The fishing villages Llafranc and Calella de Palafrugell

19th and 20th of February, 2019

This Tuesday is a bit cloudy, so I decide to pay a last visit to Pals and some coastal towns on the northern side. In Pals I discover hidden corners where I have never been before.

It’s not great weather for pictures, until I arrive for a late lunch in Estartit, where I can catch the sunset over the small harbour and the lighthouse on the Islas Medas. Estartit has also changed completely and it takes a while before I can find the old centre, with the small streets and tiny stores. A nice change is the walkway along the rocky shore, but in summer it must be crazy busy here with all the tourists.

I finally find the (closed) restaurant, where we used to spend many great evenings. The owner behind the piano and his son playing the drums and we danced until the late hours, after our wonderful supper. The name of the restaurant annex bar is still the same (Eden Bar and Restaurant) and when I look through the window, I realize nothing has changed inside. The piano is still there and the bar is on the same spot. If I close my eyes, I can see my father and me dancing together. Very good memories indeed……..

My last day will be a day of hiking along the coast. I start at Llafranc, a lovely fishing village, and walk via de Camí de Ronda all the way up to the 19th-century lighthouse at Sant Sebastià. From here you have a view over the coast of the Costa Brava and the hinterland. There are also some ancient Iberian remains to visit. From Llafranc there is a path along the cliffs to Tamariú. I decide to go back, as I still want to visit Calella. While walking, I am impressed with the lovely views from all around. Very carefully, the sun is coming out and I grab my camera for some last pictures of the harbour below.

It is possible to go to Calella de Palafrugell by foot, along the Aleppo pine-dotted coastline. I decide to take the car, as I want to visit Cap Roig first, known for its beautiful botanical gardens. Once I arrive high above the village of Calella, I notice the gardens are only open during the weekends! Too bad, so I drive all the way down to the centre of the village and park my car in one of the side streets. By now the sky is completely blue and the air is warming up. Although Calella also grew way too big, with too many holiday apartments, the beaches are still pristine and the fishing cottages and renovated mansions are a delight!

I treat myself on a light lunch right at the beach. Most visitors this time of the year are Spanish tourists and people from Catalunya, who come for lunch to this well-known beach town. While having my salad and sipping my wine, I dig deep in my memories…….Once we went on a warm evening in July to Calella to enjoy the Havaneres, the ‘Sea Shanties’. All visitors were sitting on the beach, while a big group of men were standing in a fishing boat, singing songs with amazing voices. We enjoyed that evening so much. It seems that nowadays, the inhabitants of Calella leave their own town on those evenings, as it is packed with people from Barcelona. They even are building stages and come with television crews!!! So glad we witnessed those performances in former times…….

After lunch, I walk up the cliffs to get some nice shots. Calella de Palafrugell is divided into a few small beaches and thanks to the walkways along the shore, you get a fabulous overview.

Tomorrow I will fly back to The Netherlands, so it is time to say goodbye to the Costa Brava. It is also time to say goodbye to my dad and I promise to return one day with my children.

 

Monday market in Torroella de Montgrí and lunch in ancient Peratallada

18th of February, 2019

Torroella de Montgrí is a culture town, with regular musical performances, expositions in the church and three museums to visit. It is situated on the foot of the Montgrí, a mountain with the remains of a castle and seen from a far distance.

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It is a very lively town, although there are not any specific spectacular buildings present, except for the church and the museum Palau Solterra, a 15th century palace.P1050445

We used to go on Monday morning to the market. Not only to buy the fresh produce, the tasty olives and cheeses, but above all to have a coffee on the placa (plaza). There is only one cafeteria and I still remember the old man, who owned the café a 30 years ago. He always had a big smile for me, when he noticed I arrived again for the holidays. After he died, the café was not the same for me anymore, although his sons took over. On occasions we went on special summer evenings to the intimate plaza, where we joined (after invitation) the Sardana dancing, the typical Catalonian dance, symbol for national unity and identity. The café served Cremat, a Catalan alcoholic cocktail, made with rum, sugar, cinnamon, lemon peel and coffee, prepared in huge terracotta bowls. The lights were dimmed and candles were burning and I still feel the atmosphere of the small idyllic plaza.

