Rafael (Rafa) and Rosa arrived early the next day to drive us to another part of Catalonia, the Costa Brava, the Mediterranean coast between Barcelona and France. We had happily been “adopted” by them in, I can only assume, true Catalonian fashion, meaning that we were treated to all sorts of undeserved generosity of time and spirit. We took full advantage of this delightful companionship. Here you see us at a wharf side restaurant trying to learn about the menu fare which was mostly fish, of course. Now I’d never met a cuttlefish before (English translation) but they’re like miniature squid, served whole, and totally delicious. They are also apparently the source of sepia ink, which is my favorite color! I was also trying to figure out the different ways to order coffee in Spain. Oh, and did I tell you? They actually speak two languages in this region, confounding those of us who are so happy that at least we know a bit of Spanish. You are likely to have your Spanish question answered in Catalonian, a distinctly different sounding language!
This is the view between the railings of the deck of Rafa and Rosa’s apartment in Empuriabrava. They took pity on us and let us take a nap before more sightseeing. The town of Empuriabrava is built on canals like Venice which go down to the sea and is bordered on both sides with beautiful marshes populated by diverse bird life.
We drove on windy roads over a mountain to the picturesque town of Cadaques on a protected Mediterranean inlet where we roamed around, went to a craft fair/market by the sea, and finally ate dinner at a restaurant called Can Rafa (ironically) with Rafa and Rosa and now another friend of theirs, Virginia. While Shambhavi tried to sketch a plate of fish on a nearby table, I asked Rafa to pose for me and sketched this with a dark wash pencil and finger dipped in water.
Next: a day of rest and pink storks