We had stayed at a small campsite deep in rural France, just before making the run to Perpignan near the Med coast and then down into Spain. Finding it was pure chance, and even luckier was the fact that it had just opened, literally. We were the first guests of 2012. A lovely place to stay, run by a couple of Aussies who have been in the process of renovating and landscaping over the last few years (see our review on Tripadvisor, Mathevies Camping). Before we left, over a cup of coffee they made suggestions and gave us all sorts of travel tips, one of which was a recommendation for a place that somehow had slipped under our radar, Cadaques.
For the last couple of years at the end of the season after they have closed up their campsite, and before the long winter sets in (they are pretty isolated) they have packed up the kids and spent a couple of weeks at this smallish seaside resort. Just over the Spanish border on a bay in the middle of the Cap de Creus peninsula on the Costa Brava, this Mediterranean town has over the years been a popular holiday spot for all sorts of people including Picasso, Miro and Duchamp, but is perhaps best known for its association with Salvador Dali. A summer holiday the artist spent here in 1916, is regarded as having been especially important to his artistic career; apparently you can see echoes of the coastal rock formations in some of his paintings.
So, on their recommendation we decided to visit this slightly out of the way destination. The road is twisty and narrow, and the journey needs to be made carefully…I dread to think what it is like during peak season. As the town comes into view, we were initially rather disappointed, and the massive car park and bus terminal was not encouraging. However, as we wandered through the ‘new’ part of the village we warmed to our surroundings and after walking around the water front to the less populated ‘old’ part we were won over. The shore line is at first a promenade that gradually reverts to craggy shore line, coves and beaches, the eroded rocks reminding you of some of the distorted forms in Dali’s paintings.
Being our first stop in Spain, we were of course on the lookout for local pottery, and as you make your way down through the small streets that lead to the water front, there were a number of shops with ceramics on offer. Many items are familiar, or variations on things we have seen before, but every now and then you spot something slightly different. And that’s what keeps you looking!
- Nick C