Spain
Girona

Here you’ll find travel reports about Girona. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

138 travelers at this place:

  • Day35

    Roses' Riches!

    September 23 in Spain

    After pressing our weary souls to stay up at least until sunset last night, we were tucked in bed by 8:30pm.  And so ... even though we slept in ... we were up and ready for the day by 7:30am. John headed out in search of coffee for his decaffeinated damsel ... only to arrive back empty handed.  There was no coffee to be found before 8:00am ...and ... he was told he could not bring it to the room!!

    GAHS: Okay.  THIS is a first.  A hotel that won't LET you take coffee to your room?!? And so, we waited until 8:00am.  I was a fairly good sport ... considering the the gravity of the situation!! 😉

    GRATITUDES: We finally got our coffee and were seated for our champagne breakfast  ... overlooking the ocean as the sun shone brightly on the water.  It's  stunningly gorgeous here!!  And ... there were so many bright white boats on the clear blue Mediterranean that that looked like a flock of seagulls had landed on a lake!  This prairie girl can't ever remember seeing so many boats in one place before! ⛵🚤⛴🛥⛵🚤⛴🛥

    And then, we settled in on two chaise- lounge chairs under an umbrella right at the edge of the lapping sea.   And before I went for a wonderful relaxation massage, I set the old boy up with water, sunscreen, salted cashews ... and ... a full go-cup (if you know what I mean!). 😉

    GRINS: So, my hubby enjoyed the sand and surf ... carefully  averting his gaze to all the shapes and sizes of topless European women on the beach.

    GIFTS: It's actually so liberating and empowering to notice the lack of self-consciousness in Europeans ... that is, on the contrary, to what is so deeply socialized into North Americans.  We noticed a young boy of about 10 years of age ... happily making sandcastles with his mom on the beach.  Her attire (or should I say lack of it) was completely irrelevant to him ... as it should be!! 

    It really struck us ... in such a meaningful way ... that our sexualized North American socialization is NOT the standard here.  We could only hope to find our way to this humble place of acculturation where who you are on the inside is much more important than how you look on the outside.

    GASPS OF DELIGHT: John spent more time in the water watching the fish!  He spotted several swimming around him ... some were upwards of a foot long!! He loved that they were circling around him like little wee sharks!! 

    GRINS: No! I'm just kidding .  He's terrified of sharks ... but ... the fish were definitely circling around him until it got too busy with people in the water. He's determined to get a snorkel for tomorrow!! 😉

    GOODNESS: And so ... we lazed away the afternoon recharging by the water!  And it was entirely sublime. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

    GASPS: John got a beer ... and ... for some reason, I took a sup!  And... gasp ... I actually enjoyed it!!   What the heck???? I dont like beer. Period.  Unless maybe a dark beer on a really hot day ... but ... the Moritz was delicious!   So much so ... that I ordered one myself when we had a sandwich at "The Sloop" on the beach!! 

    GRINS: I almost can't recognize myself!   Clams and mussels in my paella yesterday .. and now ... beer today??? Inconceivable! I am losing myself in Spain!

    GAHS: We knew we were tired but didn't realize just how physically depleted we had become with our 34 days of non-stop sightseeing.  Altough our spirits were so deeply filled with all we had seen and done ... our aging bodies were having trouble keeping up the pace!

    GRATITUDES: And so ... we are deeply leaning into the opportunity to rest in this splendid space.  Yes ...  today was a real gift that is not lost on our spirits. And at one point ... the sun was glistening off the water like diamonds in the sea!! 💛💛

    GAFFAH: And then ... he dozed off. Into one of those deep sleeps! I had a walk along the beach ... returned ... grabbed his hand... and he was still snoozing! 😴😴😴

    And so ... we packed up ... and headed back to the room to shower and get cleaned up for supper. And well ... we were all dressed up ... with no desire to go. 🙄

    So ... we didn't. We stayed in our room and nibbled on our Pringles ... and then ... we decided to post this blog and then go to bed. No photos of the sunset. No fancy expensive meal. Just a very comfortable bed for two very relaxed and lazy tourists!

    Good night! 💛
    Read more

  • Day34

    Adios to Beautiful Barcelona!

