Visiting L 37 24

A cloudy day after a thunderstorm. Time for another kidless sightseeing tour. The plan for today was visiting Figueres, specifically the Castell de Sant Ferran and the Dalí museum.

My only experience with Figueres until now had been a visit to the hospital a year before when I broke my little toe. This called for a second try.

Military architecture

The Sant Ferran Castle is a large military fortress, built around the 1750s. It is impressive. The size, the walls, the buildings. Due to the bad weather there were almost no visitors on that day.

Panorama view around the central square.
View around central square

One disadvantage of not being prepared is that you don’t know what you should ask for. There are tours available but you need to book them upfront. As my visit was more spontaneous I obviously didn’t do any booking. Online reviews are talking about audio guides that would be available and that you should take. All I got was a folded paper with a map and some information on it. I can’t remember that there was even an option to take an audio guide.

This paper didn’t reveal a lot and I felt a little lost. Don’t get me wrong. The place is huge and you can walk around a long time. For me it just didn’t really come to life much. Sometimes I could get a glimpse of what it must have been like to live here. And I could imagine people roaming around.

Old stairs in building with color crumbling from the walls
Letters above a door opening saying Officier

But most of the time the place just stayed a pile of stones for me.

While walking around the exterior I could see thunderstorms around and dark clouds heading my way.

When it started to rain and my tiny umbrella (at least I got one with me) had to fight for its life against the wind I decided to go inside.

The stables of this castell are interesting. Originally they were 320 meters (~1,050 feet) long. During the civil war, part of them were used as ammunition storage and reduced by half in an explosion of 1939. Instead of 450 places for horses only 280 are still visible today.

View along the stable hallway with arches and vats to the right

I am not an expert with horses but this all looks very functional and doesn’t seem to be a surrounding where horses would cheer all day long. On the other hand, being a military horse might not be the first choice anyway. At least it was safe and dry.

Changing plans

Speaking of dry. While thinking about how to get to the Dalí museum without becoming soaking wet I realized a missed call on the phone. It looks like I didn’t have connectivity in the stables.

Remember the picture from up above where I was writing about the dark clouds? What I didn’t fully realize was that this weather would also hit the camping ground.

While it was looking like this at my place …

Looking down a path with big puddles.

… it was looking like this at the camping ground where I left my kids:

View out of the trailer window, the street covered with ankle deep water and a man walking through it.

They had successfully saved our equipment outside the trailer and were fine. But the fact that the camp ground was in the middle of a wild thunderstorm with lightnings hitting right next to them and floods on the paths was not exactly the experience they had hoped for during this day.

Even though the worst was over I decided to cancel the rest of the planned day and head back. No Dalí this time. Might be I get a second chance if I return.

Figures and I – not the most successful relationship when it comes to my travels. But also not the most complicated (see my letter to Chemnitz).

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