Adventure, beauty, relationship…basic human desires. All were met recently exploring Spain’s Costa Brava (Wild Coast). Between Barcelona and Jimmy Buffett’s Coast of Marseilles, I snorkeled in open waters, biked through Medieval hill towns, and laughed over meals and a pottery wheel with bloggers from Canada, the US, and Europe.
I’m a romantic. I’ve always loved the Middle Ages and the sea. My first fling in Spain in 2009 made me a Gaudi Girl, but this spring I fell in love with the country’s beaches. I also value independence, freedom. So when I received an invitation to “Discover the Medieval Coast,” a sponsored trip to familiarize travel writers with Catalonia, Spain’s autonomous community, this castle-craving pirate princess was on the boat ready to ride.
Day One began with feeling all Game of Thrones on a walking tour of Lloret de Mar. The former fishing town with Iberian and Roman ruins was transformed by fortunes made in Spanish-ruled Cuba and was site of the 2015 European TBEX held days earlier. We followed the seaside promenade to 11th century Castle of Sant Joan, defense against sea attacks. Though all but the tower was destroyed in 1805 by the British navy battling Spain and France, I climbed along the wall, each turn a new view of waves crashing into coves and crags below.
Once perched at the peak, I remembered Madeleine L’Engle’s words about artists–fitting since Catalonia is the land of free spirits Dali, Picasso, and Gaudi. But since all of us are creations and creators of our own lives, they speak to moments when we face powerful forces. For this expat writer they are so true:
Artists have always been drawn to the wild, wide elements they cannot control or understand–the sea, the mountains, fire. To be an artist means to approach the light, and that means to let go our control, to allow our whole selves to be placed with absolute faith in what which is greater than we are.
As I headed to l’Esartit, I knew slipping into the sea– becoming one with it–would be wonderful. And terrifying.
Getting to Lloret de Mar: The closest airports are Barcelona (airport code BCN), 90km (56 miles) away and Girona-Costa Brava (airport code GRO), 30km (19 miles) away. I flew RyanAir from Marrakesh. My flight there was approximately $50/return $21, then took the Sarfa bus, which runs approximately every 30 minutes. Tickets may be purchased at airport bus office or on bus for 10 Euro.
Thank you to Catalunya, Costa Brava Pirineu de Girona, and El Consell Comarcal del Baix Empordà for an amazing stay and introduction to all Costa Brava offers! Note to readers: the opinions on this 5-Part series are all my own. I recommend only travel experiences, destinations, services, accommodations, and restaurants I personally enjoyed.