Monells, Madremanya and the noisy 21st Century

I can hardly bear this noisy era. It is really disgusting. We are surrounded by all kinds of horrible noises.

If I check my Merriam-Webster dictionary, I realize that the word “noise” has a myriad of synonyms. I am almost sure that most of those synonyms have been invented during the last 100 years. I even tend to think that some of them have been created in very recent years, just after the appearance of rap music.

Din, blare, clangor, roar, katzenjammer, bluster, cacophony, brawl, hullabaloo, ballyhoo, hurry-scurry … All these words mean “noise”. All these words mean 21st century. Noise and its myriad of synonyms can be found anywhere.

Take for example two tiny villages of my beloved hidden realm: Monells and Madremanya. Both are Medieval villages, built out of stone. Both are isolated in the middle of a wonderful countryside, not far away from the Mediterranean coastline. Are they peaceful and silent? … No. They aren’t. They are noisy.

Follow me and discover this horror.

Let’s start with Monells.

medieval square

Streets are so narrow and twisty in Monells that cars cannot pass through them.

narrow medieval street

Buses in Monells? Impossible!

arcos ampurdán

Trucks? No way!

long medieval street

I know what you are thinking: -“If there are no cars, buses or trucks zooming by on the streets, Monells must be a very peaceful place”-

Empordanian door

No, my friend; you’re deathly wrong.

Ampurdán Monells

Believe it or not, there are other vehicles zooming by on the streets of Monells. Vehicles that make noises like ssshhhh sssshhhh sssshhhh …

It is so disgusting!

Here below you have one of them: it’s rush hour in Monells.

Medieval rush

Sssshhh ssssshhhh sssshhh …

Things can get even worse. It may rain …

Rain in Monells

Under these heavy conditions, the “ssssshhhh” sounds louder and, from time to time, when those damned bicycles cross a muddle, they add one or two “splashhh” to the “ssssshhhhh” and then you get a really disturbing cacophony that sounds like this: sssssshhhhh sssssshhhhh splashhhh! ssshh splasssssshhh! ssssshhhh …

And then comes lunch time.

Monells lunch

In Mediterranean countries people love having lunch “al fresco”.

Eating “al fresco” means eating outside.

Eating al fresco is a noisy business because people tend to talk. Some of them even sing horrible folk songs while they eat. I cannot figure out how the hell they can do both things simultaneously. I can’t, but they do. It’s noisy, noisy, noisy.

And then comes “siesta” time.

Siesta ampurdanesa

“Siesta” means afternoon nap.

Does “siesta” mean silence?


Why not?

Because after having lunch al fresco, singing horrible folk songs and drinking lots of red wine, people snore.

Yes. They do.

Medieval Emporda

Even with their homes’ windows closed, the sensitive wanderer can hear that thing called snore while he walks through the otherwise peaceful and silent streets of Monells.

It’s so disgusting!

Monells streets

I am much more civilized than that. Whenever I go to Monells, I don’t have lunch in the middle of the street. In Monells I always go to my friend Anita’s Restaurant, which is located just in front of the church …

iglesia Monells

L’Hort del Rector” is one of the best restaurants of my world. I blogged about it in Covetotop’s post Restaurant L’Hort del Rector (Monells, Baix Empordà) … It is peaceful, cozy, very bohemian, and they offer superb Catalan cuisine (and all kind of cod dishes you can or cannot imagine) …

cod with foie

Back in the streets of Monells, I find new potentially noisy threats, like a cat:

rustic door with a cat

A dog:


Those animals make noises like MEW and WOOF. It’s so disgusting!

It is no wonder that I end up totally stressed and willing to fly away from Monells.

Monells 7

Yes. I want to fly away from this noisy village.

Monells 8

I ride my bicycle –totally stressed- to the neighboring village of Madremanya.

Ssshhhhh sssssssshhhhhh ssssshhhhhh …

The path is nice.

trekking in Costa Brava

Both villages are immersed in a wild, wonderful countryside.

Madremanya and Monells

This region somehow looks like a “little Tuscany”. The bad news is that you won’t find amazing Piero della Francesca’s frescoes here. The good news is that you won’t find a flotilla of buses crowded by tourists looking for amazing Piero della Francesca’s frescoes.

Carretera ampurdanesa

I have just arrived in Madremanya.

Madremanya church

Madremanya is a peaceful place, but I am still very stressed.

Madremanya street

The door is closed, nobody snores, I am stressed.

Puerta ampurdanesa

No dogs. No cats. I am stressed.

Patio in Madremanya

I’ll try to calm down myself by following that sign (pic below, left). It means something like “healthy itinerary” …

Itinerario saludable

The healthy itinerary is very nice and very healthy, but it didn’t work for me. I am stressed. This is a weird feeling. How to explain it? It is like walking through a dark and noisy tunnel …

Alley in Madremanya

I guess I need some specialized help.

I’d rather visit the local guru.

Yes I’ll do it.

I’ll ask him: “Oh magnificent and wise local guru. The 21st century is noisy. I am stressed. What can I do?

Catalan donkey

– Thanks!