 

On my way back ‘home’, I decide to go for lunch in Peratallada. Like Pals, this very small and authentic town, with only around 250 inhabitants, is considerably renovated. The castle is dating back to the 10th century and the church of Sant Esteve to the 13th century. The name of the village is derived from ‘pedra tallada’ or ‘cut stone’. In the summer various restaurants, galleries and even some small hotels are catering the many tourists. Still, people often forget to visit beautiful Peratallada, as it lies off the main road. Now in February, I am surprised that a few restaurants still have their doors open. I decide to have a late lunch in El Borinot, a cute and tiny place under the arches. A nice way to end another great day!

 

The change of Palamos into a big coastal town……

16th and 17th of February, 2019

Today is time to visit Palamos. The first thing I notice is the change of the roads. While driving towards Palafrugell, the road becomes a highway with a speedlimit of 100 km. Wow, that was different 20 years ago! Also, there is Palafrugell North and Palafrugell South. What happened to the small market town? In no time I enter Palamos and follow the parking signs to The Playa. I don’t recognize anything anymore. It’s an enormous city in comparison with the small fishing town, tucked away in my brain.

It’s very busy at the playa and all the parking places are taken, so I return to the centre, where I find the very last empty spot. My lucky day again! Once at the harbour, I notice why it is so busy. There is the Optimist International Regatta with 550 participants from 29 nations! Today they have a day off, at least this morning, as there is no wind at all.

Wonderful to see all the small boats on the beach, while their crew is hanging around, waiting for the wind to pick up.

I spent quite a while walking around the different harbours and remember how it was 30 years ago. I realize I am getting old(er). In the far end you see Playa d’Aro and San Feliu, an area I rather avoid these days.

The lively old centre of Palamos is situated a bit higher and more peaceful than down the playa.

By lunchtime I have enough of busy Palamos and drive home. This afternoon, I go hiking in the woods, where we always spent so much time walking our dog………

On Sunday, my goal is Begur and Tamariu. Begur, with the old remains of the castle towering over the town. Definitely worth the small climb, as from there you can see the coastline with the Islas Medas, the Pyrenees, the old town and the lushy back country. It’s very windy today, as most of the days now in February and difficult to make a steady video!

Also Begur is growing, but I do hope that most of the green area is protected and that one day they will stop expanding.

In the old centre, I find an empty place on the best known terrace (Bar de Placa) in town. Right under the bells of the church. Never go and live in Begur, as they cling every 15 minutes very loud!

From Begur you can take a small coastal road to the small fishing village of Tamariu. At least in Tamariu, time stood still. A cozy place with a row of fish restaurants surrounding the beach. All open on this cold, but sunny sunday and while the parents are sipping their wine, the children are having fun on the beach. This reminds me of our life in Greece! We used to spend our Sundays like that. Going with friends to the taverne on the beach and sit there for hours, while our children were keeping themselves occupied.

I choose the restaurant Rodondo for my birthday meal. Finally, I get my favorite dish again; calamares a la plancha! The people next to me have sea-urchins for starters and I ask them if I can make a picture of the dish. Immediately, they shovel one on my plate. I do have to taste it! There is not much meat in it, but the taste is good and the important thing is (according to the guy), that it has the ‘sabor del mar’ (‘taste of the sea’…)

After my lunch I go hiking on the rocky track along the coast. The first part is a bit a challenge and you have to look for the signs red-white, but later it becomes a real path. A nice track with gorgeous view over the coast. Later this week, I hope to start from the other side at Llafranc and Callela de Palafrugell and then visit the lighthouse of San Sebastian.

