Author: Azra

Playing golf in Torremirona

Golf is booming! – the success story

Golf is booming! – No matter if beginner, advanced or professional – During a trip along the Costa Brava, through the idyllic countryside of Emporada – golfing fans should test the grandiose golf courses of the Sunshine Destination. Along the wild coastline with beautiful beaches you can find golf courses surrounded by picturesque landscape. So, whoever wants to stay here longer – currently there is a great offer of comfortable holiday villas at attractive prices. Find examples online: selected-property.com.

 

Holing the ball

Perfect day for playing golf in Peralada

 

 

Especially sportive and fitness orientated active holidaymakers of all ages love the open-air game. Even kids already practice the perfect tee.

Stereotyping was yesterday. The argument „elitist and too expensive“ is no longer valid. A complete set for beginners is available online for only 100 euro. Suitable shoes can be found from 40 euro up.
Beginners start at the Driving Range or play their first rounds at Pitch & Put. Just trash and try out. Of course it takes time until one is able to play the game – but practice makes perfect!

As soon as one is infected by the golfing virus the license to play is the next step. Thus, become a „Pro“. The trainer helps to get a license. This is the ticket to the golfing paradise. The license makes it possible to play at almost any golf course in the world.

 

 

Lake at the golf course

Lake in Peralada

 

Lifestyle

However, golfing is booming and will continue to boom, and this is not by chance: Meditation, concentration and competitive sport – all in one. Thus, an attractive stress ratio. Hard-hitting strikes and sporting performance paired with a relaxed lifestyle: golf courses of Costa Brava offer a unique landscape and mediterranean climate. A 18-hole round outdoors along with a 8 to 10 km walk and 1200 calories burned brings you in a good shape. As a reward one can enjoy an exquisite gourmet meal accompanied by delicious regional wines.

However, our photo series of the most beautiful golfcourses of Costa Brava should give all of you who can hardly wait to grab his/her equipment first impressions of the fantastic golf landscapes of Catalonia. In addition, as a special offer we have prepared tipps for golf properties. Even if you do not have the golfing license in your pocket – „living on the golf course“ brings a lot of advantages – especially in terms of service and security. Also, it’s guaranteed that you get into good shape here!

 

Pool at the golf club

Panorama

Golf clubs

Costa Brava and the Pyrenees of Girona are a paradise for all who dream of green tees and fairways.

  • ClubDeGolf Costa Brava – Santa Cristina d’Aro
  • ClubDeGolf Peralada
  • Empordа GolfResort Gualta
  • Golf de Pals
  • Golf Girona – Sant Juliа de Ramis
  • PGA Catalunya Resort – Girona / Caldes de Malavella
  • Torremirona GolfClub – Navata
  • ClubGolf d’Aro-Mas Nou – Platja d’Aro

 

Perfect weather for holing in the ball

Golf lawn in Torremirona

Pitch & Putt

Short distances, par three and a lot of golf. The Pitch and Putt on the Costa Brava offers optimally designed courses. Pitch & Putt:

  • Mas Nou Platja d’Aro
  • Castellу d’Empùries
  • Fornells de la Selva
  • Caldes de Malavella
  • Peralada
  • Platja d’Aro
  • Par 3 Gualta

 

Blue sky over Torremirona

Torremirona golf club makes golfer hearts beat faster

Fairytale scenery

Les Orgues d’Ille-sur-Têt – unique sandstone world!

Enchanted sandstone rocks

Mother nature often creates unique worlds like in Ille-sur-Têt, near Perpignan. In front of the imposing backdrop of Canigou (2784 m) sandstone sculptures protrude in front of the bright blue horizon. The landscape looks just like a fairy tale! These sugar towers that are created by erosion could have possibly inspired Antoni Gaudí when he planned his Sagrada Família. This great spectacle of nature can be reached from Costa Brava by car in about an hour. To explore the so called „Cheminées de Fées“ (‚fairy chimney‘) it takes about an half an hour walk.

 

Impressive and high sandstone figures

Fairy chimneys as a source of inspiration.

 

First we enter the amphitheater that is surrounded by a fairytale backdrop of stone. It looks marvelous! New forms arise every time it rains. The nature is here its own sculptor! The rock needles protrude up to 15 meters into the sky. With a little imagination one can recognize mythical creatures, various animal heads or models with modern hats.

