Via Lucis’ visit

Via Lucis is Latin. It means Way of Light.

Visit means visit, and some visits mean a lot.

—   —   —   —   —   —  —   —   —

It all happened on a sunny morning of May…

My castle

I was practicing mindfulness in my humble castle, when a burst of light exploded within my empty head, just like a top-notch-flash blows within the walls of a little Romanesque church.

Shocked and tousled, I heard a telepathic message:

-We wish to contact the fabulous Covetotop… We wish to contact the fabulous Covetotop… We wish to contact the fabulous Covetotop…

-Who are you? -I asked with my fabulous mind powers and with my poor English.

– We’r pjandnis of vaicis. How’re ya doin’, hoveop?

– Can you repeat it, please? -I asked with my fabulous mind powers, because I didn’t understand a word.

– We are PJ and Dennis, of Via Lucis. How are you doing, Covetotop? -answered the telepathic voice.

– PJ and Dennis! What a wonderful surprise! I am fine, thank you. And you?

– Everting key’s airplanes!

– Can you repeat it slowly, please?

– Everything is ok; as planned.

– Ok!

– Cvtop, we’re n’ spin. Wild be deleted to hostyalanch day, what da ya thin?

– What?

– We have just arrived in Spain. Please, allow us to host you at lunch today.

– Of course! Lunch today! Yes we can!

– One clock a Ken Rocket.

– Great! -I didn’t understand a word again, but I was so embarrassed by my English cognitive functions, that I didn’t dare to ask for further clarifications. So, I said “Great!”, which is a great word to say when you don’t know what to say.

– Siyater!

– What? -Dammit. I couldn’t help asking “what?” again.

– See you later, Covetotop!

– See you later, PJ and Dennis!

Our kind telepathic conversation ended. I got up, lit a lamp, sat at my desk and breathed deeply.

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I was very excited. I was very excited because of my digital friends’ imminent visit and because I had discovered that my telepathic English was as bad as my spoken English. As a matter of fact, I thought that my friends’ phrase “allow us to host you at lunch” meant that they were coming to my castle to have lunch with me…

I looked around and felt a little shame. I haven’t run the vacuum cleaner over the carpets since 1842 or so. Everything was dirty here and there. And the dinning room was a total mess…

When I realized the situation, I made a significant effort in order to avoid a panic attack, but…

Panic

I had to resume my mindfulness exercises urgently, taking control of my breath and focusing my attention on my belly button while cleaning asap my dinning room…

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Well. I did a good job. I only needed to get some food. So, I rushed downstairs, towards the castle’s beach, to fish sardines.

castle beach

I got two and a half tons of sardines. I rushed upstairs, willing to grill the sardines before my digital friends’ arrival.

In a moment of lucidity, I rewinded and played again (in my mind) my digital friends’s telepathic message “One clock a Ken Rocket”.

– Oh my! I was terribly wrong! They actually said “One o’clock at Can Roca”! They want me to have lunch at a restaurant! What a psychological relief! -I exclaimed to myself.

I stopped practicing mindfulness while grilling sardines, and started to think seriously about how should I dress for such a special occasion…

-They’re very cultivated Americans. And they have traveled thousands of miles via Iceland before arriving this far. I cannot show up at the restaurant dressed in jeans and a simple white shirt. I should wear something more formal and ethnic. A pre-Roman Iberian suit from the 4th century BC is perhaps a more adequate apparel. Yes it is -I said to myself.

Protoiberian
It seemed an adequate apparel, but in fact it was too old, too heavy and smelled very bad.

– Mmm … Maybe I should wear something lighter. A torero suit, for example, with hat and cape… Ernest Hemingway was American too, and he loved Spain. And he loved bullfighting. I don´t like bullfighting at all, because I love animals (grilled sardines included), but I must act as a very well educated person and dress appropriately (from the ethnological and folkloric point of view) in honor of my friends PJ and Dennis. So, here we go…

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No. Definitively no.

– I’d rather show up dressed as a Spanish guitarist from the Romantic period -I said to myself, and… voilà!

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– Olé! That´s perfect. Now, I can go to the restaurant at a slow pace, because I have plenty of time before the scheduled lunch time, which is one o’clock -I said to myself.

