Wednesday, March 7, 2012


With gale force winds visiting us once again we decided to visit L'Estartit, further south on the coast, where there was a chance of it being less windy. We drove through a mostly flat landscape dotted with farms. We saw many fields of  tall, skinny vines, which had rolled up nets over them. I'm not sure what they were as they were too skinny to be grape vines.

Finally, we came to the outskirts of L'Estartit, first passing some go-kart tracks and then, dotted between old mas or farms, some very ugly and charmless  tenements. Once in L'Estartit the houses, set against the backdrop of a massive rock-face, looked more like what you might expect to find in what was once a fishing village. It seems that the big housing boom that hit Spain in the 80s and 90s came here in the form of the aesthetically displeasing apartments built in a wasteland.

Here it seemed that unfinished buildings and roads were just a little more prominent than in our neighbourhood. In our village everyone, especially the businesses are fastidious about painting, cleaning, repairing and putting in new windows.

We drove along the sea front, a marina on one side and a strip of restaurants on the other. It was after two now, so time for lunch. We found a spot called Casi, Casi which we eventually entered after some comic misreading of the sign on the door. The sign had an arrow which we interpreted as meaning "entrance to the left" but after walking around the whole building found no other entrance. With a massive reapplication of our linguistic skills we determined that the sign really meant "slide the door to the left!"

But our determination paid off and we were both soon enjoying sole, baby squids and chips all for 9€. This, accompanied by half a litre of the house red, made for a very nice lunch. After lunch we explored the town a little further and eventually found ourselves at the bottom of stone steps that appeared to lead into some hillside apartments. But in fact they lead us to a cliff-top park with a beautiful view of the Medes, a group of rocky islands offshore, a protected home for many seabirds. 

I'm glad that we visited here in the winter months as this, in my book, is definitely a place to avoid in the summer. Uncontrolled growth has sadly marred a once charming fishing village.

On the way home we stopped at what looked like a store selling Reeboks only to find that it was out of business. We did pop in the Lidl supermarket next door. If you are a regular reader you will probably know by now that every supermarket will carry some items  that you can't seem to find anywhere else. This one for example had an excellent selection of frozen fruit. All supermarkets, even small ones, have aisles of wine and liquor. Perhaps that's why they don't have room for everything. After a successful shop it was home to contemplate this evening's Catalan class.

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