A deathcoaster passage on the ferry from Ibiza, past shipwrecks that look like they happened this morning. Then total peace. No words to describe!
Ibiza. Small villages, all with white washed churches, a handsome collection. Set against shades of blue, from the sky and sea. Find them along the country roads, open the windows, inhale, drifting fumes ... of orange blossoms. Or barbecues. A fantastic meal at Cami de Balafria in Sant Joan de Labritja, don't go without a reservation.
Wow, incredible cool I say outloud! Shush. Look at this, look at that! I love the old fashioned desks, the funky lights! Fantastic! Shhhhh! OMG books with gold spines, books in precious cases, books surrounded by stained glass, books floor to ceiling, books I could yell about! Shhhhhhhhh!! The most amazing old-timey elevator! No, you can't have a turn, I'm still using it! Shhhhhhhhh!!! Gorgeous courtyard garden, pretty tilework on the floors and walls, fun artwork, hey everybody, come over here! The antique rooms of the Ateneu. Members only. Open to the public two days a year on Sant Jordi and Corpus Christi. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!
Here's one for massive views. And a challenge. Starting at the "neighbors only" sign at the end of the road to Vall de Santa Creu, a 4-5 km climb one way, with the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes near the finish and the abandoned castle of Sant Salvador at the tippy top. 360 degree view from mountains to sea, from Spain to France and from bay to farmland, everything. Accomplishment.
(You'll find Vall de Santa Creu, near Cap de Creus, between Port de la Selva and Llanca)
The Spanish coast. Build, build, build, bigger, better, richer. So, how cool to find Tudela, full of wierd rock formations, touching the sea, scruffy plants. And not one hotel room. Once a spot hosting 1600 a night, now brick, by brick, deconstructed and returned to nature at Cap de Creus near Cadaques. Take the road from Port Lligat to the Cap de Creus lighthouse and turn left at the sign. Fun to be here at Easter, never found the bunny, can you?
Artisan crafted shelves, gleaming wood, marble counters, hand made floor tiles, in the family since the early 1900s, sometimes now a candy shop, bakery or boutique, but most often, still a pharmacy. Ooooozing wealth and fortitude.
And I wonder. Were all stores back then this elegant? Some.
And I wonder. How come, after 100 years, they are almost the only ones to survive looking so fabulous? Very complicated. A government assigned and protected geographic monopoly (money), a customer that always pays (social medicine, money), a culture of penny-pinchers (why remodel, more money) and degreed profession with steady income on family owned property (no rent, more money!). Attractive to at least one of the kids, easy to pass down untouched. My favorite, Farmacia Madronal at Compte Borrell 133.
By Maia Pay Ozguc
Barcelona Impressions. Be curious. Be present. Be Barcelona!