I had so much time, and I was so relaxed, that I took my eco-friendly mean of transport in stead of my noisy and polluting car:

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– Hola! -I said to my eco-friendly mean of transport.

– Hola. ¿A dónde vamos hoy, Covetotop? -it asked me, in Spanish, because my eco-friendly mean of transport doesn’t speak English; and, in any case, it couldn’t make sense a conversation in English between the both of us.

– A Can Roca, y despacito, que no hay prisa -I answered it.

In our way to the restaurant, my wise eco-friendly mean of transport made me a suggestion (I translate it into English, for your convenience):

– I am aware that your friends PJ and Dennis are some of the best photographers in the world, as far as Medieval architecture photography is concerned. I also suppose that they must be working very hard just now, in the old churches of Besalú and surroundings… To this regard, it is mandatory to take into account that, most probably due to the climatic change, temperatures are abnormally high these days. You should invite them to a refreshing ride in your luxurious motorboat after lunch. They will love our Mediterranean coast and its mythological breezes.

My eco-friendly mean of transport is a little nerd, but it was right this time; hence, I accepted its suggestion:

– What a good idea, my dear eco-friendly mean of transport! Turn 180 degrees and rush to my luxurious motorboat! I will polish and clean it a little, before lunch! I think we have enough time to do it! -I said to my eco-etc.

– What does turn 180 degrees mean? -it asked me.

– I am not sure… It has something to do with directions and that sort of concepts. In any case, run as fast as you can to my luxurious motorboat! Now! Go Go Go Go…

We went went went…

And we arrived.

My luxurious motorboat was in a very bad condition.

I had a lot of work to do…

oldboat

I worked hard.

I cleaned, painted, varnished and brightened my luxurious motorboat.

I got this result:

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I ended up exhausted, sunburned, bald and almost naked (due to such superhuman efforts)

I even lost my Spanish guitar.

And I took a selfie, just for the record:

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I asked very politely my eco-friendly mean of transport to take me asap to my humble castle. I needed a shower and a new suit. A white suit, to be precise.

My eco-friendly mean of transport took me to my humble castle as fast as it could. Sadly, that was the last service it rendered to me (due to the effort, the abnormally high temperatures and the merciless sun)

Clean and well dressed (white suit), I took my noisy and polluting red car (yellowish later, discolored by the merciless sun too)…

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And I drove to Can Roca, where finally I had the pleasure of meeting PJ and Dennis… in the real world!

What a good time we had at the restaurant! I talked in English all the time, and my friends seemed to understand each and every word I said. I was very happy. They mentioned that many of the Catalan churches were closed and their disappointment in not being able to photograph. I was very sorry for that. Then I talked about my wooden boat and so on. We talked about a lot of things and I drank a lot of local red wine, just to speak more fluently in English…

I don’t remember anything more.

I woke up some days later, in my humble castle, just in time to discover that Via Lucis had published a new post…

Its title: “All Hail Covetotop

Panic

 

My dear little bunch of digital friends: To be sincere, I must admit that I don’t own a castle, a motorboat, a torero suit, a classic car, an eco-friendly mean of transport other than my folding bicycle… Via Lucis, as some of you know, is an astonishing blog about Romanesque architecture. I actually had the pleasure of meeting its authors, PJ and Dennis Aubrey, and having lunch with them, a few days ago, in Catalonia. Now, they are not only my digital friends, but my friends in the real world as well.

They published in Via Lucis an hilarious, fanciful post called “All Hail Covetotop”. And I am overwhelmed. That’s also true.

And my telepathic English is very bad.

 

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A Cistercian cloister

In order to stretch one’s legs, nothing beats a Cistercian cloister from the 14th century.

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The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “cloister” as “a covered path or hall with arches that is on the side of a building (such as a monastery or church) and that has one open side usually facing a courtyard”.

That’s right. A cloister is a covered path…

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with lots of beautiful arches…

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all of them filled with amazing tracery…

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Wow!

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That’s stone work.