 

 

Market in La Bisbal and a visit to Pals and Sa Riera

15th of February, 2019

After a very cold night with frost on the ground, I hop in the car and decide to go to the market in La Bisbal d’Empordà. At this time of the morning, you still can find a parking spot. Markets are popular among the Catalans and they start early! La Bisbal d’Empordà is a typical provincial town, very well-known for the ceramics and all kinds of baskets. I notice that the stall with meat and cheeses is still on the same corner as 20 years before. They stick to their place! You can get good bargains here and most people buy for the whole week their fruits and veggies. I just stroll around, get familiar again with the Spanish atmosphere and buy some roses for my father’s grave.

From La Bisbal I return to Pals, park the car in town and walk up towards the cemetery. From now on, I will visit my dad every day of this week, to catch up with him on the stories. A lot has happened over the last 20 years…….

Pals is still Pals, a few stores more and a few less and, very important, more cafeterías! The medieval town has not changed at all and it’s lovely to walk around and admire the view from the old tower.

At the parking I start a conversation with an older guy, who is sitting on a bench. We talk about my economic rental car and I tell him the reason I came back to Pals. Long story short; it turns out he was the gardener of my parents!!! What a coincidence! The next day, I take him to the local café and we talk about the old times.

It’s lunchtime and I drive to Playa de Pals, to see if restaurant Mar Blau still exists. It idoes and as always running the whole year. It has a terrace at the seaside or at the back. There is a cold wind blowing, so I prefer to sit on the secluded terrace. To sit outside again is such a great feeling! I take my favorite avocado-schrimp and sip my white wine. This is holiday!

The beach is wide and empty. After lunch, I go for a walk over the rocky path along the sea, towards Sa Riera. Many times I walked this trail in the past and on some stretches it was not very safe, but it improved a lot. The nude beach is also still there and one person is sunbathing. Thanks to my 60 x zoom camera, I know it is a guy and yes, he is nude!

Sa Riera is empty, nearly all the houses are closed and not even one café open. In the summer these places are crowded with tourists and now I barely see a living soul.

I return my way to Play de Pals, via the tiny streets up and down the hill and arrive just before sunset ‘home’.

 

A pilgrimage to Pals on the Costa Brava, Spain

14th of February, 2019

It has been a long time, maybe 18 years? I remember my parents left The Netherlands when I was 20. They decided to build a house in Spain and they started a new life. I always loved going to Spain. Especially Christmas and New Year, when all the tourists were gone and the air was crispy clear; great for hiking! Sometimes, I met up with friends in wintertime and we were crazy enough to dive into the very cold sea. After my parents passed away, I never went back, due to my own living abroad. Though now, I get a chance to have one week off from work and I give myself a birthday present; a flight with Ryanair to Girona, a small rental car with Firefly and a cute apartment in the countryside of Masos de Pals.

This will be my pilgrimage, my ‘peregrinaje’. I am excited to go back and hope to find my way again in the villages and on the coastal roads. My plan is to go back to all the favorite places and write about them on my blog. It will be a busy week!

This is also my first time flying from Eindhoven and my first time flying with Ryanair. Everything goes smooth, although I am way too early at the airport. There is always the chance you get stuck in the traffic in Holland, even very early in the morning! My car is conveniently parked at Eazzypark (58 euro’s a week) opposite the entrance of the airport building.

After hopping on small planes in countries like Cuba, Costa Rica, Ecuador or Mexico, Ryanair is not bad at all. The landing could have been way smoother, but hey, who cares? Only the baby in front of me!!!

I arranged the car rental ahead of time and took full coverage, out of safety reasons. I am satisfied with the price; 78 euro’s for a week.

Girona airport is simple and quick. Luggage was there in no time and within 30 minutes, I was on the (wrong) road to Pals….. I printed a description of the numbers of the road, but driving and reading is not working. There are immediately many roundabouts, while leaving Girona, and you need to focus on AP-7 Girona/Francia and NOT Barcelona. Too late, I did go to Barcelona and before you get an opportunity to return, well, that takes some miles!!! Once back on the right track, I realized I had to take a small stretch of tollway. I check the button to open the window, but there is no button. Where on earth is that button? I can’t stop in the middle of the highway. Panic, as I know I have to open the window for the machine at the toll post. While driving I push all the buttons I can reach and hope nothing weird is going to happen. Finally, I find them in the centre of the dashboard (what a weird place). Just on time!

