Author: Hannah Schraven

Angels shop in Garriguella.

Second sketch – the antique dealer Angel

In the middle of the sleepy village of Garriguella has the restorer and antiques dealer Angel opened his shop – behind old barn doors are two halls filled to the bursting with curiosity and antique pieces. What kind of person makes all these beautiful things sparkle and shine again?

What were you dreaming of, when you where a child?
Oh, I‘ve had many dreams. I was mostly dreaming of sport, because I was playing basketball for Barcelona.

Are you more a person of memory or of hope?

Which dream have you already forgotten?

One thing you should stop and one thing you should start?
I should stop working and start living my second youth.

What‘s more important in life? Rationality or unreason?

Would you have liked to live in a diffrent era?

What‘s the first thing you would do if you could be 16 again?
I would meet my wife.

Which is the most beautiful place you’ve ever been?

Which bar would you recommend us?
La sirena in Roses.

One thing that you would take to a lonley island?
My wife.

Are changes a good thing or a bad thing?
Something good!

What else does the world need??
More mental health.

What wouldn‘t the world be missing?

What is the good thing about growing up?
You make your experiences – no matter whether they‘re good or bad.

One thing that you have learned from life?
Honor and love the animals. Especially dogs and horses.

How important is time for you? Do you sometimes like wasting it?
Time means living and stop living. And yes, I love wasting it and I‘m doing it alot.

Do you have a motto?
It is a sentence of Pep Guardiola: „When we get up early and work hard, we are an unstoppable nation.“

Angels shop in Garriguella.

Information: Angels shop is located at the church square of Garriguella. It‘s worth a visit!

Painting of Jesus Christ in the museum.

History lesson at the Museo Episcopal de Vic

You don‘t need a time machine to travel into the past – simply visit the Museo Episcopal de Vic, which is hiding in the charming, medival town Vic on the foot of the Pyrenees.  The outward appearance of the monumental building opposite the famous cathedral already makes the ghosts of the past whisper behind the thick stone walls. When you start walking trough the rooms, which are filled with over 29,000 artworks, the history finally comes alive.

On of the precious paintings of the museum.

With its collection of glass, metal and textiles, as well as countless paintings and sculptures from the Romanesque and Gothic periods , the museum is considered a world-wide unique place, that gives a deep insight into the Catalan history.After a previous artistic and architectural exhibition and the discovery of an old Romanesque temple near the city,  the museum was founded in 1891 by a bishop. And it‘s as spectacular as an modern art exhibition – while you wander past various cabinets, the thin lips of the shady faces, which drank out of this or that jug many years ago, suddenly appear in front of your eyes and when you glance at the ornamented jewelry box or the beautiful carved comb, you wonder how the woman looked like, unraveling her long hair with it.

A collection of wood carvings. and figures.

However, the centerpiece of the museum is its Romanesque – Gothic collection of paintings and artworks, which were lovingly refurbished. When you realize, that each stroke of the brush and every tiny detail was executed by a bare hand, you won‘t stop gazing in amazement. Especially the finely woven vestments and hand made clothes in one of the showrooms keep your mouth open.
In addition to the museum’s collection, which can be visited at any time, is always a diffrent exhibition on the ground floor, where further informations about the Catalan history are given. The best thing about the Museo Episcopal is, that it shows that museums are not always antiquated, dusty places, which only history lovers can enjoy. No one is going to be bored here.

There're many precious paintings in the museum in Vic.

How to get there:
Museo Episcopal de Vic
Plaça Bisbe Oliba, 3
08500 Vic (Barcelona)

Opening hours:
April – September: Tuesday till Friday 10.00  – 19.00 o’clock
October – Marchz: Tuesday till Friday 10.00 – 13.00 o’clock and 15.00 – 18.00 o’clock
Saturday: 10.00 – 19.00 o’clock
Sunday and public holiday: 10.00  – 14.00 o’clock

Normal: 7, 00 Euro
Reduced: 3,50 Euro

Snapshot of an butterfly.

Jardins Cap de Roig

You don‘t have to take a look into a book of fairytales to betake yourself to a majestetic place- simply make an excursion to the gardens of Cap Roig, which are well-known for their breathtaking beauty.

