It was early November and once again we drove through an invisible border and entered Spain for my second time but the first for this trip. We moved inland, watching the grandness of the ocean slowly grow smaller and smaller. Peralada is a small village with hidden roman architectures within the winding cobbled streets.
The area didn’t speak Spanish but Catalan and their pride for their culture could be seen by the banners hanging from small balconies.
I imagine in the summer it would be rather busy but now there was no sounds but faint drafts of wind pulling its way through cracks and crevices. Only faint footsteps of the elderly strolled through this quaint village. This was only a two night stop in an aire.
A short drive away you can find yourself in the town of Figueres where the famous Salvador Dali has a museum dedicated to him and his extraordinary works. He has to be one of my favourite artists, his surrealist paintings are unique, fascinating and overall indescribable and the museum managed to do him justice. Just from the look of the exterior you already know you’re going on an eccentric journey.
The art works shown were stunning and were placed in a way I’ve never seen- as if to show the artists unusual manner and art. They hung from colourful, patterned walls in large prints or placed to create an optical illusion.
If you’re a fan of the art or any art for that matter it’s a must visit if you’re in the area it has to be one of my favourite museums so far. The town itself was strewn with his art in the forms of banners and statues.
For another night we stayed in Llançà for free on a carpark. A stunning part of the Costa Brava coast line with perfect weather (even now) and empty resorts- much like the rest of the east coast of Spain. Magical coves, sweeping views of never-ending blue and bright green vegetation was all the more enjoyable with not a single tourist in sight. White clouds moved effortlessly across the sky, casting shadows on the flat surface of the ocean, keeping its secrets in the far depths of the unknown.
Keeping to the Costa Brava we stayed for two nights in Palamós. Palamós is a kite surfing town with lots to see as it is a major port town (one of the last remaining fishing fleets on this part of the Mediterranean). The area has many stunning cycle routes which guided us along the coast and slowly lead you into the countryside to be met with herds of sheep and local farmers in a smooth, quiet atmosphere. Hidden empty beaches can be found along the entire coast.
Barcelona has to be one of my favourite European cities. We stayed here for 3 nights, giving us two days to spend in the city. Obviously you could spend so much more time here but we wanted to drive south for the winter. We stayed outside the city on a city stop aire. The area wasn’t the best but the car parks walls were surrounded by grand graffiti and it certainly looked cool in the evening when it was only lit by the odd lamppost.
It’s hard to find a decent priced place to camp here, as is the case in most cities, but this one was conveniently by the tube which was our mode of transportation for the next couple of days as it was well priced and easy to use.
The main street unfolded far, lit by lampposts and small fires in the outdoor restaurants, a busy atmosphere penetrated the air, lit spinning toys flew high in deep contrast to the twilight; reminding me of India and my childhood.
Barcelona Cathedral (designed by Gaudi) was busy and full of scaffolding which was a shame for photographs but we were definitely not disappointed, the architecture is something to be in awe of.
Instead of taking the bus we decided to walk to Gaudi park. We walked a long way but got to see the back streets of Barcelona and more of the character it had to offer. Gaudi park is a great outdoor park showing you many of Antonio Gaudis famous works. The architectural elements and fantastical gardens are definitely something you don’t want to miss and possibly my favourite site in Barcelona. His famous arches, colourful tiles and eccentric buildings caught the attention of any viewer in its grandeur and beauty.
From the top of Gaudi Park (situated on a small hill) put the city into perspective with the coast on one side and mountainous scenery on the other.
It was definitely a unique and beautiful city, the first city at least that I would want to live in. We managed to visit a few art museums and catch some great exhibitions.
We didn’t really research it but simply wandered unusual backstreets and tiny alleys with overgrown greenery and found them by happy accident as well as other things such as secret courtyards and roman architecture, making the city a jewel.
The Roman Temple of Augustus for example is tucked away in a hidden medieval building in the Gothic quarter- where many other features lie (possibly my favourite quarter).
The coast is what made the city for me.
It made it even more lively and unique and I always wanted a city with a beach. Small skycrapers lined either end of the sandy coast.
*Due to losing all my photos from this years trip from a house break-in I have used and will be using phone images from now on until this trip is completed*.