Menorca to Barcelona

Sun 11 May 2014 09:13
We liked Cuitadella and our mooring on the town quay operated by the local,
thriving Yacht Club. After washing the boat down we dined on reasonably good
food at one of the restaurants lining the walls of the citadel. The
following two days being spent on boat jobs and exploring the town. Lynn
managing to purchase, amongst other bits and pieces, another cushion for our
recently redecorated sitting room!

Monday we hired a car and explored the island finding Es Mercadel a charming
little town with a number of specialist food shops and producers making and
selling local delicacies hams, sausage, cheeses, pastries etc. Taking full
advantage we indulged ourselves for the ships stores. Then up to Monte Toro,
the highest point on the island, rising to 356 metres. Great views over the
whole island but especially of the picturesque village of Fornells set aside
a large and shallow circular cala with a very narrow entrance from the sea.
We drove down there, about eight kilometres, and lunched (three courses 14
euros), on locally caught fish at a small restaurant with its own quay,
admiring the gently rippling, gin clear water of the bay. The usual harbour
mullet here being almost white, instead of the more usual dark grey, to
better camouflage themselves in the clear water and white sand. Further
calas were explored that afternoon before returning to Pamarzi and rather
good pizzas delivered to the boat by an enterprising local service.

Tuesday 10.50 we cast off for the mainland and Barcelona. Light following
southerly winds and a moderate to sea we unhurriedly sailed most of the way
only resorting to the engine as the wind died in the early hours and the sea
took on a mercurial smoothness. By 08.15 Wednesday, we had topped up our
1,300 litre fuel tanks, completed the formalities (largely a question of
handing over wads of cash!) and were snugly berthed in Marina Olimpico,
Barcelona. Boat washed down, jobs done we taxied into town to gasp in awe at
the most wonderful (and vast) fresh produce market we have ever seen. The
variety of edibles fantastic. The experience marred only by the fact that
all humanity appeared to have taken the decision to visit Barcelona that
afternoon and to have chosen the very same moment to visit the market that
we had. An earlyish supper taken as we sought to catch up on the sleep
missed during the previous night's crossing. A slow start to Wednesday,
washing machine on, a trip to the chandlery looking for some particular
parts then Lynn and I head back to the city centre to revisit the sights
last seen on a trip here eleven years ago. Sagrada Familia not appearing to
have changed much after another decade of building. Later we searched for
and found the best tapas bars in the city. Quimet y Quimet a bijou wine
cellar, bottles lining the walls to the full height of its twenty foot
ceiling. Magnums, jeroboams and even a methuselah feature midst a plethora
of more modestly sized containers. No seating here just a couple of
well-worn fixes tables of convenient height and a similar broad shelf set
the same. Choosing our delicacies from the bar display we three, for Rob had
joined us, position ourselves around one of the said tables to enjoy a
simple plate of cockles, dark, paper thin slices of smoked, dried tuna,
smoked salmon atop soft cheese layered on crisp bread and smothered in wild
honey before serving. These miniature delights and others taken with an
excellent bottle of garnacha from 2008. Then on to the next establishment to
repeat the exercise, the food equally satisfying. We find a bakers and buy
fresh baked croissants, bread and pastries for the morrow

Bellies full and laden with our purchases we taxi back to the vast Marina
Olimpico where thankfully the driver can deliver us right to Pamarzi.
Passerelle safely negotiated, weather checked (again) the weather window is
confirmed (as much as it can be!), its lights out for we will sail for
Marseille in the morning and are looking to complete the 177 nm passage
before the storms return to the Golfe du Lyon.