The beautiful gardens of Cap Roig.

It feels, as if you would bump right into a royal family, when you enter them. The path trough the garden is scattered with blooming shrubs, palmtrees are looking down on them like guardians. The air smells of colorful geraniums and acacias- you feel, as if you‘re in an artist‘s studio.

View of the castle in the garden.

If you walk a little further, you gonna reach a pavillion with plants sticking to the stony walls and a pond, which reminds of a dreamy princess garden. In 1927, an russian colonel and an english adorner decided to make this place their home.

Snapshot of an butterfly.

It‘s must have been a good life, in this 17 hectar paradise. Nevertheless are we happy that the doors  are now open for everybody- in summer, the famous Cap Roig music festival takes place in this venue.

How to get there:
Palafrugell – Mont – ras
Cap Roig, 17210 Calella de Palafrugell

Opening hours:
April – September: 10.00 – 20.00 o’clock
October – March: 10.00 – 18.00 o’clock
January und February, as well as Saturday und Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00 o’clock

400th anniversary of El Greco‘s death

Whether you‘re interested in art or not, there are some things, that you must have seen once in a lifetime. Especially lovers of the Spanish art history should know the name El Greco – this year, everybody gets invited to gain insight into the life of the genius.

Born in April 1541 in Crete, the young Greco moved to Madrid in 1577 in the hope to work for the king. He later came to the former Spanish capital Toledo, where he started creating his famous altarpieces. His style influenced many German painters such as Max Beckmann or Oppenheimer.

In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of El Greco‘s death this year, there will be diffrent exhibitions in Madrid and Toledo, where you can marvel at the beautiful paintings of the great master. Further information as well as the exhibitions programm can be found here.

One of Dalís Portraits of Gala

Might and Diveneness – Dalís muse Gala

Deified muse and creature of poetry, object of sexual appetite and artistic producing. It’s quite easy to follow Dalís track along the Costa Brava, but who was actually the woman by his side, appearing in numberless paintings of the artist and bearing the mystical name Gala? In the centre of the small village Púbol is a castle located, which appears quite simple except of Dalís long – legged elephants, which glance over the stony walls like intent guardians. In contrary to the Dalí museum in Figueres or the artist’s house in Portlligat, which allure crowds of tourists during the summermonths, this dreamy spot is surrounded by a pleasant silence.

In 1968 bought Dalí the castle for his adored wife Gala. It was a place of privacy for her and it was difficult to break trough the cocoon of might, that Gala had created during her life.  Even Dalí had to ask her for permission every time he visited her in the following years. Who was this woman with the shady face of an eagle and the dark eyes, whose lips looked like they were hardly ever decorated with a smile? Gala, who was actually named Jelena, was born in 1894 in Russia – her family was deeply religious and she soon adopted this character trait. The peaky girl spent her adolescence in a sanatorium, where she first met the poet Paul Éluard – he was going to be her first husband and father of her child, which Gala was never interested in.

Many of Galas Portrait can be found in the museum in Figueres.

The girl already adored art in this early years and even though she never actual did art by herself, it later became her purpose in life. It was Pauls attraction, who impressed her with his poetic talent and for whom the exotic girl became a limitless source of inspiration, which aroused Galas wish to live a life only for art and love. The perfect symbiosis of an artist and his muse, which already became apparent in her first marriage, was characteristic of Galas relationships – in 1921, she carried on with Max Ernst, a complicated love triangle followed and her marriage started to break to pieces. It looked like the 27 – year old, who was often described as an uncommunicative and cranky person, was slowly outgrowing her role as wife and mother – she wanted to escape the comfortable nest.

Another famous Portrait of Gala.

In 1929, she finally met the unknown Dalí in Cadaqués – the bizarre character of the artist, who immediately fell in love with Galas rough beauty, became her escapism. A few days later, Paul started back for home without his wife. Gala was already caught up in a new romance and nevermore came back to him. What was it, that made Gala chose this new life? Had Dalí she finally turned into the untouchable goddess, she always wanted to become? She was not only the artist‘s precious muse, but also his astute manager, who helped him to become more and more famous. Even if Gala is often described as a cold person, she seemed to have a soft core – when Dalí fell ill, his wife was nursing him for a long time, until she died. Till this day, no one really knows, where she is buried – supposedly Dalí brought her to Púbol.

