Day 10: Lleida, Spain. Karen and Dom’s road trip.

It’s been a night of frustration, alternating between having the air-con on and hearing an incessant drip filling up a bucket perched on the toilet, or turning the air-con off and gradually melting into the floor. Deciding the night was best done and dusted there was only one thing to say:

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We complained to the establishment and hoped that Lleida could rescue us from our woes.

And it did! In the bright light of day, Lleida scrubs up well, especially if you have a few good recommendations from friendly faces like Andreu in the pharmacy. So we hot-footed it up the Turo seu Vella hill to the top of the town, where the resplendent cathedral looms over the city.

You can see that Karen’s capturing all the shots on camera, so I don’t have to. Tower’s a bit wonky in this one, Kazza.

It turns out that Lleida is a pretty important city in Spanish history – and the friendly receptionists at the cathedral ticket desk got us started with a visit to the Castle of the King (Castell del Rei) and then the gothic cathedral itself. Dom’s dwarfed by the giant windows, so we did a close-up too. We asked the window cleaner to hide out of view while we took these shots. Very obliging.

We had a fabulous lunch at a restaurant recommended by Andreu (thanks!), El Porton, where the staff are lovely and the food is muy delicioso – really regional, really fresh and really tasty. (Trip Advisor only gives it 3 stars, which should keep the crowds away; but take it from us, it’s worth a visit and more stars than that!) Funny how a nice meal can sort you out a treat!

Later we headed to the Connexions exhibition at the Museu d’Art Jaume Morera. There are two small salons for the collection. The first showcased more traditional work, some work by local artists and some by visitors (like John Cage) who have made art while travelling through Spain. It was a limited collection of work, so it only took about ten minutes to take it all in. The second collection was disappointing to us in its presentation and its content – we love art, and we’re real fans of lots of contemporary work, but for us this particular collection didn’t cut the mustard. Judge for yourself  – it’s free, it’s on in Lleida until October, and you might be able to fill us in on some of the virtues of the Connexions collection!

Maybe we feel a bit bah humbug today. Karen’s also gloomy because she’s had the mosquitoes feasting on her in Lleida. With that and the air-con issue, we might be being a bit tetchy.

By the way – today’s banner image is the keyboard to the interesting organ in the cathedral. To organ aficionados it might not be much to write home about, but it appealed to us for being such a tiny organ in an enormous cathedral, for being so compact in its size and piping, and for this clattery collection of keys on its manual.

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