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In these ossuaries (pic below) rest some important nobles and knights from the Middle Ages. They rode their battle horses two or three hundred years before Don Quixote rode Rocinante…

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Don’t forget that, according to the Merriam-Webster’s definition, cloisters have “… one open side usually facing a courtyard”

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That’s right too: my today’s cloister faces a courtyard…

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A wonderful courtyard full of roses, lemons and oranges…

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In this nice cloister there is also a “lavabo”…

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A lavabo is the place where monks washed their hands before having lunch at the refectory (or dinning room). This one is even older than the covered path itself. It was built in the 12th century. It consists of an hexagonal structure covered by a six-ribbed vault, with a circular fountain under such ceiling.

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Let’s go on with our stroll trough the cloister…

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Facing the cloister you´ll find the chapter house (12th century too); Cistercian architecture at its best…

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Cistercian is simplicity…

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And light…

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I hope that you, my dear reader, won´t fly away from this blog if I dare to say that hic est tuus paradisus ut vere ducit te ad paradisum.

Sorry. I couldn’t help saying it. It is a very nice cloister.

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Now follow me in the utmost silence, and don’t panic, please. I am about to disclose to you an important secret…

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Apart from arches, roses, oranges, lemons, ossaries, a chapter house and a lavabo, there are much more things in this very special cloister…

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Things that nobody would expect to find in an austere Cistercian cloister…

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Or should I say “beings” in stead of “things”?

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Yes; “beings” is the correct word. The correct word to name my friends. Keep your mouth closed. They don’t know you yet, and they can get very angry and dangerous if they think that you are an obnoxious tourist. I take for granted that you, my dear reader, are not an obnoxious tourist wherever you travel, because tourists (of the obnoxious kind) don´t read my blog. They read standard tourist guides and visit crowded places. And you read my blog, ergo you are an intelligent and sensitive traveler, perhaps a dreamer, interested in solitary and unique places. Let me explain this important, undeniable and metaphysical fact to my friends…

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Explained. Good news. You’re welcome.

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You’re welcome as long as you don’t dare to make one of those silly and egocentric things called “selfie”. I am not kidding. Look the monster in the pic below. He ate of one bite a guy who attempted to take a selfie with him in the background…

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Now let me introduce to you some other dwellers of this charming cloister.
This is the porter (do you see the keys?)…

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This is one of those ubiquitous (in Romanesque/Gothic Art) guys known as “Green Men” (do you see the branches that sprout from his mouth?)

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This is Mr. Reinard des Fonoll, sculptor. He worked in this cloister in 1330 or so. I don’t remember the exact dates because time flies and my memory is weak.

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Lovely, very kind people all of them…

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… as long as you don’t take selfies…

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This cloister belongs to a Cistercian monastery located not very far away (barely a 1 1/2 h drive) from a marvelous city called Barcelona. As a matter of fact, Barcelona is such a marvelous city that it has become the fifth most popular tourist destination in Europe, just behind London, Paris, Berlin and Rome. The main consequence of such an impressive ranking is that you cannot take a tranquil and peaceful walk in Barcelona any longer.

Oh my! I’m thinking that if I blog about this charming cloister, the crowds of Barcelona will invade it very soon…

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Don’t worry, my friends! I’m just kidding! The crowds will never invade this cloister! Remember that they don’t read my blog!

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Ok. Let’s go on. Follow me. This is the monastery’s bedroom. Old monks slept here, on an immense, dense and soft bedding of straw.

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The monastery had some quarters reserved for royal visits …

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These are the only remains of the monastic kitchen…

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East end of the monastery’s church. The rose window (circa 1190) contains the oldest Cistercian glass that has survived in Europe (i.e. the world):

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The monastery has a second cloister (13th century). It is much more simple than the other one…

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There is a melancholic fountain in its center…

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If you walk a little further, you’ll find the remains of some ancient walls and arches. They belong to the primitive monastery.

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The Chapel of the Holy Trinity is very old. In fact, it was the first church built in the monastery by the original monks. It is simple and unpretentious, but take my word for granted: a difficult to explain feeling of awe will invade you once you enter that sacred space…

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You’ll experience a slightly different awe if you enter here:

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It’s the monastery’s “modern” church…

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By “modern” I mean 12th-14th centuries…

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You’ll experience awe because it is an awesome place…

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The construction of this church began in 1174…

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It was consecrated in 1211…

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It was photographed by Covetotop in 2017…

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Latin cross plan. Three aisles. A symphony in stone.

