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 …


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 …


… 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 …

Calella Pla 22

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)


About Covetotop

A Mediterranean blogger
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11 Responses to The alluring Calella de Palafrugell and Josep Pla

  1. Linda Duffin says:

    How lovely to see pictures of Calella, one of our favourite places, too. Were you using a drone or have your learned to fly? 🙂 We’ll be back in Aigua Blava in May, can’t wait.

    • Covetotop says:

      🙂 Sadly, I haven’t learnt to fly yet. But I have a very useful zoom lens to shoot pictures of beautiful places from afar. I used it this time. I just followed the coastal path (South direction). It is a nice walk, with wonderful panoramic views of the village … Thanks for commenting, Linda!

  2. Sarah says:

    Such a beautiful place! This post was worth the 10 month wait. 😉 I’m curious about the colorful arches under the walkway/road in the second picture…are they doors? What are they for? Or is it just artful?

  3. Christina says:

    Welcome back Covetotop!! 😀 I’ve missed your musings, but It is very clear why you needed to be away for so long. Reading great literature can make a blogger very self-conscious. I’m glad you were able to overcome this – no doubt the beautiful beach helped….

    Thanks as always for the lovely stroll trough Calella. I think I would definitely enjoy some of those ocean views!

    • Covetotop says:

      Thank you Christina! That’s precisely the problem with great literature: It freezes one’s capacity to muse. At this regard, Josep Pla is overwhelming. Although the old and blue Med does help, as far as typewriting just short sentences is concerned … 😉

  4. Wish says:

    With your encouragement I searched for something by Josep Pla. None of my local libraries have his books in English, only in Catalan, so I searched online and found an excerpt from ‘The Gray Notebook’ in The Paris Review, 24 March 2014. Brilliant writing. He refers to the artist Joaquim Sunyer, and I searched for him too, for the first time. Brilliant painting. Fantastic. The translation is by Peter Bush whom I once met at a translation workshop in Melbourne. So it was an interesting exercise to read his work and Josep Pla’s at the same time! Thanks Covetotop.

    • Covetotop says:

      I am flattered by your comment. I didn’t expect my post to ignite such an interest in Pla from my friendly readers. You are right; Mr. Bush translated recently into English The Grey Notebook, which is probably Mr. Pla’s masterpiece. He translated Life Embitters too. Josep Pla is a very little known author by global standards (in Spain he is relatively well known, but very few people actually read his books, I am afraid) I just pretended to render him an homage from this little corner of the web … Thank you very much, Trish. I truly appreciate your interest.

  5. Covetotop, hola com estàs? I just ordered “The Gray Notebook” and “Life Embitters”. A way to continue our taste for Catalonia in our absence.

    • Covetotop says:

      Hola, Dennis! Wow! I’m overwhelmed. What a loyal follower you are! That’s high literature! I hope the English translation does justice to Master Pla.

      I am sure you´ll enjoy both books (I´d suggest to start with the Gray Notebook); specially taking into account that you know Pla’s landscapes well…

      Thank you very much, my friend.

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