A leisurely start on a sunny day, lucky us!
The breakfast choice was just as good as we remembered and well worth the extra cost of the hotel, we might tease you with a photo before we leave!
Today’s trip was the 1.5 hour walk to the gardens at Cap Roig. The walk was just as hard as last year and the gardens just as stunning.
This year we’ll treat you to a picture of the castle built by the Woevodskys form the granite mines on the site.
On the walk back, we stopped for a late lunch at a little croissanteria in Palafrugell. We had a limited choice from the menu – today was the last day of opening before it along with most places close their doors for the winter. Chips and pizza it was!
The weather was glorious so Matt and Kim spent it on the beach while John read on our balcony. Why sit in the sand when you have the luxury of a seaview and a balcony?
We whiled away the afternoon, only Matt was brave enough to go in the sea.
Dinner was in a little local restaurant, the verdict on our meal? Nothing special! We won’t be going back there unless everywhere else is shut. Even then we might choose crisps and chocolate form the supermarket!!
We survived Barcelona without being mugged and headed out to the airport to pick up the hire car in the rain. We were pleased to leave, I’m not sure any of us are in a hurry to return which is a shame. Kim is muttering about a day trip just to see the monuments in Park Guell but she’ll soon forget about that!
We were rather worried, Goldcar car hire gets really poor reviews and pickup relies on a shuttle bus from airport to office. The whole experience was a real reminder that people are more likely to complain to praise. Directions to the shuttle bus were vague but we found the right place and the bus turned up on time. We paid the hidden charges which we’ve come to expect with hire cars and were on our way just after midday.
Our journey to Llafranc took a slight detour past the F1 Cicuit de Catalunya where we stopped for a photo – there wasn’t anything else to do but the boys are considering driving back there tomorrow for a tour of the circuit.
The weather’s been cloudy and cool but Llafranc is still pretty and quiet. We’ve upgraded Matt to his own room while we take advantage of a lovely sea view and balcony!
While we waited for lunch, Matt was off along the beach taking photos- it’s the most enthusiastic he’s been since we’ve been away.
After lunch we took a walk along the coast so Matt could plan his running route and he was off across the rocks in a shot, probably reminded of all those years rock pooling in Porthcothan!
Today’s challenge was the 1.5 hour walk to the botanical gardens at Cap Roig. A small, exclusive music festival is held there every year with top music stars such as Bob Dylan performing in the idyllic setting. Sting was the opening act this year so we thought we ought to see why the venue is so special. Our legs were still aching from the mammoth climb on Sunday but that didn’t deter us! The walk along the cliffs was spectacular and very, very hilly! At one point we were feeling rather lost when some English walkers pointed out the directional markings on the stones. In case you haven’t guessed this means Turn Right
I’m not sure where we would have ended up without that piece of advice!
The gardens were created by a Russian Colonel and his English, aristocrat wife who were searching the Costa Brava for a place to live and build their dream, they bought the site in 1927 and after many years of effort and work they created a space where nature and calm reign. They certainly succeded the views across the bay, back towards Llafranc were breathtaking as were the gardens.
They were well worth the walk and we spent a couple of peaceful hours admiring our surroundings. Far more enjoyable (and pleasant) than the Museo Dali
For our walk back, we abandoned the scenic but torturous cliff path and followed the roads, but it was an awful lot quicker (even stopping for lunch at one of the bay’s on the way back!)
Despite dire warnings of food poisoning, Kim wanted Paella for dinner tonight. We chose a small restaurant, set back from the seafront that was less geared to the tourist market – by that, it seemed very Spanish!
Kim was expecting golden rice with lots of seafood. What turned up was a grey, sticky gloop (luckily, we were too polite to take a photo!). The chef even showed it to her before plating up which was slightly worrying.
For a woman who can’t bear sticky fingers, she did surprisingly well dismembering the prawns and mussels.
She took slight comfort from locals ordering, and eating, black rice which was even greyer and gloopier. It needed to be tried but probably never again!
John, being the adventurer that he is, had pizza!!
Last night we avoided the main tourist areas and found a Tapas bar, Kim tried the squid, John was not so brave. We arrived just as it opened and were the only people in there initially but by the time we came to leave it was completely full with Spanish people, a good choice.
Day two of the extreme swimming competition and the town is heaving but the sun is shining so Kim spent the morning reading on the beach while John explored the town. Late morning we took on the challenge of the walk to the lighthouse, San Sabastia, which allegedly is only 30 minutes but up a vertical cliff!! The views were spectacular but it was one of those walks where the road winds up a hill that goes on forever
We’re starting to get the hang of Spanish eating habits so our treat was a late lunch when we’d done the walk back into town. It’s funny how coming down is so much easier!
Today was the day for re-acquainting ourselves with the Fiat for a drive along the coast. It really is a very different type of car to drive, particularly when trying to go up steep, narrow winding roads. Our trip to Aiguablava and Begur was stressful. It was harder to drive up the hill to Begur than the walk had been earlier. We were tempted to drive down to Tossa De Mar but decided that was for another day and in the daylight.
A late start for us today. We didn’t wake until 9:30 and rushed down to breakfast to find the beach had disappeared overnight! How dare they put up a tent city and spoil our views!
It turns out it’s a weekend of swimming competitions. Today was the three stage relay and we’re very excited to see what tomorrow brings. If anyone can translate the poster, we’d be grateful.
The weather’s lovely so we’ve spent the day soaking up the sun, exploring the town, discussing the merits of different boats in the Marina and watching the swimming competition. Having walked along the costal path to the next town for dinner we discovered we’re completely out of synch with Spanish eating patterns. Our late breakfast meant we missed lunch and were ready for dinner at 5 when everywhere (and we mean everywhere!) is shut! It appears you can eat from 7:30 until 5 and then not again until 8:30 in the evening! Heroes that we are, we managed with an ice cream until we can eat ‘proper food’.
Being used to the Atlantic Ocean on the Cornwall coast, we are struck by how different the Med is. There is no apparent low and high tide and hence a distinct lack of waves or any noise. Although this evening there is plenty of noise as the swimming completion parties into the night.
Although our hotel is ideally located and very nice it does have one flaw, there are no tea making facillaties which Kim is finding very difficult. John is seriously considering investing in a kettle and some tea bags before someone gets hurt!
Here we are in sunny Catalonia and it’s really rather lovely.
The journey to Stanstead, the Ryanair flight and customs at Girona Airport were effortless. Then we hit the queue to pick up the hire car! It took us longer to sort that than the flight, you couldn’t make it up. Not only did we queue for 2 hours, we were relieved of an additional payment which was more than the flights cost too.
Moan almost over – we collected our Fiat 500 which Is fighting back. It may be cute but it won’t go up hills and we can’t find the switch for the sun roof. Watch this space for an in depth review of small Fiat cars!
Now onto the good stuff. Our hotel is right on the promenade with picture book views of the bay. So we chilled in the late afternoon sunshine followed by a walk round to the next bay. Beer and tapas on a terrace overlooking the Med to a back drop of Johnny Cash music was rather bizarre. We could easily adapt to the lifestyle and may not come home