    September 22 in Spain

    We wanted to confirm we knew the shortest path to get the train station ... so we took a trial run without the load of our backpacks.  We were assessing the situation when a lovely Muslim woman offered to help us!  The depth of people's kindness never ceases to amaze me. 

    Once we had our ducks in a row (or should we say gopher like metro holes in a role) ... we enjoyed our last cup of cappuccino at our neighborhood cafe/bakery! ☕☕

    We really hated to say goodbye to Barcelona but were looking very much forward to arriving in Roses ... with no where to go and nothing we needed to see ... just a chance to rest and relax and recharge after 33 days of being on the go! 

    It's TRUE that we could have taken a break at any one of our stops ... but neither one of us wanted to miss the opportunities that each city offered us. As it was ... we only scratched the surface of the joys to be embraced in these wonderful countries.  And ... we regret to say that we have certainly left many sights unseen here in Barcelona!!

    GASPS OF DELIGHT: This exceptional city really surprised us in the most favorable way!! We expected it to be more like Mexico.  But ... it is such an exquisite blend of old and new ... of history and progression ... of intellect and artistry.  It offers such nourishment for the spirit in so many ways! And well ... as I have previously shared ... it has nourished our bodies really well too!! 😉

    GOODNESS: But for today ... we head to a quieter space. We are going almost two hours north to a seaside town where we will land for three nights.  After that ... we have three more nights that we have not booked ... so ... if we love it ... we have the option to stay longer.

    GRIPES: The regional train that we boarded to take us to Roses was announcing the wrong stations on its monitor.  It was announcing that our next stop wa the one we we had just left behind! It took us a while to recognize the error! Thank goodness John was befuddled because we most certainly would have missed our stop had we not twigged onto the mistake.  Since when does the destination the message board for the passengers not match the station!!🤯🤯

    GAHS and GRATITUDES: Anyway ... crisis averted! And ... after a $47 € taxi ride (after the train) we arrived in this Spanish oasis!. Our hotel overlooks the bay ... and the beach is just steps away.  And ... if it stays really hot... we even have a pool to cool ourselves in.

    GOODNESS: And so ... we had a most delicious paella with lobster and mussels and clams and scallops and chicken!! Man ... it was beyond good!!!

    And then we wandered a bit to get grounded in our area and then dug our swimwear from the bottom of our backpacks ... and as I write this ... we are currently resting by the pool.

    GRINS: We are excited to simply spend some idle time ... in the stillness of 'being' ... rather than the flurry of 'doing'.

    And so ... good night for now.  We hope the sun is also shining on you all!

    Luv and hugs ....k&j
    Read more

  • Day38

    With Rave Regards for Roses!

    September 26 in Spain

    GAHS: Our last day in this little paradise left us befuddled.  We couldn't decide between lounging and lazing ... or ... exploring some more of the area!  We wanted BOTH.  So we opted for another walk into Roses  ... and then ... planned to come back early enough to catch some more time on the beach.  And well .... what do they say about the best laid plans.  Yep.  Meant to be broken.

    We were fascinated by how active the Sea had become since we first arrived.  It went from entirely placid ... lapping so gently that the movement was almost invisible ... to rolling in with considerable force and creating big, beautiful, loud and completely mesmerizing white caps that slapped up against the rocks and the shore without apology.  We tried to catch this action on camera, but by the time you snap ... the best moment has often passed. 😕

    GRATITUDES: And then we decided to hop on the 'Roses Expres' and take a 30km two hour tour around the area and then up the mountain.  The ticket lady recommended we bring a jacket because it can get chilly and windy up the mountain side.  But ... all our jackets were a 45 minute walk away.

    So ... we  decided to improvise. We bought a big, bright  pink polka dot beach scarf ... lined with something that would wrap around us nicely! We might have to leave it behind 'cuz our back packs are over stuffed already ... but ... it was on sale for $9€. Still cheaper than taking a taxi both forth and back to our hotel to get our jackets.

    GRIMACES: But then ... we got worried that if we were cold we wouldn't enjoy the tour ... and ... two hours is a long time to be cold.  So, we took a taxi anyway ... just to be safe! And so it cost us $40€ for the two hour tour and $30 to make sure we were warm enough! Argh.

    GOODNESS: And then, we had just enough time to head back to "El Trull" so John could have the "best' mussels EVER ... again.  And the proprietor recommended some toast strips with garlic mayonnaise... which he said is typical food for Spain ... and ... they were delicious!!

