All posts filed under: General

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 The argument „elitist and too expensive“ is no longer valid.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

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!

 

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

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.

Yachts at Empuriabrava

EMPURIABRAVA – news

Empuriabrava – The sea at your front door.

Empuriabrava: The sea in front of your door

Empuriabrava: The sea in front of your door

What is that makes Empuriabrava so special and original? It is the construction’s structure. A grid of navigable channels is a distinctive part of the townscape. Most houses thus have a direct connection to the sea; boats can be anchored at the front door.

The canal system makes Empuriabrava a very special place to live.

Channels of Empuriabrava – Living at the Mediterranean Sea

This luxury, however, is pricy these days, what with the property market being on of the region’s main branches of economic activity. 


Fantastic news for Empuriabrava!

Finally after 6 long years, all sales of moorings are now registered at the land registry again.

In Empuriabrava you can find anything, from villas to modern houses.

Modern villa at the channel in Empuriabrava

The Coastal Law from 1988

The strong effort and hard work of the APE (Asociación de Propietarios de Empuriabrava) were worth it. Thanks also to the notary of Castelló d´Empuries who became involved and enabled a solution together with the new land registry directory in Roses.

Houses in the style of small fisher houses

The houses at the channel were built in the style of small fisher houses

APE (Asociación de Propietarios de Empuriabrava)

The APE was founded in the year 2008 in order to protest against the “deslinde” as established in the Coastal Law from 1988. If this law had been applied, the state would have claimed its property right also along the canals of Empuriabrava and Santa Margarida.

Every house at the canals has a boat to get around.

Modern villa with yacht on the doorstep at the channel of Empuriabrava

If the APE had not mobilized and informed all owners at that time, the deslinde would have been applied by in September/October 2008 and all the deadlines to appeal would have been lost.

Canal with boats

One of the narrow canals of Empuriabrava

With the deslinde and the application of the Coastal Law of 1988, all purchased moorings and flooded land property were declared as public domain (dominio público) at once.
The channel walls have been declared to be the new coast line.
 As a result of this a 6 m wide strip was specified as public access to the coast on the private properties along the water. This strip had to be free from any construction or plantation.

Trees reflecting int the water

The green of the pine-trees reflects in the channel

This was even adopted by the new POUM, the zoning plan of the town hall.

In the land registry an appendix was added, saying that each property is affected by the application of the Coastal Law of 1988 (6 m strip plus moorings = public domain). 
The value of the properties had lost immensely!
 Furthermore, no transfer of ownership of a mooring was registered in the Land Registry in the recent years.

Nice panorama of Empuriabrava

The panorama of the Pyrenees frames the villas of Empuriabrava

The APE has actually managed that in May 2013, the government in Madrid incorporated in the new Coastal Law 02/2013 an addendum to the Law for Empuriabrava and Sta. Margarita, based on the text submitted by the APE with the lawyers which specifies the following:

Panorama with palmtrees

Different boat types in the canal

The new Coastal Law

  1. There will be no new strips along the channels
  2. The owners of land property along the channels have the right to moor their boats alongside and this right is not separable from the property.
  3.  Those, who owned a parking space for a boat, a private mooring, which was registered in the land registry, obtain full ownership back.
Palmtrees at the canal

Palms in the wind – Empuriabrava has a beautiful landscape

A fantastic success of the APE for the benefit of everyone in Empuriabrava!

Since May 2013, the APE fights to ensure that the new law will be applied by the Land Registry.

The notaries have indeed created notary deeds applying the new law. 
However, the Land Registry has refused to register the sales of moorings for the past 3 years.
The reason was that a new deslinde should be established in Empuriabrava.

At the 05.05.2016 the APE could happily announce that this big goal was achieved as well!

The APE thanks all of you who support the APE and pay their membership fee of only 50 Euros per year. If you are not a member of the APE (association of owners in Empuriabrava) already, please associate now!

Lighthouse of Empuriabrava

Port of Empuriabrava

Beach in L' Escala

L’Escala – seaview included!

L’ Escala – Sardines

L’ Escala, a small town close to the Golf of Roses, was once known for its sardines and for anchovy fishing. Today, tourism has become the town’s main economic factor.

