It seems that Florian and Marga have dedicated their weekends to keeping me entertained. Today, we went to Castell-Platja d’Aro Palamos and Calella de Palafrugell on the Costa Brava coast.

Getting picked up by them proved to be a bit of a mission because, the Barcelona Marathon ran (pun intended) right past and around my apartment building. I literally had to run right through the runners twice to get to Florian and his car. Something which would be completely impossible at the London Marathon. Here, there were no pedestrian barriers or officials or anything to stop me doing exactly that.

We hiked along the coast at Castell-Platja d’Aro for at least two and a half hours. Some parts were impassable because of storm damage during the height of winter. Trees had been uprooted, jetties and similar structures were gone, washed away by the storms, and mini avalanches had demolished parts of the cliff face and blocked the path. But, it was an amazing hike along a gorgeous coastline made even more interesting because, over hundreds of years, successive local authorities had improved and maintained tunnels which had been carved into the rockface of the cliffs.

Florian had a destination in mind. Cafeteria Rt. Can Paco in Palamos where, they served “the best prawns in the world”. The food was, as is always the case when dinning with Florian, amazing. The “La Casa de Papel” (aka The Money Heist) theme added a touch of humour.

The restaurant was really, really good. As evidenced by the fact that, whilst everywhere else in Palamos was basically closed, this place was packed solid with customers.

Obviously (?), we weren’t going to do another two and half hour hike back to the car……………so, we took a taxi instead. Good call.

From there we visited a cute little town called Calella de Palafrugell. Sadly, it was basically closed for the winter. Many of these little towns along the coast are holiday homes for Spaniards who generally live and work in the larger towns and cities. They survive on tourism and so it’s not economically viable for them to be open during the winter months. It’s a shame because they really are beautiful places. Places which one can enjoy regardless of the weather.

While we were there, either Florian or Marga (I can’t remember which) said that they had a craving for churros. But, everything was closed so it seemed that we would have to forgo these tasty treats. And then, while we were driving back, we saw a little truck in a layby on the dual carriageway where a guy was cooking and selling churros. It was like the universe had heard us. It wasn’t quite in the middle of nowhere, but close enough. And yet, there was a queue. The churros were awesome, I had more than my fair share. The chocolate sauce not so much. Too runny and with very little actual chocolate flavour.

All in all, a great day. But it was still not quite over. As we approached Barcelona on the motorway, we saw signs which were telling us that the roads had been closed because a Catalan Independence demonstration was taking place. All traffic into the city was diverted towards the El Poblenou district, where there was an amazing lightshow!

The streets, and many of the buildings, had been commandeered by artists who were putting on all sorts of weird and wonderful displays in light. Lasers, projections, videos, neon tubes, you name it, it was there. If it was a source of artificial light. It was represented in some way. Bars were open for business and there was a whole street which had basically been taken over by all manner of street food vendors.

I really, really love this city.

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