    GRINS: And so John asked what was in the aoilli ... he said oil and garlic and eggs ... all whipped up (he made the sound effects!)!  He was not, however, so forthcoming in divulging the secret to his fabulous mussels sauce.  He shared that it is made with "many, many too much lub" (love). 😁

    And well ... it was loved right back!! Even the second time around ... the old boy was thrilled with his mussels.  His only regret was that his buddy Hutch wasn't here to enjoy them too!

    GRATEFUL: And then ... off we went!  The trip in our little train surprised me.  I thought it would take us up the mountain roads ... but ... no! We actually ended up going on some dirt paths that made me nervous! We ended up on the summit of one of the mountains ... and ... we got out to take some pics and they served boxed wine and cookies.  The train driver was quite a card and livened it up with his great energy! 😁

    We never got back until after 6:00pm.  We stopped at the market... got two croissants, some gouda cheese and some ham ... along with a little can of olives.  We poured some wine into our trust go-cup and went out to watch the sunset!  we settled into a couple of concrete chaise lounges that were surprisingly comfortable! It was a great way to cap off our evening and to finish our time here in Roses.

    GIFTS: We are entirely smitten with Spain ... and although we have spent twice as much time in Spain as any other of our stops ... we are really sad to say goodbye already.  It's truly been such a great experience! 

    But ... a new adventure awaits us in Portugal! And so ... we are back to Barcelona tomorrow so we can catch our flight to Porto ... via Lisbon ... on Friday!

    And for now ... good night from us ... k&j
    Read more

  • Day36

    The Road to Roses

    September 24 in Spain

    We are staying at a resort a few kilometers east of Roses and so we opted to do little sightseeing today! We enjoyed some incredible views ... without waiting  in queues or buying any fast track tickets to avoid the line ups.  We simply ambled into town today via the most scenic path on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. And ... the picture taking competition was ON again! We snapped some gorgeous shots along the path.  It's going to be a photo finish ... pun intended! 😁

    GRATITUDES: We found our way to the little lanes of shops ...however most of them are closed for the season already. You can see it would be a bustling resort in the summer!! But now, many things were priced at close out prices.  And so I got a pair of walking sandals to replace my broken Crocs ... so I don't have to wear my expensive but cheap Barcelona  flip flops  everywhere we go!

    It sure seems that a lot of French is spoken here!  I'm not sure why ... but we have heard it a lot.  Many of the menus are in English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish and Catalan.  The tour operators and servers and hoteliers have their work cut out for them in terms of speaking enough of all these languages. They do a great job ... in our experience!

    GRIMACES: Nonetheless ... we found a thorn in our Roses!  We had our most disappointing meal thus far in our European adventures!  We stopped for lunch at "Croak" ... just across from the lovely long horseshoe shaped beaches that line the entire cove.  They forgot my white wine ... and when it arrived ... it was warm. John got his food well ahead of mine ... and then ... my burger was still very rare in the center.  They did re-cook it for me ... but it was still too pink for my anxious mind.  So ... much of it went uneaten.  We thought we could end on a more positive note with a nice cappuccino. However ... theirs tasted like an instant coffee (not good like my smuggled French stuff) and it was served with whipped cream!   Not our favorite either. ☹

    GRINS:  We did, however, learn what a "flute" is. We'd seen it on the menus but had no clue that they are long skinny baguettes filled with all kinds of stuff.  John enjoyed one with anchovies. He's getting a good fill of seafood here for sure!

    GOODNESS: We also got tickets for a 25 km coastal cruise on a glass bottom catamaran!  But before we did so, I needed a bit more food in my belly (Cruz I didnt eat all my lunch!). So,  we stopped for a drink and for some tapas!

    GASPS:  And guess what??  John had the BEST mussels he has ever had in his life!!!  Isn't this the 4th or 5th time we have heard this?? 🤔

    GIFTS: I was a bit worried about getting cold once we were on the water because it was very windy today (Lethbridge like windy!) ... but the nice fellow selling the tickets for the cruise offered to let me wear his coat for the trip!  Now THAT is customer service! Thank you Nacho (yes ... like the chips!)

