Today is the last day in Barcelona and the last day of my trip. I have to admit, though I've had an adventure that I'll be telling stories from for a lifetime I'm excited to be headed back to New York tomorrow. After all, there's no place like home! I feel like I'm onto something here, taking a day of rest before the last portion each destination. Yesterday definitely proved to be beneficial in getting both my body and mind relaxed so that I woke up today ready to roar and to enjoy my last day to the fullest.
After breakfast at my hotel again, I navigated myself to Plaza Catalunya where I bought a round trip train ticket to Lavern-Subirats, a destination about fifty-one minutes south-west of Barcelona. Today I was booked on a cycling and wine-tasting tour of the Penedès wine region with a company called Spanish Trails. When I arrived at the train station in Lavern, I met my guide Albert and learned quickly that the others who were scheduled for the tour had canceled, and I would be cycling around the wine country and receiving my own private tour of two wineries - Eudald Massana Noya and Felix Massana Rafols!
Most wineries you'll find the the Catalonia region are family-owned, including the two I visited today. I loved the intimacy of the experience, tour and lunch that I had at Felix Massana Rafols. The term "Felix" represents the first name of the men that have passed this winery down through the four generations it's been in business.
Today's picture is of Felix and I after receiving a hands-on demonstration from Felix himself of how to place the labels on the bottles of cava and how to top them off using some of their machinery. I found it fascinating how manual the whole process is and how much they have to do by hand to get each individual bottle ready for sale. This is very much a part of the culture of this winery though, as they don't ever intend to do mass distribution and want to keep their wines intimate and locally distributed. If it weren't for the fact that I already had to sit on my suitcase to make sure it closed, I would have snatched up several bottles of their blanco (white) wine and brought it back to the states to keep on hand for a special occasion. It tasted so crisp, light and refreshing— exactly how I like my white wines.
After a day at the vineyards I returned to the city and headed to the beach for a relaxing siesta in the sun. Later in the evening I packed up for my flight home and met my newfound Chicago-based friends at Igueldo. What a treat! We had a great time sharing different dishes such as tuna tartar, lamb, hake (white fish), squid ravioli and the most popular dessert on the menu, the chocolate souffle.
Stay tuned for more posts on my adventure through Portugal and Spain! I want to provide some insight into the company behind most of my trip planning and I'm working on a gear guide for any of you gals out there looking to take your own riding holiday.
Thanks for following along with me over the past few weeks! Does anyone have any exciting trips planned that they like to share? We'd all love to hear as it will help keep us daydreaming at our desks.
Signing Off Headed Back to Reality,