Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Palafrugell's magical coast
It was another beautiful day and time to escape the tranquility of the Port. We headed down the autopiste towards Palafrugell in the Baix Emporda or lower Emporda, still in Catalunya. We left the highway and headed through fairly flat land with a mixture of farming and industry. Begur and several small towns were filled with many shops selling ceramics. We passed several ceramic factories and one that looked like something out of the industrial age, with its huge brick smokestacks. It is now a ceramics museum that is probably worth visiting at another time.
Finally, we reached Palafrugell and followed signs to the beaches. We drove through areas with low rise apartments with lots of bright flowers to arrive in Calella de Palafrugell. After walking down a narrow path we were on the ronda, a walking path that goes along the coast right by the beach. There were lots of people enjoying swimming in the sea and lying on the lovely, sandy beach. For us it was lunch time and here was an interesting restaurant, Tragamar. You could just tell by the menu that you wanted to eat here. Luckily, we got the last table outside, probably because no one wanted to sit in the hot, hot sun. Lunch was half a bottle of rosat and sardines grilled in oil, garlic and parsley to crispy perfection served with pan tomat, which is toasted pieces of baguette with fresh tomato rubbed in the bread. Simple and so, so good. Followed by an espresso, it made for a perfect meal.
Afterwards we had a walk along the ronda admiring the beautiful views over the rocks out to the Sea. We passed many beautiful summer homes, wound our way through some woods to look over the long beach at Llafranc. All the sandy beaches were surrounded by rocky outcrops enclosing beautiful Mediterranean blue water. At that point we returned to the car because we wanted to visit several beaches on the coast. We drove through Llafranc, since parking wasn't readily available, to Tamariu. We stopped here and had a little wander on the beach and then decided to sit down on an adjacent bench. It must be school holidays in England because there were a number of English families enjoying the sunshine and one lovely, shaggy Irish Wolfhound.
We continued in the car again always climbing back to the main road passing lovely homes and then descending to the beaches. It reminded us of the Amalfi coast south of Sorrento. Finally, we ended up in a tuna port where the local llauds, small fishing boats, were lined up on rollers on land. They must be rolled out to sea to fish in a fleet.
Finally, we drove back to Begur passing many Catalunyan independence flags, much more than we are used to seeing. We had passed signs in English and Catalan, "Catalunya, the next European country" and "Catalunya is not part of Spain." This should make for very interesting elections in November.
It was a lovely day but the drive from Begur to the autopiste is quite uninspiring. However, this area might provide a really special overnight getaway.