In France it was never a problem, but here I find myself suddenly in the lane of the VIA-T people, who pay automatically. I only found out when no ticket came out of the machine and the guy behind me started making funny gestures. O.K, calm down, I go in reverse and try the right lane, pfffffff………

Funny enough, after leaving the tollway, I don’t have to pay anything. All the effort for nothing…..

I relax and drive without any other issues straight to my apartment in Masos de Pals, where the view stretches over the fields, with the mountain range of the Pyrenees on the horizon. It feels like coming home; the intense blue skies and the cold wind of february are embracing me…….

 

 

Discovering another side of Valencia, Spain

January, 2016

In February 2015, I just got a glimpse of Valencia, during a one day trip from Pedreguer. This time, on my way back to the Netherlands, I get the opportunity to stay for two whole nights in this very interesting town. Also, I get to witness the celebration of Los Reyes Magos on the 5th of January. This is the arrival of the three Kings, one of the most important festivities in Spain, especially for the children. The 6th is mainly celebrated at home, where the children will open their presents, received from the Kings. On the 5th, it is celebrated with a Cabalgata or a float parade through the town, where sweets are thrown to the children. Later, the children will fill their shoes at home, with straw for the camels to eat.

I arrive on the 4th by train from Xeraco, a small station, with good connection to Valencia. The final station is Valencia North and very convenient right in the centre and close to Ayre Hotel Astoria Palace, a very reasonable priced hotel and situated on a quiet Plaza, right in the centre of town. From here, I can follow the procession on the main street on the 5th.

In the evening I discover an ice skating rink in front of the municipality building and many people are enjoying this possibility to have some holiday fun, with or without their children. The decorations are beautiful, so many lights on the impressive buildings and with so many people out on the streets and the stores and restaurants all open until late, it is a pleasure to walk around. With lots of tapas restaurants in the vicinity, it is fun to go from one place to another and try out where they serve the best chorizo and cheeses. Oh, and wine of course!

The first thing I visit, on the morning of the 5th, is the covered Market Place, where so many different products are for sale and the smell of all the herbs and sausages are such a treat. Surprisingly, there is also a gorgeous display of Bethlehem village, demonstrated at the entrance of the Market and it is full of tiny beautiful figures and animals and endless sceneries. After taking pictures from all different corners, it is time to buy spices for meat and fish and azafran for the paella. If I would live in downtown Valencia, I would be a regular client of this market! DSC04209Like this lady out on the terrace, in front of the market building……

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This time, I also discover a total different Valencia and so worth it!!! The “Jardines del Turia”, which are situated in an old riverbed, which runs 9 km’s through the city! It is one of the largest Urban Parks of Spain. Here, you’ll find footpaths and sport area’s, cycle and runner’s paths, 18 bridges from the 15th, 16th and 17th century, full of history.

The former riverbed passes the main monuments and museums, among them the Opera Auditorium, the Oceanografic, the Palau de les Arts, Palau de la Musica, Museo de las Ciencias and more. While walking through the Park, you’ll see all kind of Palm trees, Orange trees, Pines and aromatic plants, ponds and fountains and even a Gulliver Park for the children!

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I am so pleased to be able to walk here for hours, on this gorgeous sunny day!  Valencia is worth a visit…….

I thought about going to the harbour, which is nearby the end of the Jardines, but my legs are giving in. Supposingly, the three Kings are arriving in the harbour, but Valencians told me it is not worth to go there. I better have a break and try to recover from hours of walking, as tonight I would like to watch the Parade.

