We take a pause to our normal posting order so we may share with you something we had not planned on doing...
While we were visiting Normandy, we met a couple from the Costa Brava, on the coast of Spain just north of Barcelona and part of the Catalonian region. They were staying at the same bed and breakfast we were and had breakfast with us on two occasions. Now, we speak very limited Spanish and they speak limited English and mostly use Catalan, and Catalan is not always similar to Spanish. Let’s just say, we were all doing the best we could to communicate and use our trusty Google Translate on our cell phones. On the second morning of breakfast, Antoni and Teresa invited us to visit them in Costa Brava. At that point, we had not booked any further travels beyond 3 nights in Barcelona. After much communication and making sure we all understood, we accepted their invitation. We said our adios after double cheek kissing and left them to continue their travels in France. That was 23 August.
On 20 September, Antoni and Teresa drove from Palamós to Barcelona (90-minutes) and met us at our hotel with their lovely daughter Rachel. They drove us to their summer apartment outside of Palamós in La Fosca. Their casa (home) is just a few miles away in Palamós. The 2-bedroom apartment was lovely - and they even left us one of their cars to drive while we were visiting!
While in La Fosca, we immediately began to unwind and relax. The area was so beautiful, the water as clear as glass and warm enough to swim in (73 degrees F), and the weather was a very pleasant 70 degrees F. We were able to hike on the coast trails that go for miles, I was able to enjoy a run, and we hit the beach and bobbed away any travel stress we may have been feeling – all within minutes of our apartment. There was even a panadería (bakery) a short walk away so D didn’t have to worry about croissant withdrawal, although he did find something different called a Xu Xu (sounds like shoe-shoe) filled with vanilla pudding heaven.
One evening we all enjoyed a paseo (evening stroll) along the water and into the town of Palamós. We met up with their daughter Raquel and her boyfriend Paul, and enjoyed a dinner of pinchos/tapas (small bites/plates). The next night we were invited to their home where we had typical foods of Catalonia with pan con tomate (bread with tomato), cured meats, manchego cheese with quince jelly, gambas (fresh prawns) and escamarla (crayfish) along with red wine (vino tinto) and cava (sparkling white). The cava went well with our dessert of apple tart, vanilla ice-cream, and cigarillo cookies.
The following day was a Saturday and Antoni and Teresa spoiled us even more by taking us on an afternoon outing to explore the area and have lunch. We walked then dined in the medieval town of Peratallada and had the Catalonian version of paella. Then we drove to the seaside town of Llafranc and walked the coastal path to the next beach and village of Calella de Palafrugell. We ended our outing with a drive up to the lighthouse at Sant Sebastiá.
Antoni and Teresa wanted us to experience their Costa Brava, and because of their generous hospitality, we did! You just never know what’s going to happen when you strike up a conversation with or without Google translate! We can’t thank our new friends enough for the gift of the Costa Brava they have given us, and hope someday we may return the gesture – that is, when we have a home again! Or perhaps they will visit us somewhere in the world and stay as our guests. Wherever our travels take us, we know we’ll always have friends in Costa Brava.
On 24 September, we were taken back to Barcelona for a one night stay near the train station. The following day we boarded the train for 8 nights in Madrid. In our upcoming post, we will resume our 2017 travel route where we left you at Mont Ste. Michele in France and will share our stay in the Loire Valley. Until then...
Thanks for joining our journey.