Costa Brava had been on my travel list for a while. And as soon as we started driving though the Catalonian countryside dotted with ancient castles, and hit the gorgeous coastline in Blanes, I realized why! The area is just stunning, the water crystal clear, the food fantastic, and a way of life I’m definitely envious of! We started off with a hike atop the castle at Blanes which rewarded us with some wonderful views of the coastline below. We then went to the botanical gardens that did not disappoint, with gorgeous coastal trails and plants from the world over. Ariana braved a parrot on her arm for an adorable photo! We then drove over to Lloret de mar where we dined at Sybius Cala Cantelles, enjoying a delicious meal of shellfish paella (dare I say the best I’ve ever had) by the seaside while the kids played on the playground overlooking the ocean. Next, we stopped at Tossa de Mar, and took the rather touristy train up to the castle taking in some breathtaking views. We ended the day in the charming town of Begur where we were staying, and enjoyed a meal of pizza and curry at Pizetta. The kids were thrilled to see an impromptu concert in the square with a large band!
The next morning, we set off for Cadaques. We had a lunch reservation at Compartir, the original restaurant created by the trio of chefs that are now the creators of Disfrutar! The meal was by far the best “casual” meal of the trip, the most memorable part being the oysters that Gaurav (thankfully!) urged me to try. We walked to the house of Salvador Dali, and then spent some time at the beach, before driving back. We also drove through the Cap du Creus national reserve to the lighthouse with stunning views that reminded us of Point Reyes. On our way back, we spotted a go-cart race track and we all (particularly Ayaan) had a blast racing! Ayaan got to go twice and did particularly well, so thankful for the impromptu surprises we’d encountered to far. That evening after dinner, there was a local fair created in the square where the kids enjoyed carousels and bouncy houses – the surprises didn’t stop!
The next morning, Ayaan and I had a two hour kayaking trip booked through stunning caves. It ended up being a private tour with a wonderful guide, Nael who really bonded with Ayaan in their collective love for soccer and skiing. Toward the end of the tour, we snorkeled together and saw some colorful fish! Ariana and Gaurav hung out by the beach, and we joined them after our tour. That evening, after taking in breathtaking views from the castle atop Begur and some delicious ice cream, we dined in the square in Begur. We were pleasantly surprised to see a woman’s guided dance break out in the square half way through our meal, which we all joined briefly after a few glasses of cava. Gaurav met one of his work colleagues who is a local for dinner.
On our last day on the coast, with some coaxing from Ayaan, we decided to rent a boat, and as we’ve become accustomed to realize, it was the best day ever! Ariana and I lazed on the deck while Gaurav and Ayaan navigated, and we stopped in beautiful coves and beaches along the way. A bottle of champagne later, Ariana, Ayaan and I were dancing to Abba while the boat meandered along the calm waters. We all had a blast, and eventually returned the boat that afternoon to make our drive down to Girona. We had a beautiful apartment right in the middle of old town, allowing us to wander through the charming cobblestoned streets. We enjoyed some unique flavors of ice cream at Rocambolesc, and spent the rest of the evening people watching in the Placa d’Independencia while the kids played hide and go seek.
On our last day in Girona, we strolled to the magnificent cathedral, the Arab baths, the walls of the old town, the Basilica de Sant Feliu and marveled at the charming beauty of Girona. We then decided to take our apartment host’s recommendation for lunch at a Basque Country restaurant, and enjoyed some delicious pinxtos, steak and garlic prawns, followed by 7 (pinxto) desserts! After lunch, we took turns getting Aromatherapy massages, while the other parent relaxed in the apartment with the kids. In the evening, we revelled at getting lost around the old town walls and cobblestoned streets (Ayaan in his soccer Manchester United soccer jersey bouncing around his new soccer ball). After dinner comprising pepperoni pizza and brut rose, Ayaan and Ariana helped me dry our clean laundry, and we then settled in for an early night, to prepare for our flight the next morning to Mallorca. Looking forward to seeing Nani, Dhara Masi and Kunal Uncle!