The Float Parade turns out to be endless, first of waiting and then even the procession is never ending. Also, although the whole parade is passing the spot where I am standing, the final embarking of the Kings is right in front of the Municipality building, which is on the other end. The Kings are lifted in an “carretilla elevadora” or a fork-lift truck and after pushing myself through the crowd, I just can get a glimpse with my 50 times zoom camera!

It seems the whole of Valencia town is crowded together on this evening and the faces of the children are hopeful, excited and tired at the same time.

After a short speech from the Mayor and each of the Kings, the show is over and there is an invasion of restaurants and tapas bars and I end up in a small Cuban restaurant of all places……it is called Babalu and it is cozy and warm. The food is so so and the Cuban owner is drinking heavily with some guests, but at least there is wine and ambiente!

On the 6th, Valencia is empty and quiet. Most stores are closed and a good time to wander around a bit more and visit some churches. My plane is leaving in the evening and with the luggage stored in the hotel, I still have time to discover more of the city.

Again, I visit the Botanical Garden and I am surprised it is open today. There is a very interesting tree with grapefruits, as well as oranges……

Later on, some stores for the tourists and more and more restaurants open their doors again. There are always tourists in Valencia and also the locals like to go out for lunch or dinner on their leisure days.DSC01740

On the Plaza de Reina, where the Cathedral is situated, it is a must to have a coffee or a wine and watch all the movement.

Coincidentally, I encounter this lovely authentic restaurant, called Tasca Embrujo del Carmen or the Tavern of the Spell of Carmen on calle Juristas 5. The food is good and the house wine great and often, there seems to be life music in the evening.  I would go there again a next time for sure, also thanks to the great couple, who are running the restaurant and kitchen.

I leave Valencia and Spain with the promise to come back…….

 

 

 

The market places around Pedreguer, Spain

December 2015

It is just before Christmas and with 20 degrees during the day, it still feels like summer here in Spain. I remember our wonderful holidays in the 70th’s and 80th’s, on the Costa Brava, where my parents used to live. So many December months I spent there, first as a girl in her 20th’s and later as a young mum. My children loved Spain in Christmas time; during the day you could enjoy the outdoor life, while in the evening we all cuddled up around the fireplace. The medieval village of Pals was transformed into a “life” Christmas stall, with the lady of the supermarket as Maria and the bank manager as a shepherd. With the soft yellow street lights on in the evening, it was so enjoyable to walk up and down the cobbled streets, where the whole Christmas story was performed with real people and real animals.

Here, around Pedreguer, it is just fun to visit the market places, where lots of red coloured vegetables and fruits are attracting the customers, who are coming for their Christmas shopping. On Saturday there is the normal vegetable market in the centre of the town, but on Sunday mornings, people from all over the area are coming to the big flea market, which is held on the outskirts of the town. Here you can find all kinds of old and new things, books and clothes, tools and bags and have a coffee or sip a glass of wine, when tired from shopping. It reminds me of the Russian laiki (market) in Greece, which I visited nearly every week, during the 10 years we lived there. There is always such a relaxed atmosphere, when wandering around those places. Locals, as well as tourists and newcomers from all over the world are mixing together and enjoying their day.

Around a 15 minute car drive from Pedreguer you will find Jezus Pobre, a tiny village, DSC03665tucked away against the other side of the Montgo Mountain. Also on Sundays, a very special market is held with artisanal and local produce, tables full of homemade sweets, pies and cakes and much more. I buy some Canabis oil, supposingly very helpful against pains and aches……

Every first Sunday of the month, during the winter months, it will be combined with an antique market as well. It is held under the arches of the Riurau, a place where they used to dry grapes into raisins.DSC03663

When visiting, you can sit yourself at one of the many tables and taste some local wine, accompanied by some fresh barbecued meat, while listening to an acoustic concert.

 

 

A great way to spend a late Sunday morning………..

