One of the joys of travelling is that sometimes, some things that aren’t planned work out perfectly. This was indeed the case for our week in the Costa Brava. We had a week up our sleeve prior to our flight to Rome. We didn’t want a long drive or another flight so a 1 hours drive north of Barcelona fit the bill nicely. When we initially considered the Costa Brava we had visions of mass development hosting masses of Brits all enjoying a fry up – luckily this was far from the case.
We managed to secure a last minute special on an apartment in a town called Sant Feliu. The town itself was nice enough. There were plenty of eating options and had a decent “local” vibe to it but certainly nothing to spend a great deal of time in it for and as far as beaches go there were certainly better options elsewhere up and down the coast just a short drive away.
The weather was fantastic every day so we were able to explore some of the beaches which all boasted crystal clear waters and a water temperature that even Trina found to be acceptable. La Fosca was our first venture into the Mediterranean and from here we did a great picturesque 25 minute coastal walk to another lovely beach called Platja de Castell. Our favourite beach though was Santa Cristina, which was about a half hours drive south from St Feliu. Whereas the other 2 beaches had a sudden drop after a gradual entrance, Santa Cristina allowed Callum in particular a more gradual and cautious approach. Dominic couldn’t have cared less – he was straight in, deep or not, with a borrowed boogie board under his arm.
A day trip to Girona was recommended and in particular a bike rental company which provided bikes for me, Trina and Dominic and the added bonus of a seat on the back of my bike for Callum. The Costa Brava has a designated cycle-way similar to the New Zealand cycle trail, which is great for exploring the local countryside. We rode for 22 kms over a mainly flat section, which made the distance quite achievable for little legs and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Callum was a little nervous on the back and spent the first couple of kms hanging onto the back of my t-shirt for dear life. After a while he realized I wasn’t going to crash and he relaxed and loved the ride.
Girona is a lively university town, with the obligatory “old town” which was really nice. We stumbled across the town square, which was full of restaurants and had a drink and dinner before driving the 30 minutes back to Sant Feliu and to bed with a couple of fairly sore backsides.
Girona is also the place that I introduced myself to the “dog-box” for the first time on this trip. Generally I leave all the navigation to Trina and it runs smoothly. For some reason (unknown to anyone) I decided to take control for the journey from Sant Feliu to Girona. Need a map? No way, it’s a small town and the bike shop is right next to the train station – how hard can it be? This was the wrong approach. Girona isn’t a town but in fact a rather large city and we spent the first hour exploring the historical sights of this fair metropolis in the car with Trina expressing her disappointment in my inability to find where the hell we were going. Luckily for me, she took control and after a quick stop at a friendly hotel we were sorted and within a few minutes had found the train station and the bike shop nearby. I’d like to say never again, but I can’t (more drama to follow in Italy!)
The rest of the week was filled in by Trina starting her running regime (again), swimming at the apartment pool, football with the boys in the backyard (still in their Barcelona shirts) and me nipping out for 38km ride from Sant Feliu, which took in the same cycle-way but from the other direction. This ride was without kids, it’s amazing how quiet a bike ride can be without them!
The week was really enjoyable. It was great to relax and spend some quality time with the family. Dominic even managed quite a bit of schoolwork over the week without too much fuss. Pizza, pasta and gelato next – 2 very excited boys! Callum has claimed he is going to eat pizza and ice-cream every day whilst in Italy.