Palamós, Costa Brava, Wednesday 30th August 2017

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Old town of Palamós and beach with Santa María del Mar Church

 

Our second stop in Spain has brought us to the pretty town of Palamós, a place that has  very special memories for me as it is here that my journey as an adult began in the summer of 1984, when I came to work as a waitress to save money to go to England to continue my English studies and where I celebrated my 21st birthday with my bosses and colleagues.  I was very pleased to find that the bar where I had worked, El Castellet, is still here and doing well, at it well should, being as it is right on the seafront in the old part of town near the port, and we had a drink there on our first day in Palamós.  I introduced myself to the current waitress, who also seems very happy to be working here, and I also liked the fact that they now have an outdoor sitting area and it is open at lunchtimes, as when I worked there 33 years ago, it was only open from 5.30 pm until dawn and only had indoor sitting.

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Lovely Sculpture of The Little Prince on the beach at L’Escala

But that’s enough of going down memory lane.  Before coming to Palamós 2 days ago, we spent a whole week at the brilliant aire at Bellcaire D’Empordá, as we had no reason to leave whatsoever and were more than happy to stay.  We cycled into L’Escala a couple of times and then we decided to take the bus from the main road, just round the corner from the aire.  This only takes 10 minutes and costs €1.70 per person each way, so it was a no brainer.  We had a lovely meal of Almejas a la Marinera and Paella at Nou Hereu Restaurant and were very glad we didn’t have to cycle back with full stomachs in the heat of the early afternoon sun, but had a rest and a swim on the beach instead while we waited for our 5.30 pm bus back to base.

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Nice view of Castle on Mongrí on our cycle ride to Torroella de Montrí

 

We also cycled to the nearby village of Torroella de Montgrí, for they were holding their annual summer fiesta and thought it might be interesting.  It was nice to see people of all ages dancing Sardanas, an informal dance with participants holding hands in a circle as more and more dancers join in, making the circle bigger and bigger.

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Enjoying the Sardanas, local dance

We did another quick shop in Mercadona at L’Escala on Saturday morning before our short drive to Palamós on Monday, all of 40 minutes!  We got to the EmpordArea motorhome aire before 11 am and found a nice pitch with some shade for the next few days.  There was nobody at reception when we arrived, so we registered in the evening, but it is all very friendly and laid-back.   Just like at Bellcaire D’Empordá, this aire is truly wonderful, with showers, toilets, sinks, washing machines, free WiFi and a bar/restaurant selling tapas or larger meals at very economical prices, but it has no swimming pool, but then again it is only a 15 minute walk to the beach and there are supermarket, bars and all kind of shops nearby.

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Attractive old houses in the old quarters in Palamós
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Bell tower of Santa María del Mar

We have already enjoyed a few swims and snorkelling at this large and very clean beach, as well as another delicious meal at La Llesqueta restaurant near the Church of Santa María del Mar, built on an old chapel in 1417.  We also did a spot of shopping at the Tuesday weekly street market in the Avenguda de Catalunya and had a few drinks here and there, as it is still very hot and humid, with even the locals complaining about the unusual and prolonged heat.

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Sculpture to honour sailors and people who live of the sea
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A local artist
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A rescued cannon, claimed from the sea

We have also enjoyed long walks to admire the views, especially from various viewpoints in the old town overlooking the port and beach and the old remains of the Agustinos Convent looking east in the Plaça del Pedró, the highest point of the town.

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Remains of the Agustinos Convent, looking east
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The Rosette from the Agustinos Convent, with a lovely view of port below

We have seen some beautiful sights, sunsets, architecture and sculptures here already and this is only our third day, so we are looking forward to spending the rest of the week at this very special place.  I do feel I have come full circle.

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Spectacular sunset at Palamós

 


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