Dali, Inspiring landscapes, Eastern-most point of Spain

Oct 25, 2016

Cadaques to Port d’ el Selva

Cadaques is a small, beautifully-preserved city on the northern coast of the Costa Brava area of Catalonia.  Tourism and specialty restaruants are important here.  It is also well-known for being the home and inspirational landscape to surrealist artist Salvador Dali and his muse and wife, Russian “Gala” (Elena Ivanovna Diakonova).

Pablo jogged us through town, showing us points of interest – tourist-y ones as well as local spots that he knows well because he is indeed a local of the entire Costa Brava.  He’s an expert, having run through these places so many times over the past 6 years of running this company.  He also has an amazing gift for remembering details, history, and relaying stories (in many languages, as I’ve mentioneed  before).  I have not met someone so enthusiastic about sharing a history and culture, particularly by traveling on foot as a business, as he is.  It’s really fun to listen and learn from him.

Mostly Pablo just speaks, and points out locations and landmarks and tell us the histroy and stories. Sometimes he uses maps and info along the way, too.

Mostly Pablo just speaks, and points out locations and landmarks and tell us the histroy and stories. Sometimes he uses maps and info along the way, too.

This whole area is “new-ish” compared to many parts of Spain, meaning many of the buildings were re-built in the 16th venture after RedBeard and the Turkish army swept through eastern Spain and demolished evertying they could.  So the Cadaques church we visited is not nearly as old as many others I visited along the Camino last Year.

Sitting inside the Church of Cadaques before heading out on the trails

Sitting inside the Church of Cadaques before heading out on the trails

We could have toured Dali’s house but opted to keep running and just look over the trees and small line of people who were there to visit it.  The two silver-plated heads atop the entrance to the house reminds us of Dali’s eccentriic and thought-provoking style.  Pablo shared some aspects of Dali’s art and personality with us as we ran.

Our first stop was a lighthouse, at the top of a point of course overlooking the sea.  The rocky coast winds in and out so much, forming pockets of pebbly beach and tiny inlets of water everywhere.  I loved this trail; it was technical, rocky, with great views, and run-able.  I had a great time.  Pablo met us at the lighthouse with water and snacks.  He showed me on a map that this point, the Cap de Cruz is the eastern-most point of Spain.  Knowing that I did the Camino last year and walked all the way to Finisterre, said “now you’ve been to the westernmost and easternmost points of this country”.  I was taken aback; oh my goodness he’s right!  That is so cool!  I felt somehow honored to have covered this much ground in Spain, a country I have come to cherish even after just two visits.  I pictured myself metaphorically spreading my arms in a big hug of the country and reaching my fingertips to both edges of the land.  Since I couldn’t actually do that, instead we took pictures of me running on a stone curve leading up to the lighthouse.  I felt so happy!

The Eastern-most point of Spain, the "Cap de Creus"

The Eastern-most point of Spain, the “Cap de Creus”

Tree pose!

Tree pose!

We continued on through the “Parc Natural Del Cap de Creus” (Natural, protected, park of the Cape of the Cross) which is a wonderfully preserved area of unique rock formations and shrub-like trees and foliage surrounding many a single-track and jeep-trail path.  Pablo had pointed out how Dali was inspired by the landscape here, and it lead to many of his artistic backgrounds and subject matter.  I began to understand that better as we ran through the almost moonscape features – severe, desolate, yet beautiful and intriguing.  The textures, colors, and sometimes creature-like shapes of the uplifted rocks were quite thought-provoking.  My photos don’t even do it justice; as they cannot capture the huge span of landscape surronding us from all sides as we ran through on a path.

Different colors in the rocks make for a varied and interesting landscape.  Some are smooth and some are very rough; they look like lava fields in some places yet they are not.  The rocks have been pushed up with the movement of tectonic plates over many years.  Today's grey, somewhat foggy sky gave the area a melancholy yet strangely beautiful aura.

Different colors in the rocks make for a varied and interesting landscape. Some are smooth and some are very rough; they look like lava fields in some places yet they are not. The rocks have been pushed up with the movement of tectonic plates over many years. Today’s grey, somewhat foggy sky gave the area a melancholy yet strangely beautiful aura.

This rock formatio looked like a roughly-hewn animal figure to me

This rock formatio looked like a roughly-hewn animal figure to me

And this one looks like a "rock monster" or some creature with an open mouth.  I could see how a Surrealist artist could get ideas from this area..

And this one looks like a “rock monster” or some creature with an open mouth. I could see how a Surrealist artist could get ideas from this area..

 

We crossed more terrain inland and wound around the Natural Park till meeting up with Pablo again and finishing today’s miles at the Port De la Selva (port of the jungle) at almost the northernmost tip of Eastern Spain.  Across the harbor you can see the hills and mountains of Southern France.  Pablo says they speak Catalan as well.  We sat down for a well-deserved snack of papas bravas and aioli, tuna croquettes, and calamari.  I even got a real coke which tasted amazing, along with the food.

Post-run snacks right after finishing on Day 6, down by the water at Port de la Selva.  We drove back to Cadaques (half hour away) and stayed there again; we will drive back here in the morning to start where we left off and finish the route.

We made one stop on the way back to Cadaques where we would spend one more night (we drove back, about a half an hour).  We stopped at a local boutique winery, Cellar Martin Faixo “Mas Perafita”, where Pablo knows the owner and some of the wine-makers.  We had a tasting and a short tour which was really fun!

Smalll-batch wine aging in oak barrels at Celler Martin Faixo, a beautiful and historic local winery where we got a short tour and wine tasting.

Smalll-batch wine aging in oak barrels at Celler Martin Faixo, a beautiful and historic local winery where we got a short tour and wine tasting.

Pablo and I with his friend who helps make the wine here, and who gave us the tour

Pablo and I with his friend who helps make the wine here, and who gave us the tour

Upon arriving back “home”, Sallly and Chad and I went walking through the town of Cadaques once again to buy more man he go cheese, Iberian ham, olives, anchovies, fresh bread, and more wine.  Instead of going out to dinner tonight, as was planned, we invited Pablo to join us for a heavy-appetizer dinner where we spread out all our goods and enjoyed one more night of a variety of local snacks;  I just love doing this with friends – and new friends!

Pretty much each night, Sallly and Chad and I would have appetizers as a late lunch or before dinner - usually local fare we bought in the town in which we finished our run that day or the day before.

Pretty much each night, Sallly and Chad and I would have appetizers as a late lunch or before dinner – usually local fare we bought in the town in which we finished our run that day or the day before.

Pablo Rodriguez, Whitney, Sally Anderson, Chad Fabus

Pablo Rodriguez, Whitney, Sally Anderson, Chad Fabus

 

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