Costa Brava / Gerona & Begur

continuing the Spain tour in pictures return to Table of Contents

Looking over the pool to the Costa Brava at the Hotel Aigua Blava - a great place to stay! The photo below was from my suite at sunrise April 27th, 2005.

I was at the tippy-top of a rabbit's warren of rooms and buildings that terraced down the mountainside to the protected harbor below. 

There are water front, water view and pool/garden view rooms available, with great food and impeccable service. It seems to have a large Northern European clientele, and when we were there I swear there was a modeling convention going on, because everyone was oh so beautiful!

Just up the coast is Begur, with a medieval fortress  guarding the hilltop community. The odd juxtaposition of modern art and centuries old cathedrals, with narrow pedestrian-only streets in the heart of the old town, was curiously charming. 


Spain Tour Bilbao

The Aigua Clara Hotel and restaurant in Begur was a delight! The impressive food and simple rooms, which command views over the town, made me think of visiting family - maybe in Key West - with all the warmth and comfort it offered. This photo is from the window of one of the 3rd floor spacious rooms. I look forward to my return.

Inland a bit further is Gerona, (below) on the Gerona River, with an ancient Jewish quarter, medieval cathedral, the longest shop-lined Ramblas, and - when we were there - a judas tree-lined boulevard in full bloom. That is one pretty city.

Lance Armstrong has a house here for when he's training for the Tour d France. The surrounding countryside is is perfect for getting in shape - apparently - or he wouldn't have won so many times!

From there we went back to the sea - where the Costa Brava has been tamed somewhat - 
with beautifully constructed walkways for miles along the coast. It felt like Carmel, only nicer. Here and there steps would lead either up to the street level, or down to tiny beaches at the water's edge, with palatial homes lining the public thoroughfare. The water was as blue as the sky, and crystal clear, and the late April air was warm as Summer. This section of Spain is truly beautiful!

It was a long bus ride back to Barcelona. Along the way we stopped at the Parxet winery for a formal cava tasting, and some informal fun with the engaging owner. You haven't lived until a sword bearing - seemingly crazy - man slices the top off the champagne (excuse me - cava) bottle and pours us all a farewell toast - What Fun!

Then it was out for a night on the town hitting Tapas bars, and soaking in the sights and smells of beautiful Barcelona. The next morning we flew back to New York, and home to Saugerties to work.

So - now you know why the shop was closed and I was unavailable the last week of April. My apologies for disappointing so many customers, but a week of being treated like visiting royalty in five-star hotels, with chefs of international renown preparing an endless succession of nouvelle cuisine recipes using all native Catalan ingredients, was the experience of a lifetime (and then some!!) But now, exhausted and stuffed to the gills, and with a cholesterol count in the stratosphere - I'm baaack!