Saturday, 25 October 2014

The Calonge Ball tonight. We are having such a fantastic Autumn !

Friday, 24 October 2014

"What I believe is this: Catalunya is not Spain, it is something else and you have to feel it." - Thierry Henry

The Old Town in Girona
It’s a bit strange for me to be quoting a footballer… I’m not into football, but he’s hit the nail on the head as far as my adoptive country is concerned. For me at least, Catalunya is just not Spain….. 
But don’t worry ! This blog isn’t about Catalan ambitions on Independence. Instead, let us put aside politics and let me show you how this incredible country differs from the stereotypical Spain that you may be more familiar with.
I’ll be showing you the crystal clear lakes and uncrowded ski resorts of the High Pyrenees, the miles of hiking and biking trails, the coastal paths and medieval villages of Baix Empordá all the way down to the hustle and bustle of Barcelona. The beach scene has a justifiable right of place in the summer months, but from September to March, the climate here is perfect for us to explore these iconic landscapes and rich culture that make Catalunya so unique.

The coastal village of Calella de Palafrugell
So, lets go hiking the trails of Garroxta Volcanic National Park, the Beech forests of Montseny, the low Pyrenees of the Collsacabra and the Cami Ronda Coastal path. For the less energetic, lets visit colourful fiestas and cultural events…. Carrefocs, Gigants and Castells.

The Panta de Sau Reservoir near the Cingles de Tavertet
On my regular hikes, I’ll be taking you on a virtual photographic stroll through history from pre-historic Iron-Age settlements through Greek, Roman and Napoleonic influences to the perfectly preserved medieval villages of Baix Empordá. All off-the-beaten-track and away from the usual tourist traps. 
When I’m feeling energetic, I’ll lead you along the dedicated biking trails of the via verde and Pyrenexus through-ways, the Gavarres and Cap Roig hills along the coast. As always, with lots and lots of gorgeous photographs.

Gastronomy too plays an important part in our life here. The mountains and protected forests and green space in Catalunya are home to a huge variety of “Bolets” (wild mushrooms) and wild asparagus and chestnuts, along with game such as pheasant, pigeon, partridge and wild boar which influence the local cuisine and some of my blogs will try to highlight the Masia / restaurants here that only the locals know about.
So, I hope that you enjoy my blogs on Catalunya. Feel free to comment or contact me for further details and advice on what to do and where to stay whilst on your holidays and for more photographs and information, please see our links below.
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About me… I have lived in Calonge (province of Girona) on the Costa Brava since 2003 after retiring as a pilot from the british Royal Air Force. My passions are hiking, biking, skiing, photography and discovering and sharing the hidden cultural treasures of this beautiful country. My day job entails managing a luxury self-catering rental Villa, Casa Cal Domino, and in my search for new and interesting things to do for my clients whilst they are here on holiday, I have been genuinely overawed by the beauty and diversity of this land. I’m not leaving any time soon. I love it here….

Me, Girona and the fantastic light that has drawn artists and photographers alike from around the world.