Sunday June 19th: 7342 steps 3.3 miles
We enjoyed our last leisurely hotel breakfast with even thicker sipping chocolate, took some photos of the Parador La Concordia at Alcañiz, the least castley castle hotel of our trip, understandable since it started as a monastery, then drove away headed for the coast again. Tonight will be our last castle hotel at Cardona, and maybe we can swing by one more castle on the drive today…
Two more bonus castles achieved! We found the small Castell de Castellet but it only offers prearranged guided tours so we walked around the outside and the view of lake. Then thanks to a quick stop with free wifi at a freeway McDs, Glen the Castle Whisperer found a bonus castle *winery* on our way just south of Manresa near the strikingly jagged Montserrat mountains! We didn’t know Oller del Mas was only for prearranged tours, but since we arrived just after a bus tour had finished their tasting and we were pleading even just to buy a bottle to the winery guy cleaning up, fumbling around with Google Translate, he took pity on us and let us taste three reds from the leftover bottles…he said with a shrug they were already abierto! 😉 We tried to tip him but he refused, so muchas muchas gracias from us! Both Glen and I preferred the cheaper Syrah blend, so I bought a bottle as a souvenir!
We arrived at our final castle hotel, the Castell de Cardona, about 7pm and got the big rental car stuck trying to turn around since the tiny hotel parking lot was full, but five nice local guys shouting in Spanish finally got Glen out with no scrapes! They congratulated us and themselves for “internacional” cooperation, and later they waved at us from the top tower after we parked in the larger lot at the bottom of the hill. 😉 We saw other cars getting themselves trapped in the same tiny lot later so Glen has his turn laughing at them. As soon as we unloaded our luggage, we strolled around most of the castle since this was our only daylight chance, but there are ticketed entry parts inside some towers that had already closed for the day. By then dinner had opened and we enjoyed our earliest but second-tastiest dinner of the trip!
We missed sunset due to dinner but we took advantage of the full moon and drove and walked around Castell de Cardona for more photos, accompanied by Halloween music. Room 712 of the Parador de Cardona is supposedly haunted but the interior hallways are even less spooky than college dorm rooms, so instead we made our own spooky scenes in the full moonlight…heh! #nofilters