The Coast at Roses

Back at Sant Nicolau!  Tomorrow we leave again which is hard as I love it here but I must admit I am looking forward to fast internet, coffee and cakes with Lydia and Tiffany and the possibility of a hot bath. And Burns Night!  We are having our Burns supper on Saturday in Granollers

Today however we were able to enjoy the pleasures of the Costa Brava

We went to Roses to look for a hidden cove and had a wonderful walk along a path that so reminded me of the Cornish coast path. Bonnie was happy and seemed to glow in the sunshine

It was rocky and wild, the sea was aquamarine and crystal clear

There were some differences though.
One of was the sight of the snow covered Pyranees over on the far side of Roses bay

Another was the occasional scented blast of fresh herbs flowering in the sunshine

I have never seen such a profusion of wild rosemary in flower

Another strong scent was from the Alyssum, a flower I remember from our Troon garden.
It smells of honey and is very hard to photograph as it is so tiny

Later we drove back through Roses town just in time to catch the starlings preparing to roost. As always we were the only people who seemed remotely interested in watching birds. It was the most wonderful sight.  There must have been a thousand birds and they filled the air with their cries while creating magical heart-stopping ever changing patterns in the darkening sky

Autumn Sun on the Costa Brava

I am spending a week at Sant Nicolau with some of my family from the UK
It is lovely to sing together in the church

The weather this October is warm and clear and although the nights are drawing in, it is still comfortable to swim in the warm clear water of the Costa Brava.

Estartit is a seaside town which was originally a traditional fishing village but now is lost within the usual sprawling developments of the 1960’s. However it  is saved by the presence of the Mides Islands which dominate the bay and the hilltop 13th century castle which overlooks the area.

On the way down to Estartit you pass through the beautiful Torroella de Montgri which makes a much better place to stop for lunch.

On Saturday we ate in a tapas restaurant in a quiet square – it’s easy to find

When we returned on Wednesday the kitchen was closed but the waitress recognised me from before and asked the cook if he would prepare us lunch anyway.  Which he did with a smile!
Lovely food and incredibly welcoming service in a very pleasant town

I could imagine living there.
But also, I can’t.
Strangely the longer I live here the more I understand the Catalan way of staying close to home. Granollers is not my home but for now it is the closest thing I have to that mythical place.


There is a beach near Sant Pere Pescador which I have been trying to find for a while.
This time armed with a detailed map and accompanied by man and dog to help me stay focussed, I finally found it.  Actually I have been very close once before but in the summer you can’t go hereas it is part of the protection area for breeding birds.
Bleached driftwood is lying everywhere.
It is a beachcombers paradise. Something I only dreamed of in Cornwall

The wood is almost all branches from trees so there are not the kind of planks you sometimes find brought in on Atlantic waves, but still it is very impressive for a bay on the Mediterranean, surrounded as it is by towns and villages and within a gentle stroll from a man-made monstrosity called Empuriabrava.
I brought back some pieces to carve

and had to leave some that were too heavy to move

And there was a dog wondering ‘with all this wood around why don’t you throw a stick for me?’

What’s Not To Like?

I am back at Sant Nicolau and although I was supposed to go home today I am still here!
It’s the light.
It’s waking up to birdsong.
It’s the pleasure of letting Bonnie out into the garden for her morning pee without having to get dressed to face the people of Granollers.

I called this post What’s Not To Like?  because I’ve always loved that strange phrase, learnt from my old friend Hannah in London.  Being here in Sant Nicolau makes me feel that way.
I love being here.
Helen and Francis are such warm generous people, the little cottages for rent feel like home from home, the resident dogs and cats are friendly and chilled, the gardens are beautiful, the swimming pool is inviting, there is healing energy in the air. We are near the lovely beaches of the Costa Brava and from the Mas you can walk along quiet lanes with the Pyranees and Mare de Deu del Mont in the distance.
Here there be light and love and magic!
The only thing that would make it perfect would be if Pep was here too!
This is the walk that Bonnie and I take most days from the house.

Mas Sant Nicolau

This is a very special place.
Here are some of my favourite bits. Some random images of a wonderful place to visit
Most important of all there is this….

There are little nooks for snuggling up with a book…

And a room with piles of books to chose from

This was my pile – I didn’t get round to the Karen Horney!

There is table tennis

And a swimming pool

You can sing in the church

Which is right outside the gate

Yesterday there was an amazing thunder storm

Followed by double rainbows

And although I have no photograph……there is the nightingale

 Mas Sant Nicolau  0034 972 525462
They have courses here too!
and overlooking it all is the wonderful Lucy!