    GASPS: And ... it was quite the trip!! I was so glad to have Nacho's jacket because the sea was rough in some places ... and ... we were riding some pretty good waves.  I was holding the rail for dear life at one point!!  Most of the patrons went downstairs so they could be inside... but ... we stayed out!  It was exhilarating and adrenaline producing and gorgeous and we are so glad we went!  We're even grateful it was windy because it certainly made for a more spectacular ride!

    And ... then we mosied home to compare pictures!  It's going to be a tough one.  We've both got some great shots of the sights we saw in Roses today!  Don't forget to cast your votes!  I'll probably have to add an aside with another 10 pics too!!

    Sending warm smiles from us to all of you ... k&j
    Read more

  • Day35

    Just had to add a couple more pictures of the beautiful sunset we got to enjoy from our hotel! 🌄
    My intuition is telling me that we might have to have another photo competition here in this place!! 😉

  • Day37

    GOODNESS: The bacon.  How on earth could I have forgotten to mention the bacon???  We opted to take the room with breakfast included and are so glad we did! We have no idea what they have done to/with that bacon.  It looks quite average. But ... OH ... it tastes anything but run of the mill.  Perhaps Spanish pigs are more delicious?? Not at all sure but the taste is beyond scrumptious!! 😍

    GRINS: Oh ... and I also forgot to mention that at the corner store by our resort you can get wine out of a dispenser!! Yes. You can fill your own  container with whatever kind ot wine suits your fancy!  Oh ... and I'm not an expensive date anymore ... now that we are in Spain. Wine is often cheaper than beer here!  🥂

    GALLAVANTS: It was a bit windy this morning for the beach so we decided to take a walk along the beach trail ... in the other direction.  We had no idea where it would lead us ... but ... off we went! 👣

    GRATITUDES: And after 40 minutes of stunningly gorgeous views ... we found ourselves at the next beach.  We had passed by it on our cruise yesterday ... and so ... we stopped for a little recharge!  Some white wine and bruschetta for me ... and ...  some fried sardines and my new favorite beer (Moritz) for the old boy. I should have had the beer! 🍻

    GIFTS: And then ... with a little bit more bounce in our step, we returned to our beach and languished away the afternoon!  I ordered the beer on the beach!  And .... to add even more blessings to the moment, I opted to take a foot massage from one of the three masseuses we had seen pedaling their services on the beach previously. 

    GROANS and GRATITUDES: It hurt. He had such strong hands and found every tender point possible!! He had studied in Thailand ... and so ... it was more therapeutic than relaxing for sure!! However, in the end, I was glad I had done it. I tried to convince John to try it, but he was reluctant.🙄

    GASPS: And then ... when the lady masseuse wandered by ... he decided to try it!  She was exceptional  ... and ... he really enjoyed it. She worked on his knees and legs too!  I watched with a bit of envy.  The old boy wasn't in pain.  She seemed to be more intuitive than my guy had been. 😊

    GIFTS: And so, when she was finished with John and looked in my direction  ... I nodded my head with enthusiasm! It seemed ridiculously indulgent ... but ... I made a good choice.  She was excellent! And, I could feel her working her magic, because she was more attuned to my reactions and responses.

    GRINS: Yep.  Great day today! And then, we went home ... cleaned up and headed out for dinner! We were intending on having another one if those amazing seafood paellas we had when we first arrived❣

    Oh ......... and before we say goodnight... we must declare the winner of the photo contest!! It was ME! Photo # 9 earned the most applause ... with photo #2 running a close second. Either way... they were both mine. Although... my hubby says it's not fair because I used auto correct. Hmmm. I'm not sure I'm convinced ... but ... it could be true! Thanks again for making our photo competition so much fun. Without you ... it would be meaningless!!

    Sending hugs ... k&j
    Read more

  • Day565

    Today's the day! We started out only a few kilometres from the border and were excited about crossing over to begin our Spanish adventure! Spain is the 13th country we'll explore on our 5 year tour.

    Will had been a legend and done the majority of driving from the UK because Vicky had been layed low by a bug. However she was feeling better now, so he was able to indulge in the glorious coast road views. We were grateful there weren't many other vehicles on the road because it meant we could take our time without holding anybody up. We didn't want to risk misjudging any of the hairpins, given the precipitous drops on the other side of the low wall!

