Our couple, Emiko and I, joined the 10-day tour around the southern half
of Iberian Peninsula in May 2005, starting at Barcelona in Spain and ending
at Lisbon in Portugal.
It was a crossing travel, viewing the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic
Ocean here and there.
The large bus with 30 tour members including the attendant ran 2,500 km
for 7 net days.
Though the travel was too quick, both the content and my impressions were
dense. As soon as I came back, I made its photo album in my homepage all
right, but I could not write its travelogue that time. Too many deep impressions.
I had another reason I could not. It was the novel I was proceeding then
since half a year before. During the travel I could not forget about it
Just after returned home, I finished the draft of the novel, added some
corrections, and completed it in September that year.
The novel, titled "The Story of the Auditorium Where Monsters Live",
is carried on the essay and novel square "Zakki-cho" as the 46th-48th
stories in Japanese only.
Now, it's time to go back to ten years ago and to fly to Iberian Peninsula.
Hello, Spain, Buenos dias! Hello, Portugal, Boa tarde!
- - - - - - - - - - -
Back to the Year 2005
We, the tour members, left Narita Airport at 10:30 am on Sunday, May 8
on Air France, changed planes at Paris and arrived at Barcelona Airport
in Spain at 7:30 pm the same day local time.
Since the time difference between Japan and Spain is 8 hours, the flight
time was 17 hours including the plane transfer at Paris.
The large bus waiting at the airport drove us to Sitges, 43 km away to
the southwest, a resort town facing the Mediterranean Sea.
No sooner had we arrived at the hotel Antemare than we went to bed at last.
The next morning our couple got out of the hotel before breakfast, and
breathed fresh breeze of the Mediterranean Sea.
We left the hotel at 9:00. Clear and blue sky, deep-blue peaceful sea and
dry sound of ripples. All of them were cheerfully seeing us off.
Sitges must not have been the town where staying only one night. The Japanese
guidebook says "It is a villa area and a town of art".
Its beach full of swimmers should be as expected, and each of the following
3 museums is said characteristic and worth visiting in the book. They are:
Museu Cau Ferrat, Museu Marical and Museu Romantico.
Our bus was new and big-size, available for 45 passengers, with 2 drivers who kept safty-driving in mind by alternate driving. Since we passengers were totally 30, the comfortable bus tour was assured all the way.
While listening to the attendant Ms. Y's announcement for about 30 minutes,
the bus already entered the city of Barcelona.
We were about to see the masterpieces of Antoni Gaudi. I am going to write about him and his works in the next chapter.
The following table is our itinerary made by the travel agency Hankyu Trapix.
The first day September 8 was just the same with the plan.