Thursday, January 30, 2014

Showing off favourite places and making new discoveries

Last week we were busy taking friends around some of our favourite places: Cadaques, Cap de Creus, the Greek and Roman ruins at Empuries, Figueres market, the Dali museum, the San Pere de Rodes monastery and the lovely 'Venice of Catalunya', Empuriabrava. We enjoyed fairly warm, sunny days and only a little wind. Unfortunately, we both ended up with horrible colds. Sadly, we had run out of Cold FX.

We had planned on spending my birthday week exploring new sites, but decided to stay a little closer to home until we started feeling better. Tuesday we returned to Empuriabrava for a birthday lunch at Blue Sky, our favourite restaurant. I started with melt-in-your-mouth tuna carpaccio with wasabi and chicken with the lightest Gorgonzola sauce and little shapes of mmmm, mmmm good mashed potatoes. Comfort food. We both finished with home made coconut ice cream with strawberries and kiwi. It will be our last meal at Blue Sky for two months, until they finish renovating their new location on the waterfront.

Today we headed inland to the village of Sant Pau. We stopped for lunch along the way, in Besalu, where we were fortunate to find a restaurant right away. For 9€ we had a good buffet meal. I had lots of salad, lovely rabbit and a baked apple. What good value for money.

Back on the road it didn't take long to find Sant Pau, located in The Natural Park of the Volcanic Area. Our first view was of the 13th Century castle at the centre of the village, original walls and adjacent houses still in place. We took a walk through the narrow streets of the town ending up in the oldest part. People still live in these ancient buildings as we could tell from the laundry hanging from balconies. In the medieval square with its many arches we admired the gothic church of Santa Maria.

By now it was turning much cooler. We decided to return another day as there is lots to explore in this fascinating region. In particular, we want to take the 45-minute hike into the core of the nearby Santa Margarida volcano.

This is a beautiful area, surrounded by mountains, green fields, bright yellow mimosa in bloom and lots of blossoms just coming out. We are going to return soon. I think this just may be added to our tourist route.

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