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This is the double tomb of King Jaume the Just and Queen Blanca d’Anjou (14th century)

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This is the tomb of King Pere the Great (13th century)

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This monastery is surrounded by an agreeable countryside.

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It is difficult to imagine that here, somehow in the middle of nowhere, just crossing a humble door, you´ll find all the beauty and mystery that I have tried to share with you above, my dear reader…

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Well, frankly speaking, the monastery’s doors and facades aren’t that humble…

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As a mater of fact, this is a quite impressive monastery…

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Just in front of the monastery there are a few houses (13th-18th centuries). It was the semi-claustral part of the monastery (old hospital, retired monks rooms, treasury, etc.)

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Practicing mindfulness is absurd when you visit a Cistercian monastery like this one. You aren’t able to control your breath, your feelings, your heart…

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I promised my friends from the cloister that I wouldn’t typewrite in my blog the name and location of this sacred and solitary place. And I’m keeping my word.

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Yes; nothing beats a Cistercian cloister in order to stretch one’s legs.

And one’s soul.

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Good bye!

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Josep Pla and his friends Josep Martinell and Salvador Dalí

Josep Pla was not a pop singer. He was a great writer. Consequently, he was never awarded with that pathetic bagatelle called Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Salvador Dalí was a great painter. He loved to paint all sorts of weird and wonderful dreams in the discombobulating hut that you can see in the pic bellow…

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I know it on good authority…

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Dalí’s paintings were pretty expensive. Once he recommended to his colleague and friend Josep Martinell to change his surname: “Josep, if you want to increase the price of your paintings, you should italianize your surname by adding an “i” to it. That is “Martinelli” in stead of “Martinell”.

The poor Josep Martinell did not follow Dalí’s suggestion and, consequently, he sold his paintings at reasonable prices, specially to his hordes of friends …

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Josep Pla was a very good friend of both Dalí and Martinell. The three of them were born -and lived their creative lives- facing the Mediterranean Sea, in Empordà, Costa Brava …

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I got some inspiration for writing this little post from four old books that I like very much…
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1.  “Vida secreta de Salvador Dalí” (“The secret life of Salvador Dalí”): An hilarious auto-biography written by a genius of Art.

2. “Obres de museu” (“Museum works”): It is a nice book written by Josep Pla about his friend Dalí. Dalí liked so much Pla’s text, that he drew 22 illustrations for it.

3. “Escrits d’ahir” (“Writings from yesterday”): A selection of articles previously published in local media, written by Josep Martinell.

4. “Josep Pla vist per un amic de Palafrugell” (“Josep Pla as viewed by a friend from Palafrugell”): A self-explaining title for a really charming book, written by Josep Martinell.

Sadly, only “The secret life of Salvador Dalí” is available in English. The other three books -those written by Pla and Martinell- are available only in Catalan. To be precise, such literary jewels, even in their original versions, are almost impossible to find in these illiterate times…

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Llofriu is a nice rural village located very close to Palafrugell.

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Josep Pla spent quite a few years of his productive live writing at his country home (called “Mas Pla”) in Llofriu. He died there on April 23, 1981.

There is a plaque/badge in Llofriu honoring its neighbor Josep Pla:

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Very near of both Llofriu and Palafrugell there is a small fishing (they fish fishes and tourists, indistinctly) village named Llafranc …

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On the beach of Llafranc you can see the traditional boats …

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… and the traditional tourists …

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There is a little harbor too …

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By the way, in Llafranc lived (and died on June 6, 2013) Tom Sharpe, English novelist famous for his Wilt series. But this post is not about Mr. Sharpe. It is about Pla, Dalí and Martinell.

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Josep Martinell enjoyed quite a few paellas here in Llafranc, at Llevant’s, facing the blue sea (pic below) …

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Martinell was a very cultivated person, an avid reader (he particularly enjoyed French literature), a talented painter, designer, decorator, writer … and, above all, he was a very good person. I know it on good authority.

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A street in Llafranc is named after Josep Martinell …

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Pla, Dalí and Martinell, the three of them, belonged to a breed of Mediterranean creators that I am afraid left no heirs on this planet …

Dalí jewels

If, according to The Paris Review,  Josep Pla is “a well-kept secret of twentieth century European literature” … What would they say about Josep Martinell?

