As I love travelling so much I occasionally I get these flashbacks of places I’ve been or adventures I’ve had, or of a meal that I’ve enjoyed. I just had a flashback, of me sitting on the beach at Lloret de Mar, a beach resort on the Costa Brava in Catalonia, Spain. I still remember the occasion well. I was sitting on my towel on the sand staring out at the Mediterranean Sea eating a plate of wonderfully crisp calamari and enjoying a bottle of chilled white wine.
The meal was excellent, but what most impressed me was the fact that I had been served by a perfectly-mannered, bow-tied waiter who had wandered onto the beach to take my order. The memory remained with me because it was a perfect lunch on a beach in a town that I really liked.
Lloret de Mar is very touristy, which is why I was there. On a whim I’d picked up a cheap package deal in London, and within a couple of days was on a plane to Girona, the nearest airport to the town. My research is much better now, but then I knew nothing about the place before I arrived.
Actually, for me one of the joys of travel is to discover a place that you nothing about only to find it quite delightful and welcoming. That pretty much summed up Lloret de Mar for me. Yes, it does have a lot of hotels and tourists roaming around the town, but wander down some of the side streets and you do start to get a feeling for the true Catalonia.
I found small local bars where the locals played flamenco until the wee hours of the morning. It was a pleasure to sit around enjoying a few tapas, drinking local wine and enjoying the passion displayed by the musicians and the dancers for whom flamenco is their very soul.
One other memory I have that shall probably never leave me was my first plunge into the Mediterranean from the main beach. It was unbelievably freezing! I’d stupidly assumed that because Mediterranean countries are generally warm, that the waters too would be reasonably comfortable! Normally my body acclimatises to cool water and it soon becomes comfortable. Perhaps I picked a particularly cold current in which to swim, but it was an experience I was pleased to end. From then on I used the beach for sunbathing and lunch and the hotel pool for swimming.
One bad memory and a score of great memories informs me that deciding to visit to Lloret de Mar was really a good choice.