 

City out of sand stones

Natural art

 

We stroll through the maze of stones. We are enjoying the view and capture beautiful moments with our camera. This is for sure a relaxing trip into another world. We decide to go back to the sea and enjoy the backdrop from there. On our way back we stop by to walk around and do some shopping in the streets of Collioure. Taking the way back along the beautiful coast after a trip to France is more than recommendable! Through the serpentines we drive back to Costa Brava. We cannot get enough of the beautiful sea-views. Green vineyards, turquoise sea, blue sky – there is beauty wherever you look! These amazing landscapes remind on paradise and are truly meditation for the soul. A trip to Orgues is definitely a great excursion tip for a mild sunny day in autumn.

 

Unique world of Ille-sur-Têt

Sandstone towers from further away

How to reach Ille-sur-Têt

– from Figueres in about 50 min
– First, motorway AP8 to Perpignan, then towards Andorra. After that exit the expressway N 116 at Ille-sur-Têt.

Alternatively:
First, take NII behind Le Boulou exit towards Thuir via D 612 to Ille-sur-Têt. Here you drive comfortably through villages along wineries. Buy Fruits at the roadside and taste delicious wine of the region in one of the wineries. A picturesque landscape framed by the massif of Canigou awaits you.

Follow the signs “Site des Orgues“ in Ille-sur-Têt until you reach the parking lot behind the place.

Buy tickets (price: 5€) at the parking lot and then follow the marked path. After about 800 meters you reach the entrance to the rock spectacle. Do not forget your camera!

 

Different types of Catalonian cheese

Cheese in Catalonia – A marvelous world

Fira del Formatge artesà Lladó

In Catalonia, one is going to find a surprisingly broad range of different kinds of cheese. Quality and a sense for what is truly special are always on the increase, especially in the last couple of years.

Most famous types of cheese

  • Firstly, there is SANT MATEU, a hard cheese which is left to mature for two months. It is known for its red rind as well as for its elastic texture and mild taste.
  • GARROTXA – Made from goat milk, it is left to mature for a month in stone caverns until it develops its special taste – mild, fresh and reminiscent of nuts, with a faint hint of mushrooms.
  • CANTELL however, is known for its nuttily flavour and the bluish natural rind which takes three months of maturing to develop properly.

 

Blue cheese at Llado

A paradise for cheese lovers

 

  • APRIME is a fat-reduced cheese for the body-conscious and features a mild flavour and soft consistence.
  • Caseated by wrapping cloth around goat milk, CAN PUJAL NEVAT is another soft, slightly sour cheese with white natural rind and a texture that melts on one’s tongue. Can pujal nevat takes about six weeks of maturing.
  • Another type made from goat milk is known as PETIT NEVAT. It is a small, soft cheese with a doughy texture and a mild flavour of mushrooms. Regional cheeses are known as Mountain – and Lowland cheese.

 

Hard to choose between all the different kinds of cheese

Huge offer

 

Llado

They are made from sheep-, cow – or goat milk or a mixture of the above. Besides, they come in all shapes and sizes. However, they are usually not known beyond their place of origin. Because of that Llado is hosting an annual cheese fair. However, the fair is an excellent opportunity to go on a culinary journey. And also, to get a taste of the region’s best cheeses. This year’s cheese fair is taking place on September, on the market place of Llado. Furthermore, wine and freshly baked bread are  offered, and there is music and other events of cultural interest. However, whilst in Llado, we highly recommend to take a walk to the antique centre of the village. Thus, visit Iglesia de Santa Maria and Monasterio de Santa Maria. Both date back to the Middle Ages and count as historic monuments.

To conclude, long story short: a trip to Llado is great fun for the entire family!

 

Perfect Conditions for a day at the Torremirona golf club

Golf club in Torremirona, Costa Brava

Torremirona Golf Club is just 7km away from the emblematic city of Figueres. This magnificent “championshipcourse” 18 holes (par72) amazes even the most demanding golfers.