    Our first indication of the border was a ramshackle checkpoint covered in graffiti. Instructions to 'STOP' were still painted on to the road but there weren't any officials so we sailed through and the road changed from the D914 to the N-260! As we passed the official border sign the sun was shining brightly on the Mediterranean and down the terraced slopes of a deep cove was the small town of Portbou and it's port, where we planned to spend the next 2 nights.

    Descending gingerly, Vicky drove in the middle of the road where she could see far enough ahead. The lanes were narrow and once in Portbou itself, we needed to look out for overhanging trees and balconies. There had been a sign for campervan services upon entering the town but we found ourselves leaving without having seen any further indications of where it was. Satia Sat Nav still seemed to think we could get there by climbing the hill opposite and proudly announced that we had arrived at our destination... 100m above the harbour; erm, no Satia, not quite!

    Doing a 3 point turn in a layby we approached Portbou from the opposite direction, this time with Will navigating using Maps.Me. Vicky was more than dubious when he asked her to drive down a long single track road to the port, but sure enough, as we approached the marina there was a sign for an aire!

    A friendly guy with dark hair and olive coloured skin called out 'hola!', asked if we were French then told us in English to get parked up and come along to the office. He met us with a form (in English), the code for the toilets and wifi password. We filled the form in for 2 nights and passed it to the receptionist along with €15.

    After Will had done some fishing it was time for lunch so we walked into town. A grey, smooth pebble beach curved round, bordered by a raised, crescent shaped promenade. A few seafront restaurants were open but didn't seem to have much life to them. Will made a beeline down a side street and chose Hostal Juventus, a small bar that was full of locals. The single room was long with rich yellow walls and dark wood. There was a lively and warm atmosphere with groups of friends sat at tables or propped at the bar. We were quickly seated at a table for 2 and all the hours Will had spent learning Spanish on Duolingo began to pay off when he successfully ordered us beers and the tapas menu for two. As more and more plates were delivered to our table, more and more people spilled in through the door and the noise level rose. We ate slices of a typical Spanish tortilla (potato omlette), fried potatoes, cheesy croquets, baguette slices, anchovies, a selection of small fish in light batter and roasted mussels while the convivial local banter roared. It was a perfect first meal in Spain and only cost €26 in total!

    The noise followed us as we spilled out on to the street and went to explore Portbou. Away from Hostel Juventus and a few other eateries, the place was quiet and many shops closed. Graffiti decorated several spaces and there was a neglected feel, with plaster flaking from buildings and bricks crumbling. The architecture was distinctive, with a colourful eccentricity to it. Climbing steep stairs to the strikng carved stone church, we had a view over terracota tiles and shabby flat rooftops, past washing hanging out of windows to the sea below. We felt invigorated to be surrounded by so much that was new and to be at the beginning of a journey in which we hope to experience and learn so much.

    Day 2
    The temperatures had slowly climbed as we progressed further south and yesterday had reached a toasty 13°C. It has certainly eased the pressure of keeping the van warm and topped up with LPG. Overnight a hard rain came, the precipitation persisted on and off all day but we made it out with our umbrellas. Finding a signpost for a hill walk of 1.6km we slipped through a back alley, over a low brick wall and up a steep winding path littered with loose stones. It took us past prickly pears, gorse, and some flowering cherries, but much of the land was bare brown earth. The rest of our time was spent on rainy day activities, like making use of the wifi and showers on site, catching up with family and cleaning. Will did some homemade taglietelli and Vicky made her pesto sauce. It was grounding just to stop and take stock, thinking about the experiences we'd already had and what might lie ahead of us.
    Read more

  • Day569

    Setting off later than usual because of our cycle to Cap de Creus, we headed back off the most easterly peninsula in Spain and towards the town of Figueres ('fig tree' in Catalan). There are relatively few LPG stations in Spain so we were happy to be able to top up at one we'd found on MyLPG.eu.

    Aside from LPG, the town's other attraction was the Teatre-Museu Dalì. The artist, who was was born and raised here, created a showcase for his works in the old municipal theatre, which is now classed as the largest surrealist object in the world. Well, there was no mistaking it on the approach! A pink, castlated building, whose walls were dotted with plaster croissants and topped with giant eggs and spheres, it certainly stood out. The building itself, inside and out, was Dalì's art, as well as being a showcase for it.

