria and them lolled around the pool until dinner. A perfect day in Catalunya.

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I knew nothing about tapas and now I know only a very little, but that I will share:

These are home-style Spanish tapas. They are served on plates you can share around. There are meatballs in a spicy sauce, egg and potato tortilla, croquettes and bravas potatoes with spicy sauce.

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And these are slightly fancier Tapas:
Paper- thin Iberian ham on a slice of baguette, tuna salad in the square pot, smoked salmon and creme fraiche in a glass and a dainty little salad.

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And these are my favorite kind: Basque tapas also known as pinxtos – hope I spelled it right! Really flavorful and inventive little bits of anything that will fit on a large toothpick or on a slice of bread then secured with a toothpick and usually drizzled with a sauce or olive oil. You help yourself from an immense eye level buffet and when you are done they count your toothpicks to tally your bill. Noisy, chaotic and fun!

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