At least, and thanks God, Dalí reached the fame he deserved. His paintings shine in some of the best museums of the world.

With this unsubstantial, desultory and haphazard post I put an end to my unsubstantial, desultory and haphazard series on Josep Pla. It took me long time to get such a poor result, but it was really difficult for me to write in English about such a giant of Literature.

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(Pic above: Josep Pla’s tomb, in the cemetery of Llofriu. Just below his name there is a simple word: “escriptor”, which means “writer”)

 

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Just another plain-vanilla post

This post will be brief. This post will be clear. There will be no intricacies here. No need to unravel hidden meanings or unfathomable philosophies. When a blogger (me) writes in a foreign language, a language that he speaks plus or minus cacophonously in an eerely frightening way (English) he’s forced (me again) to produce short, clear and simple sentences. In other words, plain-vanilla posts, like this one.

On the other hand, when somebody (me) writes in his own language (Spanish), the brain rejoices, the keyboard burns, grammar shines, phrases flow, philosophy grows,  confusion increases, chaos explodes and everything ends up mixed and messed up in an absurd thing called “a novel”.

Because of this novel (written in Spanish) in 2016 I have produced only one post (in English), for Covetotop’s blog.

Most probably my novel won’t be published and, consequently, nobody will read it. But at least I’m sure that my little bunch of loyal English-speaking digital friends will read these lines…

And I want to tell them in loud, short, clear and simple English: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Castilian Art

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The alluring Calella de Palafrugell and Josep Pla

When a naive blogger -like me- decides to devote a bunch of posts to one of his favorite writers, a bunch of problems arise.

First and foremost: In order to produce those posts, the blogger usually reads and re-reads tons of books written by the admired writer.

That means:

  1. The naive blogger has no time left to write the posts.
  2. The naive blogger is so overwhelmed by the talent, mastery and IQ of his admired writer, that he feels like a burro whenever he attempts to typewrite just a single phrase. Consequently, he writes slowly whenever he dares to write.

Take this post about Calella de Palafrugell as an example. Drafting its text has taken almost ten months. And what kind of literary thing did I get? An effluvium. A short, light and unsubstantial breeze of quasi-random words.

At least I have been able to take some colorful pictures of Calella and its surroundings in the meanwhile …

Calella de Palafrugell

Josep Pla loved this charming Mediterranean village, so close to his hometown … As a matter of fact, his family owned a house here, facing the sea (in Calella´s “Canadell” beach, to be precise):

Pla´s house

One of Pla´s funniest short stories, named “A frustrated journey” started at that very point (Canadell beach, pic above). It is the account of a sail journey the author took with his friend “l’Hermós” from here to Southern France, during World War I.

But Calella’s heart is its old fishing corner known as “Port Bo”: white houses, charming corridors with arches, colorful boats on the little beach …

Port-Bo

The sea seen through an arch … is there anything more prodigiously beautiful?” (Josep Pla)

arches corridor

A nice plaque (pic below) commemorates the link between Port Bo and Mr. Josep Pla. That plaque and the whole series of plaques devoted to the so-called “Pla Route” in the Costa Brava were designed by Mr. Josep Martinell, painter, writer, great person and arguably the best friend that Mr. Pla had in his whole life.

Martinell Pla route

Look at that girl at Port Bo. She looks happy. I am sure that she is reading something written by Josep Pla:

reading Pla

Calella is the archetypical Mediterranean village because … it has a white church …

Mediterranean church

… and crystal clear waters …

Beach at Calella

… and boats with mythological names …

scuba boat

… and marine creatures …

marine creatures

… and glamorous top models here and there …

calella boutique

… and fishes … and white arches … and colorful boats …

Ses Voltes

… and scuba diving paraphernalia …

learning scuba

… and restaurants with a view …

Restaurant in Calella

… and wild surroundings …

Calella

… and dramatic hiking trails …

Cap Roig

… and relaxing hiking trails …

relaxing path

… plants, scents, colors, castles (this is Cap Roig, a wonderful castle & gardens, South of Calella) …

Cap Roig castle

… and more plants, and more scents  …

Med charm

… and strange pieces of art everywhere …

Art Cap Roig

… and frustrated artists everywhere …

Frustrated artists

… and a healthy Mediterranean diet …

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Yes, Calella de Palafrugell and its surroundings compound the archetypical Mediterranean paradise.