How to get there:
Casa – Museo Castillo Gala Dalí
Plaza Gala Dalí, E – 17120 Púbol – la Pera

Opening hours:
Juni – September: 10.00 Uhr – 20.00 Uhr
September – November: 10.00 Uhr – 18.00 Uhr
November – Dezember: 10.00 Uhr – 17.00 Uhr
Januar – März: geschlossen
Außerhalb der Sommermonate Montags geschlossen!

Ticket regulär: 8 Euro
Ticket ermäßigt: 6 Euro

Spectacular view from the gardens of Cap Roig.

An inspiring place- beautiful Costa Brava

How does inspiration feel like? It‘s the sweet taste of joy that sticks to your tongue, when life has  just revealed one of its little secrets and you know, that you can do what ever you want with it and you don‘t have to share it with anybody. Even if being inspired is a great feeling, it‘s normally hiding in a dark corner – it seems rather to be a shy deer than a tame lamb and it appears only if you built your castles high enough in the air.No free toughts, no inspiration – it‘s not possible to bond it. There may be words in which it‘s hiding or a movie or a painting. But it can also be found in some places.

The inspiring landscape of the Costa Brava.O

ne of the most famous residents of the Costa Brava, Salvador Dalí, once said about his hometown Cadaqués: “Furthermore I only love Cadaqués, my own center, which is the whole world on the edge of the sea.”He was not the only person, who fell in love with the rough coastline – there‘s hardly any famous artist to be found, who didn‘t get lost here at least once in a lifetime. Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Paul Elúard , Andre Breton, Man Ray and Marcel Duchcamp are just some of the many and even if you are a very rational person, it‘s hard not to immerse yourself into a fantasy world, surrounded by this landscape. The air of the place smells of creativity and if you look at it long enough, it becomes a treasure chest full of inspiration.

Hidden spot at the coast.

The Costa Brava seems with its bizarre beauty like a rough diamond, on which the light refracts as if you would look trough a colorful kaleidoscope. You only have to glance at the Cap de Creus or the endless beaches of the region. The motionless silhouette of the Pyrenees is framing the sea like a sleeping giant – clouds pass across the sky like the blow of a breath. You can hear the ghosts of the past whisper in romantic mountain villages like Oix or Setcasa or you can just lose yourself in one of the many beautiful coastal towns.

Spectacular view from the gardens of Cap Roig.

The Costa Brava is mostly known as a holiday paradise for families and young people, but it can also be seen as a perfect example for yonder frenetic, multi-faceted artist’s life, Salavdor Dalí was living – when you follow his track along the coast and visit his residence in Portlligat or his museum in Figueres, it‘s obvious, that many of his works are inspired by the nature and that Cadaqués was the place, where he could hang onto his dreams.There‘s hardly a place on earth where it‘s easier to free your spirit and it‘s worthwhile to go off the beaten track of the travelers and to search for your own sources of inspiration – you will be surprised how many secrets are waiting to be brought to life.

Impressive altar of the cathedral in Vic.

Symbiosis of divineness and art – the cathedral of St Pere in Vic

Last week, we went to a place, which filled us with awe and speechlessness merely from seeing – the monumental Cathedral of St Pere, heart of the lively and colorful student town Vic seems to sit between the elegant houses like a stately lion. But it‘s not only the outer appearance of this neo – classical church of the 18th century, which bestows it with such a unique and impressive aura – once the heavy, wrought – iron gates are closed behind you, you feel like being lost in an art gallery. Josep Maria Sert is the name of the painter, whose famous works from the 17th century instantly surround the visitor and breathe new life into the cathedral, a phenomenon, which is rarely found in ordinary churches.

View of the cathedral in Vic.

