Wednesday 29 August 2018

Costa Brava revisited

After a gap of many years, we recently revisited the Costa
Brava for the simple reason it was the most convenient place for everyone to meet for a family
I was expecting nothing more than a good hotel, warm
weather and to please family members of all ages, but was pleasantly surprised to
enjoy the resorts which were the stereotypical package holidays for Brits abroad, back in the day.
We stayed in superb hotel in Lloret de Mar within
easy reach of Fenals with its beach, bars and shops, Lloret centre and Italian
gardens of Santa Clotilde.

The gardens with terraces, fountains, stunning sea views, sculptures and cypress hedges were designed in 1919 and are inspired by gardens of the Italian renaissance.

 Beautiful views from the gardens

From Fenals beach, we took a sea trip on a
catamaran to Tossa de Mar passing beautiful villas perched on the rocky
coastline.  The boat had an open upper
deck, a middle closed deck and a glass-bottomed lower deck from which the sea
bed and fish can be seen.

We ate at this charming restaurant with a pergola covered in grapevines and
nautical items on the walls
The walled, medieval town of Tossa with its views of the ruggedd coastline and coves, it's castle and lighthouse was a hit with the children, especially when we unearthed a large molar tooth, which we believe one belonged to a donkey, but the investigation is still ongoing  We climbed up the steep, cobbled path but, using a phone to take us on to our next port of call, the descent involved narrow, twisting steps which is not for the faint-hearted.  Surprisingly, people were actually living in houses situated within the walls of this winding route.



On the way to our next stop, the architecture of the buildings was fascinating, especially the doorways.




 This balcony was above a butchers shop
We made our way to the Ancient Hospital, founded by a philanthropist in 1773 to provide medical care for the poor of Tossa, with the children anticipating all kinds of ghoulish exhibits to find it is now a culture house and art gallery.  We viewed an exhibition by Josep Maria Sola, a painter who lives and works in the region and createswonderful, intricately detailed compositions
with rich colours which pick out the textural qualities of the landscape, almost like photographs.
We have visited this area several times and there is plenty to do and see including Barcelona, Girona and Roses but not with children who want to spend every minute in the pool or the sea.  Regarding the latter, the beach at Fenals slopes immediately into the sea.  This was great fun as the waves brought you back.  FOMO (fear of missing out) made me take the plunge and it was exhilarating even though the force of the waves deposited you on the beach in a undignified manner!

“The sea is their grave but this Memorial sculpture is, in many ways, a headstone for the lost trawlermen”

I have always been impressed by the architecture in the centre of the maritime city of Hull, especially the old buildings with their carving...