Our exploration of Toledo, a city of dusty golds, caramels and honey hues perched high above the Tagus river situated in central Spain in the region of Castilla-La Mancha is crammed with site visits. No slow travel today. Romans were the first to occupy this city and build a fortress on the present day Alcazar.
“The city is a sorceress, you know Daniel. It gets under your skin and steals your soul without you knowing it”. Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Shadow of the Wind. I couldn’t agree more. A surreal arrival at Barcelona - El Prat foreshadowed the Dalian nature of this country. As we touched down, we observed no planes departing.
Pals as a lover is a gentle rocker and glider. Wide, smooth dark grey cobblestone streets grip your tread. Sensual meandering winds around gold, silver, pink-hued sandstone shops, archways, ancient houses and wrought iron balconies so charming you don’t realize you’re walking uphill.
Few activities are more glorious to wind down summer than exploring coastal beaches and beach towns. There are fourteen towns along the coast for us to visit. With so much to do in this incredible region between all of us over the course of our haven stay we conquer six - Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar, Begur, Roses, Cadaques and Portlligat.
Of Irish, French, Native American and Spanish descent, I afford myself the luxury of being a spiritual walker between the worlds of nature and civilization. Catholic by symbolism, a humanist embracing all religions by sensibility, forest steeples, bird sightings and moonbeams whisper hope, faith and charity to me as strongly as cities, history, learning and art.
Residing a dragon’s breath away from what cyclists call a cycling paradise, in an area where pro-cyclists live and train off-season, a couple of us choose to have an idyll day of cycling through the local medieval villages. Today will be leisurely; no climb up the Angels where motorcyclists rate the curves a five. Always food-centric our goal is a beautiful medieval village patio lunch.
First forages for secrets of Girona are through gossamer veils of rain. Roadways and cobblestones are lacquered; vehicle tires and pedestrian footing unsure. Navigation into the city is circumvented around city center protesters, two thousand demonstrating at city hall on their lunch hour over the jailing of nine of their Catalan independence leaders.