Costa Brava cove



About Covetotop

A Mediterranean blogger
This entry was posted in Restaurants & local food, Towns & Villages and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Monells, Madremanya and the noisy 21st Century

  1. Sue Sharpe says:

    Wonderful! And thank you so much for enduring such unbelievably horrid circumstances to bring us this latest blog post – You are truly a courageous adventurer 🙂

  2. Eri Berry says:

    Wahahahaha! This is a very funny post! I’m glad you found a very wise guru. 😀

  3. Tyran Grillo says:

    A beautiful little journey. Love the shot of the flowerpot in the window 🙂

    • Covetotop says:

      Thank you Tyran. These two villages and their surroundings are really very nice. And in real life they aren’t as noisy as I described them in my post 😉

  4. Que asco todo el ruido! 😉

    Also, very keen observation about all the synonyms we have for noise, most of which are modern creations. Just as the Eskimos have many different ways of saying snow, we in the Industrialized West have many ways of saying noise.

    • Covetotop says:

      There is a wonderful Spanish poem from the 16th century that says: “Qué descansada vida la del que huye del mundanal ruido y sigue la escondida senda por donde han ido los pocos sabios que en el mundo han sido”. I am totally incapable of translating it into English maintaining its “poetic aura”, but more or less it means: “What a restful life that of him who flees from the worldly noise and follows the hidden path down which have gone the few wise men who have been in the world”.

  5. a ferreira says:

    Such noisy, cacophonous, old villages are so unbearable, disturbing and stressful that nowadays artists’ communities are establishing there, can you believe it?!
    And the wise gurus are in danger of extinction…

    • Covetotop says:

      Yes! Not only dogs, cats, bicycles, drunk folk singers and snoring dogs, snoring cats and snoring folk singers make terrible noises in those old villages. You are absolutely right. Artists, for some unexplainable reasons, prefer to live in this kind of villages, in stead of comfortable modern cities, and they also make horrible noises: sculptors with their damned hammers, painters with their monotonous paintbrushes, writers with their crazy typing. And what about pianists, violinists, trombonists …? Madness! Madness! No wonder wise gurus are in danger of extinction 🙂

  6. Brian Stack says:

    Dear Señor Covetotop, Thank you for your delightful piece regarding Monells & Madremanya – I will make a note to visit them both in April when we visit the area. I will also make a note to take my earplugs! I think you may have got in a muddle over your puddle, or it may be that you were muddling whilst juggling with your keyboard. As a UK citizen, this is a subject close to my heart currently as the word ‘puddle’ is currently taking on a new meaning; due to size! Now it only remains for me to dream of an otherwise more pleasant vista; and your intelligent, informative & humourous blogs certainly help to point me in that direction. Moltes gràcies

    • Covetotop says:

      Dear Mr. Stack, Thank you very much for your kind comment. I am watching these days on tv the disasters caused in UK by that never-ending series of Low Pressures crossing the Atlantic. They also reach (a little bit weaker, I guess) a big part of Spain. I hope the sun will shine soon everywhere and those gigantic puddles in UK will dry out. I also hope you will have a great time and fair weather during your visit to the Costa Brava. No matter the weather, I’ll continue juggling with my keyboard … 🙂 Moltes gràcies a vostè!

  7. zedeportugal says:

    Good pics, great blog. Congs.

  8. harri8here says:

    C2T, I expect even the sound of a pin dropping would have an Alpine echo in these villages; I expect too that when visitors, inhabitants alike, express their contentment, you can hear the creak of their smiles, and the clatter of eyelashes blinking … as for the lip-smacking emanating from L’Hort del Rector … well, it must be hell for a misophonic. Like me.
    Wonderful pictures, y muchas gracias for making me roar and bellow with 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 laughter, indeed guffaw.

    P.S Did my trusty gull deliver?

    • Covetotop says:

      HR8, thank you very much for your kind guffaw. I am glad to inform you that your trusty gull arrived safe and sound to her destination. As she looked very hungry, thirsty and exhausted due to the horrible weather conditions in the Atlantic, I invited her for a big paella and a bunch of bottles of local white wine. The bad news is that she doesn’t remember why the hell she came here … 😦

  9. harri8here says:

    … Hmm cunning tactics C2T, no wonder her memory has failed after such generous hospitality.
    But now she looks rather sad, and behind bars. In any event, I guess i’ve lost her to that gorgeous view.
    By the way, I don’t know what happened to all those smiley faces above, there were a few of them admittedly – but they ended very neatly under ‘with’.

    • Covetotop says:

      Yes, she looked rather sad because she was missing her friendly owner. As a matter of fact she took off five minutes ago, and flew towards the North …

      I never dare to edit your Shakespearean comments; so the whole comment with its smiley faces was approved “as it arrived”. Notwithstanding this, I´ll try to put those happy faces in the position you say …. May the Force be with me!

  10. Aquila says:

    Beautiful places, nicely photographed. I’d love to see them, but not sure about that endless racket. Bicycles are such very noisy things, then the snoring, dog and cats and even – gasp – singing folk songs out in public. Thanks for the laugh and the loveliness to look at. All the best.

    • Covetotop says:

      Certainly, it is not a good place poets and writers. With so much noise, muses tend to fly away … But, at least, it is a nice place to see. 😉 Thank you for your comment, Aquila. All the best.

  11. harri8here says:

    Dear Señor C2T, Lo siento to disturb you but i have a rather random pregunta: Do you know whether the cathedral at Santiago has any gargoyles?

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