March 28 Calella de Palafrugell --> Llafranc

We were up at 7:00. The morning was warm and sunny, grey and white clouds hovered against blue, and the breeze, gentle and warm, carried the scent of pine. We had a relaxed breakfast before showering and heading off to walk the coastline between Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc. Both Kate (our GPS) and the map of local walks provided by the campsite proved woefully inadequate to finding the start of our walk. It did however, lead us through an interesting mix of rural, urban, and residential landscapes. We found our way out to Les Jardi Botanic de Cap Roig but could not find acess to a coastal walk so we returned to town and just headed downhill towards the water. The streets became narrow, often as much promenade as street. We found ourselves amidst delivery vans, workmen, strollers, and at one point surrounded by the tables and chairs of al fresco restaurant seating. Eventually we found a public parking lot not far from the water. What a contrast to blue collar l'Estartit! This stretch of once rugged coast has been tamed and civilized by money. There is no hint of rampant development, glitz, amusement parks, or middle class entertainment, just a well healed sophistication, a subdued sense of exclusivity, and of manicured nature. There was no sign of hard times. Elegant villas perched on the headlands, the sun danced on the waves and shattered with them on the rocks, upscale restaurants lined beach walks along the pocket coves of light ochre sand and turquoise waters. Majestic wind trained pines perched and clung to the headlands not occupied by stately homes, and workers wearing blue and white striped shirts swept and tended the grounds of the private estates. We had been expecting a somewhat wilder landscape but the coast walk between the villages of Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc turned out to be a well tended, landscaped, terraced walkway edged with pines, cactus, and native flowers. It was lovely but hardly wild. Feeling more than a little peckish, we investigated several restaurants (many were closed) and their menus. While checking one menu, a waiter handed us English menus and invited us to shelter out of the wind but with a nice view of beach and people passing by. We accepted and stopped for a 1:30 lunch (early by Spanish standards) of potato with aioli and hot sauce; goat cheese salad with garlic honey, apples, raisins, and walnuts; fried baccalau (cod) with fresh onion, lettuce, cucumber and olives; and a 3/8 bottle of nice but not wonderful local Rioja, followed by cafe Americano and cheese curd with honey and walnuts. There is of course a problem with these leisurely, seaside, Spanish lunches, our intentions to investigate a village noted for its ceramics and then head inland to Olot for the follow-up exam of my shoulder evaporated in the sun and fresh sea air. After lunch, we returned to our campsite of the night before and indulged in the increasingly appealing Spanish institution of siesta. I will see el médico mañana.
Calella de Palafrugell Calella de Palafrugell Calella de Palafrugell
A Sense of Place:  Travel, Photography, and Photo-art
by David E. Moon
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved
Slideshow Slideshow Route Map Route Map

March 28 Calella de Palafrugell -->

Llafranc

We were up at 7:00. The morning was warm and sunny, grey and white clouds hovered against blue, and the breeze, gentle and warm, carried the scent of pine. We had a relaxed breakfast before showering and heading off to walk the coastline between Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc. Both Kate (our GPS) and the map of local walks provided by the campsite proved woefully inadequate to finding the start of our walk. It did however, lead us through an interesting mix of rural, urban, and residential landscapes. We found our way out to Les Jardi Botanic de Cap Roig but could not find acess to a coastal walk so we returned to town and just headed downhill towards the water. The streets became narrow, often as much promenade as street. We found ourselves amidst delivery vans, workmen, strollers, and at one point surrounded by the tables and chairs of al fresco restaurant seating. Eventually we found a public parking lot not far from the water. What a contrast to blue collar l'Estartit! This stretch of once rugged coast has been tamed and civilized by money. There is no hint of rampant development, glitz, amusement parks, or middle class entertainment, just a well healed sophistication, a subdued sense of exclusivity, and of manicured nature. There was no sign of hard times. Elegant villas perched on the headlands, the sun danced on the waves and shattered with them on the rocks, upscale restaurants lined beach walks along the pocket coves of light ochre sand and turquoise waters. Majestic wind trained pines perched and clung to the headlands not occupied by stately homes, and workers wearing blue and white striped shirts swept and tended the grounds of the private estates. We had been expecting a somewhat wilder landscape but the coast walk between the villages of Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc turned out to be a well tended, landscaped, terraced walkway edged with pines, cactus, and native flowers. It was lovely but hardly wild. Feeling more than a little peckish, we investigated several restaurants (many were closed) and their menus. While checking one menu, a waiter handed us English menus and invited us to shelter out of the wind but with a nice view of beach and people passing by. We accepted and stopped for a 1:30 lunch (early by Spanish standards) of potato with aioli and hot sauce; goat cheese salad with garlic honey, apples, raisins, and walnuts; fried baccalau (cod) with fresh onion, lettuce, cucumber and olives; and a 3/8 bottle of nice but not wonderful local Rioja, followed by cafe Americano and cheese curd with honey and walnuts. There is of course a problem with these leisurely, seaside, Spanish lunches, our intentions to investigate a village noted for its ceramics and then head inland to Olot for the follow-up exam of my shoulder evaporated in the sun and fresh sea air. After lunch, we returned to our campsite of the night before and indulged in the increasingly appealing Spanish institution of siesta. I will see el médico mañana.
Calella de Palafrugell Calella de Palafrugell Calella de Palafrugell
A Sense of Place:  Travel, Photography, and Photo-art
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved
Slideshow Slideshow Route Map Route Map