 

The diversity of Denia, Costa Blanca, Spain

December, 2015

From Pedreguer, it is only a short 15 minutes drive to Denia. Apart from shopping at the supermarkets, I haven’t paid a visit yet to the old town and what a nice surprise it is! Not only the promenade, where the trees form an arch above the street and where you find the nice boutiques. Denia has so much more to offer!

 

The best thing is to start your stroll within the “Bax la Mar” or the old fisherman’s quarter. There, the houses are all painted in different colours, the streets are narrow and around every corner, you will find a small Plaza with lovely smelling fish restaurants and tapas bars. This area is so authentic and from here you are in a few steps in the harbour of Denia.

 

Walking into the other direction, you can follow the Castle wall and climb higher up, until you reach the entrance of the enormous Fortress, where the views over the city, the harbour and the Montgo mountain are impressive.

 

It is a surprisingly hot afternoon for December and around 4.00 p.m, suddenly the sun decides to come out through the hazy clouds. With the light shining on the harbour down below, it is fabulous to sit for a while on the Fortress wall and enjoy all the movement in the harbour. One of the ferries is arriving from the islands. Probably Ibiza, but also the ferries for Mallorca and Formentera are leaving from Denia.

 

While walking higher up the Castle grounds, you will find the Archaeological museum. Although small, it definitely is worth a visit. Denia had so many influences from Iberians, Romans, Muslims and Christians and still their traces can be found all over the city. From the Castillo, it is a 15 minutes walk to the harbour and in between 5.00 and 6.00 p.m, the fishermen are coming back with their boats from the sea and the auction starts right away. There is a walkway, specially for the spectators.

 

From here, you can watch the boats arriving and witness the “catch of the day”, which is impressive! Also, you are allowed to glaze through the window, where people are sorting out the fish, giving it numbers and putting it on the scales. At this point, I wished I had a few eyes more, as so many things are happening and more boats are arriving. In the meantime, the huge ferry is also leaving and the sun is slowly going down. When taking my first pictures of the catch of one of the boats, the captain tells me to take away my camera. His tone is very strict and he asks me in Spanish if I understood him. I nod and after 5 minutes he tells me that now I can take pictures! I am a little bit confused, but probably he caught too much or he caught fishes he wasn’t allowed to catch, as the first crates are suddenly gone………

It is an enormous variety of all kinds of fish, which the boats brought back from the sea. Tonight, you will be sure to eat the “catch of the day” in one of the many restaurants along the harbour or in the old Bax la Mar……..

 

Penyal d’Ifac, Calpe, Altea Vella, Tarbena

December 2015,

Via the N-332 or the tollway A7, it is easy to reach Calpe, a city hidden behind the mountains and right on the coast. I didn’t expect to see such a big city, after driving out of the mountains onto the coast. The Natural Park of Penyal d’Ifac is stretched on an enormous limestone rock into the sea, from where you have impressive views over the town and the back country. In the Park, there are numerous rare plants and over 300 species of animals. It is also a nesting site for colonies of seabirds and other birds. The rock rises to 332 metres high.

 

It was not possible to walk the trail all the way to the end, maybe due to safety reasons at this time of the year. The path gets very narrow and the ropes, which are used for support on the trails, were taken away. I didn’t mind too much, as I wasn’t too keen in walking on those small rocky pathways, high above the sea………

 

From Calpe, it is a short drive to Altea and Altea Vella. I always wondered, why so many foreigners wanted to retire in Altea. I also thought it was a fairly small community. Well , it isn’t. Altea is a thriving town, with as main attraction the promenade, where you can go for some extensive “terrace hopping”, if that is your choice…….I could never live there, but for a couple of hours, it is a nice outing. Probably, it is very enjoyable to spend a summer evening there, sipping your cava or sangria, while watching people passing by.

 

Altea Vella is a short drive into the countryside and it is one of those very small white villages, but even here it is expanding, through the arrival of all the foreigners, who made it their home. The backcountry is nice, with the rough mountains framing it as a picture.