    The collections were eclectic and prolific. Many were surreal but some were classic portraits, especially of Dalì's wife and muse Gala. There was interactive art such as the Taxi Plujós (Rainy Taxi), that required €1 in a slot for the interior of the full sized Cadillac to light up and 'rain' to pour down on its occupants. Paintings and structures covered the walls, floors and ceilings, we got to climb stairs to stand under a model giraffe and look down on a room in which the objects had been arranged to resemble the face of Marilyn Monroe. Whereas Vicky didn't like a few of the paintings in frames, we both really enjoyed the overall experience and would definitely recommend it.

    Park4Night had once again come up trumps and we were able to park in a free gravel car park 1km away, beside Castell de Sant Ferran. We had initially planned to move on to another overnight spot, but it had been a long day and by the time we got back to the van we had decided to stay put. It was quiet enough and had grass and picnic tables nearby.
    Read more

  • Day568

    Cap de Creus

    January 15 in Spain

    Leaving our harbour aire in Portbou we carefully wound our way up and down the mountain roads until they eventually flattened out and we were in a giant bowl of a valley, with mountains rising all around the vast, flat plain.

    One of the things we (especially Will) likes to do in different countries is to visit their supermarkets and see what products are in demand locally. The Spar we dropped in to offered a great range of olive oil and olives. They were particularly keen on stuffing anchovies into the latter. Other things that stood out were large packs of sunflower seeds in their shells and a great display of legs of ham or jamón.

    On the way out of Spar we visited a wine shop to have a nosey at what types were available and their prices. They had tapped barrels from which you could fill your own container, so after we'd put the shopping away we returned with a 1 litre plastic bottle that had contained orange and mango juice. Will had fun repurposing it to hold a different kind of 'fruit juice'!

    It was a clear day and we were suprised by the heat; when having lunch, our outside thermometer read 19°C in full sun! Continuing on, we saw a sign for Cap de Creus (Cape of the Crosses). We'd read that it was the most Easterly peninsula on the Spanish mainland and had a 'wild and rugged beauty', so we decided to go. It was 30km away and we were running low on fuel, so stopped in at the town of Cadaques to fill up. Several Catalonian and 'Sì' flags flew and a white wall was painted with the word 'independencia'. At one roundabout at the end of the main street was a "Guanyarem la llibertat" (gain freedom) banner. Yellow ribbons, a symbol of solidarity with the jailed Catalonian politicians, were fluttering from olive trees and railings.

    The streets were narrow and there were a few 'no motorhome' signs. Climbing out of the residential area we had expected to be able to continue on towards the Cape, but soon after reaching the rural road we were stopped by one such sign. Retracing our steps we returned to a patch of scrubland with one other van on it and parked up for the night. It was over 6km to the end of the peninsula so we decided to take the bike.

    There wasn't enough time for the trip that afternoon so we walked to a nearby beach at Port Lligat instead. Will took his wetsuit and snorkelling gear; he wanted to try out the neoprene hood he'd been given for Christmas. The afternoon was so warm Vicky tied her jumper round her waist as we walked. The beach was stoney to start with but had soft sand once you stepped over the dried weed and reached the waterline. It was shallow and protected from the wind and waves by a couple of small islands. The water was cold but Will really enjoyed his first snorkle of 2018. Thanks to the hood he was able to stay in for a good length of time. Vicky strolled around the bay to the small stone pier where she found dried flowers hanging from metal poles. A house in the quaint, unassuming, whitewashed village was once home to Salvador Dalì and his wife Gala. A few boats bobbed gently in the water, but most were hauled up above the tide line. While Will swam, Vicky went for a paddle and barefoot exploration of the rocks that formed the edge of the cove. Despite it being a nature reserve, there wasn't much wildlife, but Will did see two octopus tentacles protruding from underneath a rock. Apparently the Mediterranean coast of Spain has been massively over fished.

    The following morning was again sunny and warm. Will gave the tandem a last squirt of oil and off we went towards Cap de Creus; the most easterly point in mainland Spain. Knowing the road was hilly, we never expected to be able to cycle it all. We dismounted and pushed when the inclines became too steep, but were able to freewheel downhill. It was tiring but the scenery was amazing. In the distance were the majestic Pyrenees, some of them snow capped, the land was rocky, untamed and covered in cacti, sage, flowering rosemary and juniper bushes with the biggest berries we have ever seen. Early on we passed olive plantations and as the road wound its way round raised outcrops, it revealed previously hidden bays of sparkling blue and turquoise sea.