 

Paradise in Torremirona

Enjoy this paradise in the countryside of Empordà. A unique setting for both the fantastic golf course designed by Eugenio Aguado and Jordi Soler, to the facilities of the clubhouse and TorreMirona Fitness & Spa golf resort. The area between the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees is known for its great weather and pleasant temperatures – 365 days a year. These conditions make it ideal for playing golf at any time of year.

Pool at the Torremirona Golf Club

Torremirona Golf Club

The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IGATO) chose him in 2000 as “Best Emerging Golf Destination Worldwide”.
In the same hole 1 surrounded by gardens and wonderful views of the golf course is Torremirona Hotel Relais ****. Our hotel has an outdoor pool, mini-bar, TV, safe and cozy decor.

Golfing at Torremirona

Our golf course amazes even the most demanding golfers.

Ther resort also features the Fitness / Spa fully equipped with outdoor and indoor pool, thermal circuit, hammam, saunas, paddle, tennis, sports area, fitness room. A team of qualified professionals is willing to cover all your medical and sporting needs and aesthetic.

Torremirona Hotel with pool

Facilites of our Hotel

 

You can calmly live here, close to Costa Brava’s most beautiful beaches. Furthermore, there is only little driving distance to the railway station Vilafant where the high speed train AVE stops. The airports Girona or Barcelona also can be reached easily within a short period of time. Consequently, you can perfectly connect to all European metropolis if required.

Golf course with a view

Panorama at the golf club

Shooting GOT in Girona

Temps de Flors – Girona covered in flowers

For a long time, Girona has been covering itself with flowers in the month of May. We have been there at the 61 Temps de Flors to capture the most beautiful moments of the opening event. 

Cathedral of Girona

Temps de Flor in Girona

Temps de Flors

All day long, we roamed through Girona’s impressing Old Town, not only to discover the art of flowers, but also to find a couple of new galleries, restaurants and boutiques.
However, even the smallest and most winding alleys at the verge of the Old Town have been freshly restored and brought to new life. Only a few building sites are left now.

 

Decoration during the flower festival in Girona

Decoration in old town Girona

 

 

Girona is shining

Girona shines in its garment of spring, and the inhabitants have dressed up for the opening ceremony. We find blossoming pieces of art in the streets and squares, in yards and churches, on meadows and roofs. Art and kitsch, flower and form, constructed and grown – it is a symbiosis of emotion, fun, cooperation and communication. It is a feast for all senses that attracts more visitors each year. We let the colorful crowd carry us. The cathedral’s bells chime, raised high above. The wind carries flowers made of paper.

 

Cathedral of Girona, decorated

Pieces of art at the Cathedral

 

White cement sculptures linger on a wall. Now and then cloves and leaves surprise us, exotic buds, branches and trunks, all intricate and forming sculptures. They lean against walls or seem to float freely in the narrow alleys. The school for music is giving an early open-air concert; their violins‘ soft sounds are carried far away. Visitors wait in line in front of the Arabic Baths. We keep maundering, until we reach the stairs of the cathedral. Here, an arrangement of flowers creates a new coherence between architecture, human beings, and nature.

 

Temps de Flors

Decoration arrangement, connecting art and nature

 

“Temps de Flors” represents the interaction of art and nature. Hence, reality and illusion. Moments of caducity in the circle of life.

Finally we find a coffee shop at a corner has a free table for us. Relaxed, we lean back and watch as the other visitors pass us by. However, Girona – we will come back, next year at the latest, for the 62. Temps de Flors in the May of 2017.

Bath pralines decorated with flowers

Bath candies in shells – gift idea

Treasure hunter

Are you also passionate treasure hunter at the beach? Because we cannot get enough of it: shells, stones, starfish, broken glass, driftwood … Long walks on the beach provide a great wealth of beautiful woods, sparkling polished glass pieces from the sea and well-travelled shells. A little adventure for the home and a dream of next summer seaside takeaway in the trunk. All these things can be arranged to beautiful decorations for the house and the garden, slid onto wire or hanging on lampshades – there are no limits to fantasy. It’s not about perfection. The natural-chic gets its charm by irregularity and a touch of chaos.

 

Beach still life

Our very special treasure.

Bubbling energy in shells for your home

Bath candies are a great holiday memory. If you want to give collected shells from the beach a new function, then you can recycle them as bath candies.

