Posted on Sun, 15-Mar-2020Thu, 19-Mar-2020 by pamCaldes 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.