Later that week, I make a tour into the backcountry, behind Pedreguer and drive via the CV 720 to Llosa de Camacho. Then to Parcent and Benigembla. There you have to zig zag, as suddenly the signs towards Castell de Castells are gone. The road is very quiet and beautiful. In Castell de Castells you can find a few hotels and eateries. It is way colder here in the mountains and pretty windy too! After, the road goes higher up in the mountain and gets very curvy and narrow. A challenge for me to drive, but there is no turning back!!! So happy there is no Spanish driver behind me, as they are always in a hurry. There is even barely any traffic from the opposite way…….

 

Finally, Tarbena is reached and what a beautiful location for a town. High up in the mountains with an sceneric view over the valley and the skyrisers from Benidorm in the far distance, on the coast. A visit to the local bakery is a must, as time has stood still here. I buy some bread and very tasty, but awfully sweet almond cookies, made according to a recipe from Mallorca. According to the talkative baker, people from Mallorca invaded this small village, after the Moors were gone. Until today, their influences are still present.

 

There is also a famous cute small restaurant “Casa Pinet” in Tarbena, which speciality is headcheese. Too bad that it was crowded with people on this sunny Saturday, otherwise I would have loved to taste it! Of course I have to visit the cemetery, as always wherever I am and from here the view is the best! It seems that nearly everybody on the cemetery has the same name;  Molines…….

 

I leave Tarbena behind and drive the scenic road down to Callosa d’en Sarria, where the landscape is occupied with Medlar plantations (Nispero in Spanish or Mispel in Dutch).

Finally, the road brings me back in Altea Vella again, from where it is an easy drive back to Pedreguer, over the toll way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In between Denia and Altea

December, 2015

This is my second time on the Costa Blanca. Last February, I stayed for two weeks in the same beautiful house, but the weather was quite a bit different then. This time it is sunny and still warm and it will stay this gorgeous, until I leave on the 6th of January. Also, this time I have the opportunity to explore the countryside, the towns and villages along the coast and the inner country. I even have time to spend two enjoyable days in the attractive city of Valencia.

My first outing is to the coastal town of Javea (Xabia). This town is divided in an older part more inland, with a historical centre, an Archeological Museum and the church of San Bartolome and the coastal part with the fishing port, the walkway and quite some nice restaurants along the beach.

I have a very tasty lunch, just amidst the fishing boats and the parking place! The sun is warm and the sepia, mussels and small fishes (I forgot their name; it’s not sardine) are very fresh and tasty. The restaurant is called; Bar Cantina Lonja.

It is hidden just at the far end of the promenade, right where the fishing boats are situated on the quayside. A meal for two, with a bottle of white wine, olives, bread and coffee costed 30 Euros…….

Later in December, on New Year’s Day, I go back to this town. There was supposed to be a New Year’s dive in the Mediterranean Sea, but maybe I was mistaken in the time, as nothing spectacular was happening. Enough people though, wandering around the pier and the walkway along the sea. By coincidence, I discover a very modern and different church, while having some tapas and wine on a cute, small terrace in a side street. From where I sat, I could see into the narrow alley and my curiosity brought me to this fabulous building, which otherwise I would have overlooked! This church is called “Nuestra Senora de Loreto” and the roof is depicting a ships hull!  Even from the inside it is remarkable, but very bare……..

South of Javea you can find some amazing views from high up the cliffs. Following the road along the coast towards Cap de la Nau and Playa de la Granadella, the road is getting very curvy and narrow. This is a neighbourhood with very pretty and expensive houses and a lot of foreigners are living here! The small Playa de la Granadella is a surprise. Here, the road ends, but there are some nice hiking paths, which are starting from here. You will need good hiking shoes, as it is very rocky and the trails go high up.

On the way back, I get lost in Javea town, take the wrong turn and the road directs me high onto the Montgo Mountain, direction Denia. Just there, where the road is very narrow and curvy, an enormous truck suddenly comes from the opposite direction and just flips its steering wheel on the last moment…….. pffffff, that was indeed a narrow escape and the last time I will ever take this road again!!!