Olot to Girona - From Munich to Spain to France - CycleBlaze

May 16, 2024

Olot to Girona

Not what we were expecting

A short, easy climb followed by a long descent into Girona.
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Today was predominantly a downhill ride (only 210 m in cumulative elevation) so we expected an easy time of it. This is also a well-known cycle route, the Ruta del Carrilet, between Olot and Girona, so we felt pretty relaxed starting out.

The first part - 20 km - with most of the uphill - was a breeze.  It was a sunny day on pleasant roads. Coincidentally, we ran into our Aussie friends from yesterday and had a good visit while on the road. Turns out they too were heading to Girona. 

We traversed this beautiful park right after leaving the hotel.
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Our route for the day.
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Heading out of town.
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You meet the nicest people when you cycle tour.
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We stopped for coffee early at around noon; our breakfast that morning at Hotel Estacio had been particularly lame: no buffet but the owner made us very forgettable ham sandwiches for breakfast.  While we were enjoying our coffee break, the skies started clouding over in an ominous way. We donned an extra layer (that is a very edited way of saying we took an extra 10 -15 minutes tearing through our panniers finding rain jackets, pants, gloves, etc.) Within 10 minutes the rain started coming down and we dealt with that for the next two hours.  This part of the ride was complicated. Most of it was on an unsealed path and the rain left major puddles and mud to ride through. I’m sorry we did not get a good pic of the conditions because this went on for 20 km.  We thought about riding on the road but it was very busy and there was no shoulder. I was just surprsed that this cycle trail was not is better shape because it is quite well-known.

Our hotel, the Doubletree by Hilton, is on the edge of downtown Girona. We were covered in mud as were our bikes, and we were mortified to wheel our bikes through the hotel lobby. The receptionist didn’t seem to mind and there was an excellent bike cage in the garage full of bikes from another group of Aussies.  After getting our bikes settled we hauled our gear upstairs and Dave washed our panniers off in the tub. His reward was a beer in the tub while watching the conclusion of the day’s Giro - which we can now stream from a Basque tv channel. Julian Alphilippe  won a breakaway stage and that was a very popular result for us as we like him a lot and he has taken a lot of heat from his director, LaFevere. 

Enjoying the descent through the forest before it started raining hard.
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The puddles and mud were just beginning to appear. Pretty soon it was heads-down and I didn't take any shots of the real mess we traversed later.
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I had booked a signature meal about 3 months ago at Restaurant Normal, the more casual restaurant owned by the family who runs the famed Michelin-starred place in Girona (El Cellar de can Roca). It was a fun walk through a very lively Girona. This townis really a great place to visit for many reasons but especially if you like to ride bikes. Restaurant Normal exceeded expectations, as it  was upscale but not pretentious and we broke our usual rules about splitting a meal. We shared a delicious appetizer of scallops and we both had a main and desert. We continue to be amazed at how good and inexpensive wine is here. We have enjoyed so many local wines and get to  learn a lot about them - why we travel.

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A walk through town.
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Scallops appetizer.
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Our main courses at Restaurant Normal.
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The city shines at night.
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Today's ride: 58 km (36 miles)
Total: 686 km (426 miles)

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