Calella panorama

I like Calella very much. I love blogging too. But I’d rather read more Pla now.

I’ll post something in less than ten months.

“A la platja, tocant al mar, un cert nombre de petites embarcacions de pesca, pintades de colors elementals, entre cordes i pals, nanses i xarxes, palangres i armellades, teranyines i llums, acaben de donar a Calella la seva personalíssima gràcia. Últimament, és clar, la importància de la pesca s’ha reduït força a Calella. Les ocupacions derivades del turisme són sempre menys dures, més rendibles.” (Josep Pla)

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Josep Pla and the little town of Palafrugell

I don’t know if Palafrugell is a little town or a big village. Subtleties in the English language are beyond my reach.

What I am sure about is that Palafrugell is a very important location in the world of literature, because Josep Pla was born there.

Apart from this undeniable fact, I like Palafrugell very much.

Palafrugell Plaça Nova

Well, I have to admit that it is not the archetypical tourist destination full of Roman ruins, Medieval houses, Romanesque churches, art nouveau façades, fancy tourist traps … Palafrugell has its share of historical monuments and picturesque corners, of course -it is more than 1000 years old- but it is not a properly “monumental” town.

Old Palafrugell

Palafrugell is simply a livable, easy, agreeable, funny and very charming little town (or big village or whatever).

Palafrugell 3

Another issue is the municipality of Palafrugell. It comprises some of the most beautiful stretches of the whole European Mediterranean coast …

Cap Roig

I’ll deal with that beauty (the coast, its beaches and its charming little villages) in future posts; today we are just visiting the little town or big village or whatever of Palafrugell, with the great writer Josep Pla in mind …

Pla's

“The grand old man of Catalan letters and one of Spain’s most prolific writers” (Chicago Tribune) was born in this house of Carrer Nou (“New Street”) of Palafrugell:

Josep Pla house and Foundation

Today, it is home of the Josep Pla Foundation.

Pla Foundation

Its main mission is to promote, motivate and facilitate the reading and the studying of Josep Pla’s literary and journalistic work.

Josep Pla Foundation

When Josep Pla was born, his parents were renting that provisional house while their definitive sweet home was being built not far away, in carrer del Sol (”Sun Street”), which today is 56, Torres i Jonama Street (pic below).

Pla's house

The Pla family moves to their new house in 1904. Josep Pla lived there for a lot of years, and wrote there wonderful books.   Today it is a very good restaurant with an agreeable patio. I’ll come on this in a future post about Pla and the superb local gastronomy …

Pa i Raïm

Very near from Pla’s house you’ll find Sant Antoni Street, also known as the “Narrow Street” (carrer Estret)…

Sant Antoni Street

It is known as “Narrow Street” due to two clear reasons:

  1. It is narrow

The Narrow Street

  1. Josep Pla wrote a novel about that very same street named “El carrer Estret” (“The Narrow Street”)

“The Narrow Street” is another marvelous work by Mr. Pla. Originally written in Catalan, there is a superb translation into Spanish , “La calle Estrecha” (most of Josep Pla’s works were translated into Spanish under his personal supervision). I am aware that some of my digital English-speaking friends are able to read/understand Spanish … Pla is always easy and delightful to read.

In the Narrow Street there is a plaque honoring Mr. Pla and this book.

Josep Pla Narrow Street

In the Narrow Street there is another stupendous restaurant called “La Xicra”, specialized in the Empordanet cuisine (I’ll talk about this any other day) …

La Xicra

Palafrugell was reputed for its cork manufacturing in the 18th and 19th centuries (cork oaks grow very happy in the wonderful forests of l’Empordà).

Cork Palafrugell

The largest cork factory of Palafrugell was owned by an American company named Armstrong, which employed hundreds of villagers … until relatively recent times (1970’s)

Cork Palafrugell

Today, the old cork factories have been transformed into nice museums.

