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Saturday, 20 July 2013

Butterfly park and Dali museum

My last holiday post! If you've been following our travels then you'll know we had some problems with our car and so for our last few days in Spain we had to look at a map and do a bit of a rejig of routes and hotels. As the forecast was for cooler weather and in fact, cold and pouring with rain up in the mountains, it probably wasn't a bad thing after all! So we opted to stay on two extra days at our hotel in Roses as there were far more things to do there. Here's a pic of the hotel. It's an ugly double concrete block (this shows just one side of it) but it was comfortable and had a nice big garden with pool, that I didn't use! (The hotel is called the Mediterraneo Park by the way).

It was nice to chill in the gardens though.

So off we went to the Butterfly Park in Empuriabrava which by chance I had seen a big advertising panel for as we were driving around. It wasn't huge and on one side there were tropical birds and the other, the butterflies. I couldn't get very good photos of the birds as it was rather dark in there due to all the vegetation, but it seemed brighter in the butterfly side and that was far more interesting. I don't know all the different species as although there were info boards not all those butterflies were there at that time. In the photo below the big one on the right is an Owl butterfly (Caligo memnon) and the one at the back on the left is a Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides) which has incredible blue wings when it opens them up, which is not often when it is resting.

The butterfly with its wings open below is Idea leuconoe and it's the same butterfly in the close up photo below this one.

Here's the Blue Morpho on a rare occasion it opened its wings whilst not moving; usually you only see the flash of blue when they are flying around.

There were a few birds in the butterfly house too, and this one took a shine to me. In fact I couldn't get rid of it! It started on my head and then I managed to get it onto my shoulder, whereupon it proceeded to nuzzle me and snuggle up to me for ages, with the occasional nip on my neck or cheek which was a bit painful!

There were big open cupboards with all sorts of chrysalises with butterflies eclosing all the time, which was fascinating to watch.

Our last day we thought we'd have a bit of culture by visiting the Dali Museum in Figueres. I'm not into surrealist art (know very little about it) but my OH said he'd enjoyed that sort of thing back when he was at Uni. It was something a bit different to do. From the outside it looked rather amusing and I liked that this weird modern building was sited very close to the 14th century church of Sant Pere, which appears in many of the photos below.

Inside though it was totally jam packed with people. This is the third most visited museum in Spain. As well as hating the 'art' I hated all the crowds. I also hated that it must have been here where I caught my cold that started just after I got home!

I can't even be bothered to attempt to lighten up the figure below of 'big breasted woman standing on an old American car with a boat with drippy things above her' which is what I will call this piece of crap art. What really got me was the amount of young people there too, all of whom were taking photos galore with their phones. I just hated the whole place, couldn't understand a thing and wanted to get the hell out! Thankfully my OH felt pretty much the same as me. :-)

Our last but one day was spent travelling all the way from Roses via the motorway that goes through the tail end of the Pyrenees (hardly any altitude so no problems with the car!) and then all the way to the Atlantic coast at Bordeaux, then up to La Rochelle. It was a long, long way and we were pretty bored and tired by the time we arrived in La Rochelle. Somehow travelling a long way in one day at the beginning of your holiday is fine; on the way home it is not!

As La Rochelle is only about 4 hours from home we had our last morning free to drive over the toll bridge to Ile de Re. It's actually larger than I had thought but was an interesting island and I'd love to have had more time to explore it (and neighbouring Ile d'Oleron to the south which is larger). That can be for another holiday!

Just a view at the tip of Ile de Re

I absolutely had to stop to check out the yellow flowers that I kept seeing on the rough ground beside the roads everywhere. I had a feeling it was Sedum acre and I was right!

The blue flowers are Muscari comosom, a bulb.
Much larger than the common spring flowering Muscari bulbs
that we know in our gardens.
I loved the decorative grass seeds heads too.

Of course, it was only fitting that I finished my holiday blog with a bug!
Not sure what it is, it has a fat little body that you can't see here very well,
so not really caterpillar like, but was obviously feeding on the Sedum acre.


  1. I remember that bird! :-) Very interesting that it's allowed in the butterfly house. I love the idea.

    It's clear you had a fabulous time and I love that you ended with with a bug :-)

    1. Hi Marianne - I don't know why they had several of these (I've found out that they are Cockatiels) on the butterfly side! We did have a great time but it seems like ages ago now. Just glad I managed to get it all on the blog at long last!

      Now I have tons to write about with what is happening and what I am finding here, just need to find the time..... :-)