Today, InnTravel directions to our hotel in Llafranc were ignored and, instead, we created our own route via the town of Palafrugell. It added a couple of miles to our walk but we were keen to visit both the Cork and Contemporary Art Museums. It was a fairly flat 3 miles out through some lovely suburbs of Calella and, within an hour, we had arrived. John was rather taken with solar panels that track the path of the sun, but bunting made from old plastic bottles was just as noteworthy.
Palafrugell is a small, medieval town that has thriving markets most days of the week. It was renowned for manufacturing cork products in the 18th and 19th centuries with the final factory closing in the 1970s, leading to severe unemployment. The Cork Museum is housed in a former factory and was educational with plenty of interactive exhibits. John spent a few happy minutes setting up a microscope for a young Spanish family before testing out cork soundproofing and acoustic qualities. Cork oaks have been part of the economy for centuries, not only for harvesting bark but wood for furniture making and feeding livestock with acorns. You may think you know all about cork but taking time to hear about all its amazing properties was a joy – lightweight, waterproof, soundproof, fire retardant, renewable and, most importantly, the most environmentally friendly way to keep wine.
Next stop was the Museum of Contemporary Sculpture, also housed in an old cork factory building. All exhibits are by Catalan artists, ranging from the 1960s to the present day.
After a refreshment break in a shady square, we retraced our steps back to Calella de Palafrugell via a nursery selling the biggest plants in the world. Digging a hole for these would take a while!
Our hotel in Llafranc is lovely, opposite the beach with spacious balconies. It’s a shame the diggers haven’t finished rearranging the beach, they are rather noisy. We wandered along the front for a repeat of yesterdays tapas, more olives and sardines for us. At least we managed a food photo today.
It’s been a lovely day. Culture, plants, a bit of exercise and some food. What more could you want especially as we’re by the sea and the sun has shone all day?