Monday, December 12, 2011

Observatory mystery solved

Amazingly, our morning's cave adventure had left us looking for more outdoor fun. Half way to Cadeques the mountain road passes below a peak crowned with what we assumed was some kind of observatory. We could see various antenna and a large dome. The complex has a proper access road of course, but on this side of the mountain a track through the scrub seemed to offer a pleasant hike. We parked at Perafita, a beautiful hilltop winery with buildings dating from the 14th century.  We have been by here before hoping to do a little wine tasting and find out more about the winery bed and breakfast. Once again, we have found no one home, so proceeded with our hike.

Our plan was to follow the track straight up to the observatory at the top of the mountain. We had our first little moment of doubt when we found a very faded sign reading 'zona militar'. It seemed to us that if this really was a prohibited area the signage would be clear and unequivocal, which this wasn't; so we continued.

Having made a our way to the base of the peak, we decided we had accomplished enough and turned around. The observatory was well fenced and could more easily be reached by car. In any case, we had climbed high enough to enjoy amazing views over the mountain, the vineyards and villages. In the far distance we could see the snow covered Pyrenees.

We returned to the car and drove around the other side of the mountain to pick up the paved road to the observatory. A winding road brought us to a new sign, this one the size of a small house, which in multiple languages said: "Military Zone Entrance Forbidden." Having clarified that, we returned home, our quest to visit the observatory now over.

1 comment:

John Keating said...

I've just caught up on your past few posts. Reading them always makes me hungry! The food there sounds fabulous, as does the lifestyle. I especially enjoyed reading about the winery and your new Fiat. They say it gets almost 70 mpg. And people over here are still driving gas-guzzling SUVs. We're so far behind the Europeans! Glad to see you are settling in so well. JK