Best place in L' Escala to enjoy the sun

Beach in the old town of L’ Escala

The Club Nautic L’ Escala is a regular host of international contests and regattas. We take a walk along the esplanade close to the sea, in order to visit the city’s Old Town, which still holds much of the charm typical for Mediterranean fishing villages.

The small, steep alleys with their white houses and their wrought-iron balconies and terraces still look like they did many years ago.

Famous sculptures a the sea

Sardana Chapel – sculpture at the sea

Festa del Carme

Traditions and fiestas have been kept alive, too. For example, there is the Festa del Carme on July 16th. The mermaid’s procession to the church of Sant Pere is a yearly highlight for inhabitants and tourists alike.

Sunshine and blue sky in L' Escala

Seaview L’ Escala

Salt – Gold of the seas: Festa de la Sal

A few years ago, the Platja de les Bargues in l’ Escala was turned into a place that might have fitted very well into a time now long gone by – and has been turned into this place annually ever since. When the fishers’ life in the XVIII century and the transport of salt are retold in living pictures, being at the beach suddenly feels like having walked into the set of a cloak-and-sword film. The historical staging takes place in September and is accompanied by traditional music and dances.

Old fishing boats

Ancient sailing boats

Salt Festival in L' Escala

Fishermen’s celebration with historical costumes

Anchovies L’ Escala

Anxoves (Catalan) – anchoa (Spanish) – or anchovies are the most typical product of L’Escala and are loved well beyond the borders of said region. Furthermore, they are a delicious souvenir. Ever since the 18th century, fresh anchovies have been preserved in salt.

Sit down end enjoy the seaview

New benches invite to relax at the sea

Sculptures looking to the sea

Sardana dancer

Sea view included!

L’ Escala has now become even more attractive: A pedestrian area with many restaurants and cafés was built directly by the sea, around the small beach of the old town. Here you can now enjoy your stroll, relax in the sun or finish off the day with a drink at sunset, overlooking the bay of Roses. In addition, modern benches and sun terraces with cosy seating elements at Carrer Platia and Carrer del Port are a real enrichment for the city.

Looking to Golf of Roses on the other side of the coast

View to the bay of Roses

Cuisine

In L’ Escala, there are many places to dine. The cuisine is traditional, and fish is a major component of most dishes. After our long time out on the boat, we decide to have a late lunch. We especially like the lunch served in the Hotel and Res­taurant el Roser, which can be found close to the Carrer Església, and the view from the Terrasse des 1869. Good places to eat can also be found in the fishery harbour. On weekdays, the menu is available for 10 €. On Thursday s, an excellent Paella is part of the menu. L’Escala is always worth a visit.

Rough sea winds

Tramuntana makes the sea looking like this

Red flags in the wind

White Summer Festival in Pals

For the 5th time in a row, White Summer in Pals is offering a 22-days-long open air market from 6pm to 1 am in bohemian-chic. Fancy jewelry, the latest fashion, art, furniture and decoration as well as small beach bars attract more than 100.000 visitors every year. Over 30 food-tracks and 3 restaurants offer a wide range of culinary diversity. Ttraditional, Spanish food or vegan meals – you can find everything you wish for at the White Summer festival.

Refreshments at the festival

Visitors can enjoy fresh drinks and food.

White Summer is a perfect place for those who are creative, curious and willing to buy unique items for a fair price. Numerous stages attract musicians to play instruments and sing. The nice music creates a perfect atmosphere to relax in one of the various cozy seat possibilities and have a drink or two with friends.

Perfect atmosphere at the White Summer Festival

People enjoying their meal from one of the 30 festival food tracks.

How it started

Miryam Cuatrecasas is the founder of this event. Her intention was to improve and expand the leisure facilities during the summer in Pals. The festival represents social commitment and supports sustainability as well as km0/slow food. Thus, all sellers and suppliers of the market are locals.

Perfect labelling at the festival

You can’t get lost at the festival with this beautiful handmade labelling.

White Summer is more than only a market. It is a unique event, that combines leisure time, gastronomy, art and music. A place that surprises with its creativity and variety. We can only warmly recommend everyone to visit the festival in Pals and enjoy its uniqueness.

People enjoying the sun beneath red festival flags

People enjoying the last sunrays of the day.