Costa Brava : Calella de Palafrugell and Beyond

Las Chicas return to their home away from home in Barcelona for a few days, and then head off for some R & R to Costa Brava. So many possibilities, so we choose a familiar favorite, Calella de Palafrugell. 

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We eat lunch with a fabulous view

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We take advantage of the GR, Great Route, hiking path along the sea during the day,

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discover hidden beaches,

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learn more about the swimming lanes along the coast, dotted by swimmers with their orange safety buoys,

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On our final night, we eat a delicious seafood dinner, and stroll along the sea in the evening light.

We take one last swim early in the AM, in water so clear that we see small fish swimming in and out of the rocks far below the surface.

IMG_3475but clearly it is time to move on, as our new neighbors, “the Russian horde” arrive.

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We head onward toward Torroella de Fluvia, and make a couple of stops to learn Spanish history along the way. First, we drive to Peratallada located in the heart of the Girona province. Its name means “carved stone,” obvious from the entrance and beyond.

We enter this medieval village alongside Torre de L’Homenatge, one of the three towers of this once-upon-a-time fortress. Bordered by a long stone wall and surrounded by a moat, the fortress dates back to the 10th century and was one of the villages along the road from Girona near the Pyrenees to Empuries by the sea. The castle, first constructed during the 11th century, became an epicenter to a powerful feudal domain in the 13th century. Although written references date this fortress back to the 10th century, archaeological excavations point to the possibility of possible Roman and pre-Roman times.

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The streets are a maze that lead us into a square where we encounter the annoying buzz of a modern day drone. But there are plenty of cobbled streets upon which to escape. Our first turn takes us into a larger square, bordered by shops and restaurants, a common site in these medieval towns. On our way we see another visitor eating a paleta or popsicle.  It’s hot so we soon find some frozen refreshment and a bit of shade.

We continue through the narrow streets of this charming town into smaller squares,

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and look for the Gate of the Virgin, named for the statue that would have been placed in the alcove on top of the gate.

We visit the church and view some of the other remains of this fortress,

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along with present day political banners of Catalan indpendence.

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One more stop in Ullastret, before heading to the beach. It’s another smaller medieval town along the road to Empuries; the road went right throught Ullastret’s ancient center connecting Iberian and Roman civilizations. There are fewer sights to see, most notable is the church, L’esglecia of Sant Pere. But we only get a glimpse from outside as the church is closed.

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Apparently a temple, dating back to the 9th century, once stood in this place. But it was replaced by this church, originally constructed in Romanesque style, and currently with a facade in Baroque style after many renovations.

It’s early afternoon and our hunger leads us to Menu del Día, in a café at the bottom of the hill. Menu del día is mandated by the Spanish government to provide mid-day meals for workers at an affordable price. But all who wish to enjoy this 3-course meal, including dessert, and a drink for around 12 euros, are welcome. Post-flan, drive to our next hotel.

We have chosen a new location near the sea, in Torroella de Fluvia, at L’hort de Sant Cebrià. The hosts, Juan and Jorge, are as amazing as the home itself. Elegantly decorated yet comfortable. 

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We waste no time, head to the pool for a swim, and rest up for our next adventures.

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© Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds, 2018

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