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Caldes de Malavella Spain

We drove to Girona to switch our gray VW Polo for a different VW Polo – a zippy little manual. Time to motor back to the Via Augusta.

So we drove a bit further SW to Caldes de Malavella which is know for thermal hot springs due to volcanic history.

There are many Modernist buildings when this town was rejuvenated in the 1900’s as a Spa Retreat, which it still is today.

It has been a Spa retreat for quite a few centuries, used in 1st to 4th century by the Romans.

We visited the museum as well as this outdoor archeology site of the preserved Roman Baths.

Can’t you just envision a few toga’s lounging around? How lucky for them this was on the Via Augusta!

There were small rooms along the sides surrounding the main pool…cabanas?

It was interesting to see the excavated Drainage System.

We headed out of town to the area of Romanya de la Selva. We hiked a short ways to this Menhir de la Murta, a neolithic manmade stone that aligns with the four cardinal directions.

A little further down the trail was Cova d’en Daina – a very well preserved megalith dating from around 2200 BC.

This fascinating structure of rocks is actually a large burial tomb. It is a dolmen but more complete with a full circle of menhirs surrounding it.

Fascinating to wonder how this was constructed.

The main chamber is 25 feet long by 5.5 feet across. The circle of menhirs is 36 feet in diameter.

The entry to the dolmen chamber is said to align southeast, which permits sunlight to enter at summer and winter solstice.

All the stones are granite.

Really wonderful to be able to walk around.

Excavations found numerous human bones and teeth, arrowhead flints, knife and pottery fragments as well as some necklace beads.

We retraced our steps through the cork forest – this area is sustainably harvested.

And wine corks are crafted! But unfortunately we are going to have to enjoy our wine back in the USA. Like the tramontane winds, the declaration of the WHO pandemic beckons us home.

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Dolmens and Bay of Roses

We headed north to hike the Megalithic Dolmen Route. What a view!

Dolmen de la Vinya del Rey in the Alt Emporda Region. Dolmens are basically remains of megalithic tombs.

Dolmen del Garrollar was another that looks partially collapsed but not by me! One of these top stone slab weighs 18 tons.

Dolmen de la Talaia. These megaliths are neolithic or new stone age when these people arrived about 4500 BC from North Africa.

Dolmen de les Vinyes Mortes is another prehistoric monument right at the crest of the hill.

Wait – did Henry just get younger? Is this photo from 13 years ago?!!!

Hey – is that the same jacket? Once you find a good travel jacket it is so hard to let go.

Dolmen de Puig Margall is the last one on our 4-mile steep loop hike. Time for a short break before climbing back to the car.

We followed a few more twisties up the mountain…

Romanesque Monastery St Pere de Rodes was built on site of a Roman fort. Back then this was a popular start of Camino de St James.

It has an unbelievable view of the Cap de Creus. This must be what if feels like to soar like an eagle.

Nearby Church of Santa Helena de Rodes and the medieval village of Santa Creu de Rodes housed the pilgrims as well as workers.

Are you ready to start the walk across Spain, pilgrim? Let’s storm the gate!

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Pals and L’Estartit Spain

It is so memorable to wake up to these beautiful sunrises and enjoy with some strong rich cafe!

The nearby restored medieval village of Pals was a pleasure to wander around.

Unique architectural details.

Very picturesque roads to wander.

The view from the tower of the coast and Medes Islands.

So we next drove to the coast and L’Estartit to see the islands up close.

The town has a wonderful boardwalk that makes you feel like you are on a ship deck.

A mesmerizing place to experience the sea.

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L’Escala Spain

We followed the Via Augusta North (now a modern highway!) to start our second month in Spain. This is a Roman Aqueduct near Tarragona.

Another beautiful apartment balcony over the Mediterranean! Homeaway rental – Passieg Maritim

With this panoramic view of the harbor of L’Escala.

Wendy and Stan, friends we met here 13 years ago! We had a champagne lunch at their home. Wonderful to reconnect with them!

We had Wendy and Stan over for an incredible full moon rise with tapas dinner in the living room. Tortilla, ham croquettas, cheese & crackers and Tempranillo wine!

We remembered being here over Christmas celebrations in 2006/07 and seeing the band perform in this square. Somehow they have been turned into bronze…

The Pyrenees look gorgeous with that white cap of snow!

L’Escala is a fishing village – anchovies are their specialty. It has around 10,000 population but grows to 50,000 during the summer holiday season – a lot of beauty here to appreciate.

The Barcelona Summer Olympic sailing competition was held here in 1992.

The torch for 1992 Olympics came ashore the same place the Greeks established Empuries, just North of L’Escala proper.

We had explored these Greek and Roman ruins in 2007 but unfortunately we did not get to explore this time.

The Bay of Roses (Roman Rhodes) where the first Greek and first Roman port in Iberia was established.

Heading to the South of L’Escala the coast becomes more cliff like and rocky.

The water is so incredibly clear. Stunningly beautiful. This area is also know for its scuba diving.

The Torre de Montgo was a 3-mile walk from the apartment. It has been beautifully restored.

The view from the tower is spectacular. An excellent hike through the Natural Park! Finished in time to meet up with our friends for Menu del Dia! Mmmm good and we have an appetite!

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