The paintings, which show the path of salvation, look like photographys – some of them are dark , some of them are illuminated by subdued light and the fact that every single detail has been created by the hand of the artist, makes them even more fascinating.The building itself, from whose original construction of the 11th century is only the crypt and the bell tower left over, contributes to the impressive composition. Stone frescoes and filigree ornaments decorate the walls – at the end of the day your nape is going to be sore from lookingup .The better, that the golden altar of the church is just as alluring and you can enjoy the sublime atmosphere for a fleeting moment. Understandably, Josep Maria Sert never left this place – both the artist and the famous philosopher Jaume Balmes are buried here.

The walls are decorated by precious paintings.

Once you found the way to Vic, it‘s worthwhile to spend a few more hours in the city after you‘ve visited the cathedral. Traces of the church seem to be woven into the architecture – Madonna sculptures look down on the wanderers, the windows are surrounded by Jugendstil ornaments.The streets are full of cheerfulness and vibrancy – small bars and charming cafés are hidden in the narrow alleys, people sit on terraces in front of the houses, the summerair is filled with voices and laughing, cold beer comes with regional specialties such as Vic’s delicious Salamis (fuet and llonganissa), which made the place famous. Every Tuesday it gets even more lively – residents and curious visitors jump straight into the hustle and bustle of the weekly market, on which almost everything from clothes and shoes to fresh fruit and vegetables can be found.

The famous cathedral of Vic.

Catedral de Vic, Plaça Bisbe Oliba, 08500 Vic (Barcelona)
10.00 – 13.00 h + 16.00 – 19.00 h
Girona / Figueres -> Vic: ca. 1h

Blooming flowers next to the ocean.

New ADAC guide book Catalonia

Especially in autumn and spring we want to discover the picturesque countryside of the Costa Brava – the lazy beach days can wait until summer. Whether you get lost in the rough Pyrenees, enjoy the ocean view from Cap de Creus or collect mushrooms in the colorful forests. Once you‘ve started, the excursions are going to make you addicted.

Autum landscape on the coast.

All the better, that ADAC just published a new guidebook about Catalonia, which not only creates an appetite for more, but also saves you from getting lost. You can find detailed maps, route descriptions as well as numerous travel tips in the practical book. A must-have for everyone, who wants to discover more of the region.

ADAC Wanderführer Katalonien Jenseits der Costa Brava – Katalonien zu Fuß entdecken. Art.Nr.: 9783862070756

Julia Masetplana, Bodega.

First draft – Julia Masetplana

Julia Masetplana was already dreaming of taking over the family business, when he was a little child – today, the 27 – year old is owner of a wine – trade and produces delicious olive oil. It‘s worth an excursion to his fabric, which is located in the scenic Empordà near Garriguella – you can inspect all kinds of machinery and you won‘t leave with empty pockets.

Julia Masetplana, Bodega.

What were you dreaming of, when you were a child?
I was dreaming of taking over our family business and of sucess. When I was really young, I wanted to become a astronaut or firefighter.

Who are you representing in your dreams?
I don‘t think, that I‘m representing certain person – I‘m doing, what I‘m doing.

Are you a person of memory or of hope?
Hope is more important than memory.

Which dream have you already forgotten?
A forgotten dream…none occurs to me.

One thing you should quit and one thing you should start?
I should probably quit smoking. And I really want to study – maybe something like business studies.

What‘s more important in life? Rationality or unreason?

What‘s the most beautiful place, you‘ve ever been to?
I actually really like it here in Empordà.

What‘s the saddest place, you‘ve ever been to?
That was also here, when everything got destroyed by the fire last year.

One thing you would take to a lonley island?

Would you like to meet the Spanish president?
I‘m not interested in meeting him.

What would you say to him, if you would still meet him?
There‘s nothing to be said to the Spanish president anymore, the people have already told him everything. If I would meet the Catalan president, I would advise him to be more realistic.

Are changes a good thing or a bad thing?
Generally, they are good.

What else does the world need?
A little bit more sense of reality and modesty.

What wouldn‘t the world be missing?
Corrupt politicans.

What‘s good about growing – up?
You have freedom and it‘s easier to make decisions. Also, you can try diffrent things and make your own experiences.

What means time to you? Do you enjoy wasting it sometimes?
Time is very important for me. But I‘m actually always to busy to waste it.

One thing, you learned from life?
A lie has no legs.

Where: Paratge dels Pedreguers, s/n 17780 – Garriguella