Shell

Bath candies

 

For 6 pieces you need:

  • 30 g of cocoa butter
  • 50g citric
  • 100 g of soda
  • 15g cornflour
  • 25 – 30 drops of good extra virgin olive oil
  • Rosemary, lavender or other fragrant fresh herbs chopped or cinnamon and vanilla – to give a good and tasty smel

 

Bath praline paste

Mixing all ingredients looks very appetizing.

 

Melt the cocoa butter over low heat in a pot, mix all the other ingredients in a bowl, stir in cocoa butter, fill the mass into beautiful shells – one can also use chocolate or ice forms – and then refrigerate. Later package them in cellophane and decorate with an olive branch. Cooled and kept dry the bath candies can be used up to 3 months. A great holiday gift!

 

Shells

Finished bath candies, ready for taking a hot, relaxing bath.

Birds in Aiguamolls

Aiguamolls de l’Empordà – a natural park

Aiguamolls – Natural Park

Aiguamolls’ natural park is characterized by an astonishing interplay of dunes, drowned meadows, brackish lagoons (special habitats due to their fluctuations in salinity) and lakes. The Catalan word aigua­molls means calm, shallow water in English. In Spanish, it is called marismas and describes a coastal wetland, which has been formed by the interaction of both the estuary and the sea.

 Aiguamolls from above

Lagoons of Aiguamolls

Our journey begins at the tourist information’s parking lot. Starting from here it is also possible to explore the birds’ reservoir afoot. It is worth the effort: the birds’ reservoir forms a part of the wildlife sanctuary.

Stork's nest

Storks in Aiguamolls

The wetland is framed by luscious green, nature having explored after the heavy spring rains. Lagoons like mirrors reflect grasses and the bright yellow of water lilies. Reed and rushes sway in the wind, whispering silently. The perfect harmony is only disrupted by the occasional dabchick diving into this mirrored world.

Lagoon with a view

Reeds in the wind

Tamarisks, adapted to wet, salty habitats, blossom in pink and white, growing as they will as trees or bushes. Storks stalk through the swamp on long legs; others circle high above in the sky. Most of them sit on their nests, built in the branches of dead, gnarled trees – or on platforms constructed for this purpose. Their loud chattering can still be heard miles away.
The white stork’s repatriation is one of the sanctuary’s most pressing concerns, as well as the protection of the more than 300 other species of birds.

Snow in the distance

Pyrenees covered with snow

Quim Franch

At the very beginning of our journey, we visit the observatory “Quim Franch”, and watch the “Cortalet”’s lake. A family of swans – parents and five fledglings – floats through the reeds in blissful peace. Frogs croak loudly. A few wild ducks bob up and down with the current, while a grey heron stands aloof, majestically. We see grouses, a whole family, on their first day out. The small black fledglings flee back into the rushes on overly large, clumsy feet, and they are gone before we can even think of taking pictures.

Fields in Aiguamolls

Lake Cortalet

Landscape

The whole landscape is blossoming. There is a stallion, grazing in front of a Masia. Resplendently white, the snow-capped Pyrenees can be seen in the distance. The wind of Tramuntana is rough, blowing directly into our faces. We see red poppy on the fields, white chamomile and blue borage. Violet lavender emits its aromatic scent. The rough landscape is of an unusual beauty, enchanting. Purely romantic. We are amazed by the interesting route through the wonderful natural park of Aiguamolls.

Canals of Aiguamolls

Water way through the beautiful natural park of Aiguamolls

Advice

The maps are available in German, English, Spanish, French and Catalan and are handed out free of charge at the tourist information “El Cortalet”. (0034) 972 45 42 22.
How to get there: Take the high way from Sant Pere Pescador or Castelló d’Empúries.
www.aiguamolls.org

Bird at a lagoon

The lagoons in Agiuamolls provide perfect habitats for a lot of different species

Ferran Adrià with his colleagues

“El Bulli 1846” – What comes after the molecular cuisine?

El Bulli 1846

Ferran Adrià, considered one of the best chefs in the world, wants to reinvent the world of gastronomy. In the street Cala Montjoi in Roses on the Costa Brava, where the best restaurant in the world “El Bulli” once welcomed gourmets from all over the world, “El Bulli 1846” is expected to open: It is not a restaurant, but an exhibition of “El Bulli’s” history.