    After more than an hour we saw the lighthouse that marked the end of the road. We needed to leave the bike on the steep approach because signs prohibited pedestrians from going any further and there was no way we were going to be able to cycle up. Instead we climbed the switchback stone path that lead up the mound on which the lighthouse was perched. Reaching the top plateau we could see 270° of the Mediterranean Sea! Rocky fingers extended further out, but we were conscious that it was hot and would take us some time to get back to Poppy, so we sat in the shade and enjoyed our snacks and water. 3 hours after setting off, we gratefully gulped back some low alcohol beers from the freezer in the van and tucked into lunch. It was bizzare to think that less than a week ago we were waking up to snow!

    Despite our initial dissapointment of not being able to drive to the Cape, we really enjoyed and felt a sense of achievement cycling / walking. It was great to be under our own steam in such a beautiful landscape. The moral we have taken from this, is that with setbacks, often come opportunities.
    Read more

  • Day575

    Tamariu, Costa Brava

    January 22 in Spain

    Our journey today took us along the Costa Brava. Much of it was spent zig zagging our way up and down steep cliffs on narrow roads. The slopes were tree covered, the evergreen foliage providing what we imagine to be much needed shade in summer. Being amongst the woods we couldn't see very far, but caught occasional glimpses of seaside villages, their whitewashed houses with terracotta rooftops clustered into mini bays with steeply rising sides. Sa Tuna was one such town that we dived down into for lunch. It had limited public parking but there were only a few cars so plenty of it was free. Walking the short distance to the sand and pebble beach, virtually enclosed by sandstone rocks, we noticed details on the buildings, such as the rich green glazed ceramic drainpipes and tiles with street names or paintings, set into walls. Sa Tuna was undeniably a very well presented village but it was very much a tourist resort and consequently the streets were empty and there was no life to the place at this time of year. The few locals we saw were laying crab pots and renovating holiday apartments. As tourists ourselves, we can't really criticise, but we wonder how these residents feel about their former fishing villages becoming seasonal tourist meccas, their beautiful houses standing empty at times like this.

    The beach was gorgeous, Vicky sat on the pebbles and Will perched on the raised crazy paving walkway to one side. The sun was out and the rocks were absorbing and radiating the heat nicely. Although the blue water looked inviting, the swell was large and when we looked closer, the breaking waves seemed a little cloudy. Further out there was some brown scum which managed to put Will off snorkling!

    After lunch we moved on to Tamariu, a similar village whose beach had more sand and fewer pebbles than Sa Tuna. We managed to find a car park of grass and sand hidden away amongst trees on the hillside about half a kilometre from the centre. There was nobody else parked and we doubted anybody was currently in the few villas that we could see. Stepping out, the place smelled of pine and lush grass, something we'd missed in many of the parched Spanish stopovers. We really appreciate all the free facilities that towns have provided but it felt so good to be somewhere that was a little more secluded. The three of us sat out with a drink. At 15°C it wasn't t-shirt weather but it was great to relax in the fresh air somewhere that Poppy was comfortable enough to curl up on her rug and snore contentedly.

    Will popped down to the village in search of a local shop. He found 3 supermarkets and a bakers. All of them were closed but the 3 estate agents were open. He had planned to spend something in the region of €7.50 on bread and fruit, not €750,000 on a luxury villa, so returned empty handed!

    The next day brought glorious sunshine. Vicky again sat out with Poppy and recharged her vitamin D while the solar panel recharged the van batteries. She caught up with her sewing pile while Will walked the 600m to the beach for a snorkle. As well as his neoprene hood he'd got for Christmas, he now had neoprene gloves that Vicky had given him for his birthday. The water may have been cold but he was well insulated and able to enjoy watching the plethora of fish he found in the transparent waters.

    The sky remained clear as darkness fell and with a waxing crescent moon, we were able to see a whole lot of stars dotting the sky above the tree line. Orion rose directly above the van and we had fun playing with the long exposure settings on the GoPro to take photos of the scene.
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Província de Girona, Provincia de Girona, Provinz Girona, Girona, Chirona, Xerona, Gerona, Province de Gérone, Xirona, ジローナ(ヘローナ), Gerunda

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now