“Ll Dolce Far Niente”-Sweetness of doing nothing.
While watching the movie “Eat Pray Love” I came across this Italian phrase and the image of “Cadaques” instantly flashed in my mind.
“A Spanish holiday”-The first timers would go “cuckoo over” Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and all those trip advisor cliché destinations where they would go visit cathedrals, piazzas, palazzos, museus and of course those football stadiums add more weariness to the routine which they wanted to escape and defeat the very purpose of vacationing to relax.
Not that one should not do those things, nothing against it but there should be some part in everyone’s travel itinerary where the very idea of stop, hold, take a breath and look around, not through the lenses of your camera but with real eyes.
While reading the travel guide “Lonely planet-Spain,” came across this name “Cadaques” and googled it to see a pic and was taken aback by this little picturesque village. Thus it was added into “MY” cliché itinerary of Spain.
We started a road trip early morning from Barcelona along the coast line of Costa Brava and made stopovers to the towns of Lloret De Mar and Tossa De Mar (both were absolutely worth it).
Of course we drove through the sunflower laden fields with winding roads along the coast, which was all as imagined from the Bollywood movie “Zindagi na milegi Dobara”.
But after the town of Tossa de Marr the roads transfigured to rugged, high altitude, narrow mountainous terrain with deep gorges on the sides.
It was almost dusk by the time we entered into the town of Cadaques and although Google doesn’t leave much scope for freshness these days but somehow the setting sun gleaming on the waters and the reflection of golden stones around it beckoned a field of turquoise set in gold. The ripples on the surface of water appeared to be like dancing fairies.
I think traveling is a wonderful way to give you moments, which can go down your book of “memories to behold for life”, and that one glimpse surely qualifies for it.
Around 3 hours drive from Barcelona, nestled amidst the mountains and difficult accessibility prevented tourist flocks, which was the reason the town looked so pure even the buildings around it were washed with the purest form of color –“White”.
Few things that I learnt from my travel experiences:
Book your stays in a villa or apartment as far as possible to give you a very authentic local feel.
Go for early morning walk around the place to really understand the way of life of that place.
“Cadaques cool apartment” was the place I booked and would highly recommend it because of the height of its location it had a very wide birds eye view of the entire town.Cadaques cool apartments
Rent a small size car for the reason that parking is a big issue and the lanes very narrow. While trying to squeeze my rental mini van in that narrow lane I got lots of scratches on the car but the locals took pride in helping, as proud as the town itself.
Finally the car was parked in the garage of the apartment and there was no way it was going to get down again until we checked out.
So basically our planned course of the tour ahead ceased to exist from there and the “sweetness of doing nothing”,came into existence.
Small town, rough beaches and no monuments. Basically nothing to do, nothing, but just walk around the town.
The town, with arches leading into meandering narrow pathways. Pathways, which were cobbled merging into stairs sometimes, up and then down.
Stairs, advancing to some courtyard of the cluster of houses. Houses, with red, green and blue windows and crawling bougainvillea in alcoves of their walls. Walls, radiating crimson peach pink and all the hues of red.
All of it just seemed like a painting, a painting so perfect to inspire Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. No wonder they came here because they knew pure beauty is tonic like no other.
It was such a sleepy little town people did not seem to be going anywhere and in no rush to do anything and we too were not in a hurry.
After wandering entire day and watched the sky transforming from azure to saffron, we decided to take a boat ride.
All this while it was the town that mesmerized and now it was the distant view of the place with its silhouette in waters and that silhouette changed its color with depth. Water was clean and sparkling that we could actually see the floor of the sea.
There were tiny islands in between where people were just lazing and had come before the sunrise and had no intention of going back even at sunset.
At some point in the middle of the sea you can jump into those waters and swim around (so carrying a swim suit along wouldn’t be bad idea).
While coming back all I could think was because “nothing”cannot be quantified so the joy derived from it is bound to be “infinite” only if we knew how to put it in our practice of daily lives once in a while.