Bulli-foundation

Exhibition of “El Bulli’s” history

 

The number 1846 stands for the number of the meals, which Ferran Adrià has invented in his restaurant “El Bulli” in the street Cala Montjoi. He has sworn not to copy meals from other chefs.

There are also days, where he cooks for companies or for certain occasions in Cala Montjoi –of course not a normal meal, but even more experimental. Generally, it is about the science and creative projects, new ideas and the exhibition concepts.

Egg molecular

Cooking is all about science

The philosophy

The philosophy is: to devour the knowledge, in order to nurture the creativity. Exploring everything you need to know about food, questioning everything and rearranging.
“Who says that a tomato is a tomato?” asks Ferran Adrià. “Is this rather an imaginary reality, the one we want to believe in?”, he adds. Adrià likes himself in the role of provocateur. Deconstruction and reconstruction of the kitchen remains his central topic. His molecular cuisine has revolutionized the gastronomy for over two decades. Now he cooks knowledge.
Art historians, designers, graphic designers, chefs – all of them are inserting their knowledge into the so-called “Bullipedia” – the Wikipedia of food science.

Experimental kitchen at the Bulli

One of Adrià’s best examples for molecular cuisine

Sponsors

“The kitchen as a field of research, there has never been anything like it.”, Adrià proudly says.
In order to run the projects, you need a lot of money. No problem for Adrià: His sponsors are not only Telefonica, but also Lavazza, Dom Pérignon and the CaixaBank.

One of Adrià's master pieces

Food as a piece of art

Seal in Catalonia

Seal – live in Catalonia

Inimitable British singer-songwriter Seal will be presenting his new album, 7, at what will be his only performance in Catalonia this summer. On this occasion, he is back with his former collaborator, producer Trevor Horn.

Seal performing at the Peralada Festival

Seal in the middle of the crowd

From the start of his career, Seal has focused on creative discovery expressing the complete experience of love through song. He will be making his Peralada Festival début with an album that captures beautifully the different dynamics of love, such as anger, acceptance, joy, sadness and imprudence, different forms of emotion that merge into feelings, the silly things that love does and that go straight to the heart.

Seal standing out from the crowd

Seal – live on stage

This is the first album released by the British singer since his divorce from model Heidi Klum in 2012. The songs on 7 describe the feelings of someone who has experienced a love story that has failed.  Leaving a great hole and a wounded person who has left something very important behind. Winner of four Grammys and three Brit Awards, he has sold over 30 million records worldwide. His hits hits inlcude Killer, Crazy and Kiss from a Rose, the soundtrack to the lm Batman Forever.

Seal giving the performance of his live at Peralada

Rocking the stage

Lying on the bed, topless

Photography and self reinvention

She is a young and self-confident woman who loves photography. In front of and behind the camera, she plays with erotic fantasies of past and present, experimenting with light and shadow as well as black and white.

Montse Capel aka “Moon”

Montse Capel is 26 years old. She is from Figueres, the city of surrealism, which had a formative influence on her from a very early age: She uses the pseudonym “Moon”. The moon orbits the earth. It represents the unconscious, the desires and dreams “Immerse yourself in your dreams and give in to your desires.” Her clear black-and-white photography deals with self-perception, intuition and focuses on the feminine side. She is always her own model in a new context. The backgrounds, the environments and the light – always change. And she is right in the middle of it. By using the self-timer, she is loosing herself in the moment, the ambiance.

Nude picture of "Moon"

Passionate photography

However, she is far away from taking trendy selfies that are often shared on Facebook. Everyone has been talking about it even if they have been around for 175 years – aesthetic self-portraits. Montse Capel feels obliged to follow this tradition.

Self-potrait with strong eyes

Black & white Portrait

Long before Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, smartphones, selfie sticks and self-timer, people used to display themselves in front of their own cameras. The phenomenon to taking pictures oneself is as old as the photography itself and corresponds to our innate curiosity.
Montse Capel is not a digital “egoshooter”, but an ambitious photo artist.

Displaying yourself nude in front of your own cameras

Portraying herself with a self-timer

She wants to reinvent herself again and again, to dive into different worlds, to experience the interaction between light and shade…
We are looking forward to new perspectives from her.