I think it’s very bizarre that the temperature in some parts of the UK today are higher than here in the Costa Brava. However, temperature is not the whole weather picture. Here what you begin to notice is the light. The big blue, clear and near cloudless skies really do help to make Mediterranean light very special.
We’re big fans of the green edges on some of the roads on our maps. These denote the scenic routes. So we’re getting up early today to avoid most of the traffic on the dangerous? coast road between Saint Feliu de Guixols and Tossa de Mar. A (green edged) road which according to our Dutch next door neighbours might not be a good idea in a motorhome with uncertain brakes. – No they’re still not fixed.
Anyway, they needn’t have worried. Yes, it’s a twisty coastal road along the cliffs with incredible views. But I don’t agree with the suggestion that it’s dangerous or as I have seen quoted “one of the best coastal drives in the world”. However the route did offer nice views of the sea, beaches, forests and cliffs.
Tossa de Mar’s busy tourist information was very helpful and gave us a map and tips of how to find our way round the old town that’s nestled at the foot of a verdant hillside around a beautiful sandy beach and the famous Villa Vela castle looking out to sea.
The medieval town is a delightful place to stroll, catching glimpses of the sea and beach in between the centuries-old buildings as you go.
The views out to the Mediterranean and the beach from the castle’s turrets are enchanting.
I need to get something off my chest….. I’m struggling with the thought “we’re holidaying in the Costa Brava”. It doesn’t sit right with my snobbish prejudices about holidays in Spain***. ‘The Costa Brava’ – The coast synonymous with package holidays for British tourists since the mid-1950s. Famous for sunburned Brits, all-day breakfasts and rowdy, drunken nightlife. BUT, the hang ups are being debunked. “I think Tossa de Mar is just great”. There, I’ve said it. Yep can’t believe myself?
*** Check out the Monty Python monologue – The Travel Agent if you want to know who I blame.
I accept that in July and August it’s probably hard to reach the water’s edge without tripping over oily limbs. Outside high season, Tossa’s old town makes it still a charming place to visit, though many restaurants limit hours or close entirely.
The great and good of Hollywood have been inspired by the Costa Brava over the years. One of the most famous Hollywood actors to have called the Costa Brava home for a while was the very lovely Ava Gardener. You can still see a statue of Gardner overlooking the town.
Amongst the artists who fell in love with Tossa de Mar was the French artist Marc Chagall.
Chagall called the spot ‘blue paradise’ when he lived there temporarily in 1934. Inspired by the colours of Tossa de Mar’s blue sea and sky, Chagall produced many blue-hued works in his career.
Time to move on but before we go…
I always thought that I would get to a certain age and become mature, but I have and I haven’t. For example, conversations whilst driving and observing signs :
Advertising on a van said Ferreteria – Do you think this means a place to buy ferrets?
Seeing cakes called fartons and having to buy them cause it makes you snigger – actually they were rather nice and not at all smelly!
Seeing a sign that read ‘One Stop Fuchs’ – nuff said!! Actually I googled it and the first line was, and I quote “Fuchs stands for performance”