In between our visit to Dali’s Theatre Museum, we made a short trip to Costa Brava, the beautiful coastline that graces north eastern Spain.
While the weather mightn’t have been ideal, our first stop in the small coastal village of Calella de Palafrugell was beautiful. There might not have been much of a beach, however the coastline and the water was more than enough to make up for it. Also, the colourful buildings that were squeezed up to make the most of every bit of coast should be an eyesore, but somehow they added to the charm and appeal – your mileage may vary.
We headed a little further north, traversing the stunning coastline, passing many a secluded cove and quiet village until we arrived at the slightly larger town of Begur. It was another beautiful coastal town, with old churches, narrow winding alleys, and above it all, the imposing Begur Castle.
It wasn’t too much further on our drive north that we came across another imposing castle sitting on top of a barren hillside, almost mocking me to come and climb to get a closer look – if only I had enough daylight left in the day. A little research later on and I learnt that it was the Montgri Castle, which was built 700 years ago!
The following day, after opening our minds at the Dali Theatre Museum, we once again headed towards the coast, to another town with a Dali connection – Cadaques, where Dali lived for many years. As we drove through the twisting roads that wound through the hills to the coast, through the dry and rocky plots of land with their olive trees and walls made from centuries of labour and construction, we could see the white buildings of Cadaques.
The town was much busier and more developed (for tourism) than any we’d been to previously on the coast, with shops and cafes catered to Spanish tourists. That’s not to say that it was anything short of pleasant to wander through the twisted alleys as we attempted to make our way towards the coast – easier said than done, I assure you. But, the reward justified the effort, as we were treated to another calm and sunny Mediterranean scene. Being budget conscious, we skipped the cafes and settled for (yet another) jamon baguette, under the watchful gaze of the fantastic Dali statue, hiding in the scarce amount of shade available.
We’d heard from some friends of my brother about Cap de Creus, the eastern most point of Spain. The cape was described as rocky and barren, but also as stunning, with beautiful coves for swimming in. It was a short drive from Cadaques, down more twisting and hilly roads. The scenery was getting more and more barren, and then we got glimpses again of the coastline. The road eventually ended at the foot of a large lighthouse, complete with an Indian restaurant in the base.
We grabbed our walking shoes, a towel and our swimwear and made our way on foot to the cape. The trail started out clearly, however it quickly deteriorated into the occasional marker on bare rock, which wasn’t a problem as it was quite clear where we had to finish.
The weather was starting to turn, and even though we’d missed out on a swim at the cape, we made our way back to the rental car – this time we tried to follow the trails, and ended up far more lost and uncertain of where we were headed, which only I found amusing.
We hopped in the car and returned to spend another night in Figures, fortunately catching the beginning of a sunset over the old town in Cadaques as we passed back through. We’d hoped to make it further into the Pyrenees tonight, but we’d left it a little late.
It is definitely the kind of place where one could spend a few lazy days passing time soaking the warmth and unwinding with a book. It wasn’t as stunning as some of the places we visited in Turkey (like the stunning Kaputas), but the town had a much nicer feel to it than places like Bodrum or Alanya.