Empuriabrava -> Cala Montjoi -> Cadaqués -> Portlligat
“There is nothing as beautiful as a voyage at sea; the enjoyable trip is pure ecstasy”
We wanted to know more and decided to meet Oliver and Jutta in Empuriabrava for a journey by boat. Our destinations: Cadaqués and Portlligat, lonely bays, wild rocks, great views.
Empuriabrava is known as a paradise for aquatic athletes and those interested in boats in general due to its many navigable canals and the famous marina. A sailing boat or a motor-boat is moored in front of almost every house. This is also the case at Oliver’s and Jutta’s. No matter if heading for a restaurant or the beach – the boats are the favoured means of transportation, getting everyone where they want to go quicker than any other means of travel. The numerous canals are full of the life – the city’s heart. The city itself was designed and planned on a drawing table 40 years ago and has since developed to the Mediterranean’s most unique marina. All in all, there are 30km of navigable canals in Empuriabrava. Today, we start with a short round trip through the town. White manors between the Mediterranean’s luscious green, blossoming oleander and violet bougainvillea, exotic palm trees and spiky cactuses – it is a truly picturesque view. There is a broad range of architecture to be admired: classical Mediterranean manors, adorned with Arab and Roman elements as well as small fishing cottages. The early years’ squiggled kitsch stands right beside modern, more straight-forward architecture. Full of curiosity, we sneak looks into gardens, on terraces and swimming pools. In the harbour, we admire the huge and luxurious yachts. Once we haft left the harbour’s mole, Oliver’s boat picks up speed and we jet over the waves, across the Golf of Roses. It is great fun. Soon, we leave the last skyscrapers behind us, now going more slowly than before. We enjoy the slow up and down and the beautiful landscape. The Costa Brava’s seaside is special indeed. Everyone possessing a boat is especially lucky, enabled to take a look at the scenery from the water and explore the wild coast in the most convenient way. Bizarre cliffs only interrupted by white beaches and hidden bays, green pine woods and olive groves, blue sea, white crowns of foam glistening in the sun, steep coasts and the Pyrenees’ high mountains, the sea and much more to see – they all form a symphony of elements, of sculptures formed by nature herself.
In the Cala Montjoi, a branch of Documenta 12 is hidden. The documenta is one of the world’s most important and most famous art fairs and has chosen to exhibit a chef for a change. Ferran Adrià’s creative molecular cuisine made him and his restaurant “elBulli” known as the best restaurant all around the world. Soon, his restaurant turned into a place of pilgrimage for international gourmets. Cala Jóncols is a direct neighbour to Cala Montjoi, but is calmer by far. Here, nobody has to talk philosophically about the fine arts and it is enough to just order Paella and unwind. Securely, Oliver steers the boat around the Cap de Norfeu. Then, Cadaqués lies right before us: an El Dorado of summerly arts, a white beauty in the sunshine, lying elegantly close to the sea. A luxurious yacht has anchored; the yacht’s crew eyes us with unhidden suspiciousness, taking us for paparazzi.
We, however, can spot no starts on deck and continue our journey to Portlligat, a town known for Dalí’s seaside residence. The eggs on the world famous surrealist’s roof evoke an odd sense of reality when seen from afar. They are more spectacular from the landside. This is not much of a surprise: the master of Surrealism did not mean to impress the fishers and young artists and journalists seldom arrived by boat. Slowly, we make it into the bay. Even today, fishermen lay out their nets right beside the cult site. It is with annoyance that they watch our boat – tourists, they think. They have had enough of those already. Silently, we make a bolt for it and jet off into a small, lonely bay. Here, our small boat bobs up and down gently on the waves. We open a bottle of Cavas and enjoy our Siesta on the Mediterranean Sea.
A dared plunge into the deep blue and crystal clear water is refreshing and lifts our spirits. Unfortunately, we have to go back to work and our friends want to spend the evening comfortably at the beach with only the two them around, hoping there might be enough wind for kiting.
A boat on the doorstep – an extravagance we would gladly accept. Houses close to the canal of Empuriabrava, though, are known to be estates much sought after, and too expensive for most mere mortals.
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