Wednesday, 9 October 2013

5 days in L'Escala Part 2 (AKA Last Days In Catalunya)

If you've read the last post, we are trying to live the last few days in this country in style. We are staying in L'Escala for 5 days, getting the last bit of sun and warmth before we venture off to Nepal.

The small town of Montgo with its Torre on top of the hill.
It has been a busy few days, and yet, at the same time, very, very relaxing. For the first time in a long time, I have just picked up a book and reclined on the sofa and read for hours - so simple, but so pleasurable! I have been able to space my time out to part walking and seeing things, part taking it easy in the morning and having a slow breakfast, and part just laying in the sun near our pool and reading.

I won't bore you with the parts about me napping in the afternoons, what's happening in my book, or how my elbow seems to get more sun than the rest of my body... I will try to keep your interest with some things that I have seen in the area. I will start with Empuries.

Roman mosaics at the ruins of Empuries.
Many towns around the area are called 'something de Empuries.' This is the name of the general area, but what I want to talk about is the actual ruins of Empuries. The town of Empuries was originally founded in the 6th century BC by Greek settlers, and later occupied by the Romans. The town was abandoned in the Middle Ages due to it being prone to pirates. Damn pirates. Although I didn't go in this time (and I was tempted at only 3 Euros!), I did visit the ruins a few years ago, as I am a big fan of anything the Romans did (what have the Romans ever done for us I ask you??). The excavations started in 1908, and have uncovered absolute treasures. You can still clearly see original Roman mosaics, gardens, stone walls and even pottery and statues. It is a wonder just to walk around - and it doesn't take much of an imagination (although I have plenty...) to imagine the town thronged with sailors, merchants, tradesman all going about their business, and maybe even a few soldiers marching through the streets.
Intact Roman mosaics - not hard to imagine how it looked in its day.
Just 500m from the site, there is the tiny village of St Marti de Empuries. I have no idea how many people actually live in the village, but its has about 3 streets and you can walk right around it in under 5 minutes. It has beautiful little stony houses, pretty private gardens and a few restaurants in the main placa looking at the church. Although a little pricey (for me) to sit and have a meal, it is a wonderful stop for a cold beer and to just soak it all in.

The different sized church bells of St Marti.

The church of St Marti.
The rocky Costa Brava.

We did a bit of walking along the coast, following the Cami de Rhonda. The path runs all along the coast, and is part of the GR walking paths. Easy to do, and beautiful scenery at every turn. Normally quite busy during warmer months, we didn´t come across anyone, and there was just something about being able to look out over the sea, breath in the salty air, and hear nothing but the waves and wind. I have done part of the coastal walk before, between Calella and Palamos, and enjoyed it greatly. If you are looking for real Mediterranean coast, and cant make the trip to Greece, well this is it right here - sparkling blue water that you can see right through, rocky shores and secret beaches.

The water of the Costa Brava.
That's about all we had time for here on the Costa Brava this time. It is always a lovely place to come and relax, enjoy the sun, and walk along the coast. I feel that this has been a quiet yet perfect goodbye to Catalonia.
The medieval town of Pals.
Now, when I say 'Goodbye,' I don't actually mean goodbye. I don't do goodbyes. I should actually say, in true Australian-Style 'See ya later.'

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