Palafrugell Museum

Josep Pla had his say about those cork factories, of course …

Josep Pla about cork

The Parish of Sant Martí of Palafrugell has its origins in the 11th century. Its current appearance (mostly Gothic) presents styles from different periods …

Sant Martí Palafrugell

One of its chapels was re-designed very recently by the local artist (although born in Sicily, Italy) Tano Pisano …

Tano Pisano

Another work by Tano Pisano is located at the Fish Market entrance …

Fish Market by Tano Pisano

The Fish Market (Mercat del peix) of Palafrugell is little.

Mercat del Peix Palafrugell

Quality is superb. Mediterranean Sea Kingdom.

Mediterranean fish market

The Meat Market is located just in front of the Fish Market. Quality is superb too.

Meat Market of Palafrugell

The Meat Market has its own piece of art at its doorstep: “La Teresina”, sculpted by the local artist (although born in El Paso, Texas, USA) Rodolfo Candelaria.

La Teresina by Candelaria

Candelaria has inspired even a cake in Palafrugell (Candelaria cake advertisement, pic below)

Serra Palafrugell

The open air market of fruits and veggies blooms everywhere around La Teresina …

Fruit Market 1

Of course, this little town or big village or whatever has traditional bakeries, delicatessen and all kinds of food shops …

Baldiri Palafrugell

Palafrugell 16

At the heart of Palafrugell you’ll find the 125+ years Centre Fraternal

Fraternity Center

Josep Pla was a regular visitor of the Centre Fraternal. He called it “the agora of Palafrugell”

Centre Fraternal

It is a cafeteria, theater, library and more … all in one.

Local artists have contributed to the decoration of this old “agora” donating some of their works.

Pal 38

One of those local artists was Modest Cuixart (Barcelona, 1925, Palafrugell 2007)

Modest Cuixart paintings lead us to other scenes. Sometimes they evoke the atmosphere of festivals and magic, they are recognized as a fascination of the mystery” (Granell and Guigon. “Dau al Set”)

Not only the Centre Fraternal of Palafrugell shows paintings by Cuixart. You’ll find Cuixarts at some important museums of modern art (specially in Europe), like the Tate Gallery or the Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art.

In 2002, the little town of Palafrugell named this square (pic below) after his adoptive son Modest Cuixart:

Cuixart Palafrugell

Just in front of Modest Cuixart Square it is the (almost) brand new Palafrugell Bus Station:

Sarfa Palafrugell

Palafrugell has no airport, no train station … but it has that bus station. The “SARFA” (an emblematic bus company incorporated in Palafrugell in 1921) serves passengers in Costa Brava, linking the region to the cities of Girona and Barcelona.

Josep Pla used to travel by bus from time to time, and he wrote deliciously about those travels in “Bus journey” (published in 1942, “Viaje en autobús”, originally written in Spanish) ..

Palafrugell’s city hall is located at Cervantes Street 16 …

Palafrugell city hall

… just facing Josep Pla Avenue …

Josep Pla Avenue

This is a somehow magic corner for a blogger like me, who is a devoted fan of both writers, Miguel de Cervantes (I blogged about him in my post “Don Quixote and Don Miguel”) and Josep Pla.

In front of the city hall there is a monument to Josep Pla:

Josep Pla Memorial

Yes, I don’t know if Palafrugell is a little town or a big village; what I am sure about is that this post is getting too long, and I haven’t told a word yet about the Tramuntana Wind or Mr. Josep Martinell … I’ll do it soon.

Pla and Palafrugell

Bye!

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Josep Pla: April 23

Both William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes died on the very same date: April 23, 1616. This amazing coincidence prompted UNESCO to declare April 23 the “World Book and Copyright Day”.

Today is April 23.

I have not prepared my second post about Josep Pla yet. By “post” I mean a proper post, full of pictures and information related to Mr. Josep Pla. But today is the “World Book and Copyright Day”, and I feel I have to publish urgently something about such a great writer as Josep Pla …

A little something, at least, like a photo and a pair of simple data. Here they are:

Josep Pla was born on 1897.

To be precise, he was born on March 8, 1897, in this house of Palafrugell:

Josep Pla Foundation
Josep Pla died on 1981.

To be precise, he died on April 23, 1981.

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