The Place I Love but Can’t Describe

I’ve been trying to write about Costa Brava since the day I landed in Barcelona in late May and immediately fell head over heels. That was eight weeks ago. When I flew from Barcelona to London a week later, leaving my now beloved Spain behind, I spent the entire plane ride with an open paper journal and a pen. And a cocktail. I’m like Hemingway, I write best drunk and edit best sober.

I landed at Heathrow with a journal full of blank pages and a significant buzz. I’d told the flight attendant to keep ’em coming until I told her to stop. I never told her to stop.

I spent the month after Spain reading posts about Barcelona, Girona, sailing on the Mediterranean, meeting Ferran and eating at El Celler de Can Roca, written by my friends who were also on the trip. I thought their words might jumpstart mine. They were great, but still didn’t bring lightning bolts of inspiration.

It’s August and I am still, verklempt. I am still, mostly without words.

Catalonia got under my skin, into my veins, began moving through my blood and seduced me in a way no other place besides Paris truly has. If I have my way, I’ll live there one day.

That’s the best I can tell you, the most convincing I can be. Costa Brava is the place I love, fiercely, but cannot explain; except through photographs.

The food:The history:The people:The ocean:The views:The surprise:
The drink:
The art: And that’s only a brief overview! Since I can’t find the words, I will have to do more detailed photo posts to describe Costa Brava. I’m working now to curate all the images into groups and to somehow find some words beyond lame and unimaginative, “I loved it”!

If you’re looking to visit Spain and you need travel advice, please contact me – I’d be so happy to share with you the places you should go while in Costa Brava so you can fall in love with it too. I also post highlights of specific places and activities on my AFAR profile! If you’re a fellow blogger, see this incredible part of Catalonia for yourself when you attend TBEX in Girona this September. I somehow found enough words to be part of a video telling you why you should attend… I hope I’ll see you there!

I was a guest of the Costa Brava Tourism Board for #InCostaBrava however, my views and opinions are genuinely mine alone. All images in this post were captured with an iPhone 4S.

  • August 01, 2012

    Amazing. That’s all I got. 🙂

  • August 01, 2012

    Really gorgeous! That water looks incredible. 

    • August 01, 2012

      It really was! The water was incredible. I wanted to swim far more than we were ever able to.

  • August 01, 2012

    Beautiful pictures!!! And- everybody knows that one picture says more than 1000 words…

    • August 02, 2012

      Thank you so much Christina! Wow – that means I’ve written 26,000 + words. Yowza 😉

  • August 02, 2012

    Sounds truly amazing! Wonderful photos, it makes me want to pack my bags and leave right now =)


    • August 12, 2012

       It genuinely was, amazing! Thank you for the comment and I hope you get to visit Costa Brava soon.

  • August 02, 2012

    Your love of Costa Brava SHINES through. Genuinely. How refreshing.

    • August 12, 2012

       You mean screams, like as with a megaphone?! 😉 xoxo

  • August 02, 2012

    In the words of Liz Lemon: And I’ve BEEN to Barcelona! Missed the Parc Guell (and that ridic food experience you had!!), so there’s always next time.

    • August 12, 2012

       You must go back Erin, next time I will go with you and guide you. Gaudi’s works are not to be missed and a trip up to Girona to eat at El Celler de Can Roca is a MUST.

  • August 02, 2012

    The images are gorgeous, I’ve never been there but you seem to have really captured the spirit.

  • August 05, 2012
    Rachelle Lucas

    LOL!  That was my experience too!  I called my husband and said I wanted to move to Girona!

    • August 12, 2012

       Haha! I remember. I just really did love it so much. And I still need to get that fabulous light that you had to photograph food 😉

  • August 07, 2012

    A favorite of mine! Fabulous photography 🙂

    • August 12, 2012

       I can see why now, Ashley! And thank you for the compliment!

  • August 08, 2012

    Gorgeous photos!  Each of those food dishes looks like a painting…

  • August 17, 2012

    I also love this part of Spain and am dying to return! Did you happen to see any casteller performances while in Catalunya? One fantasy of mine is to run away and be a casteller in Spain one day…

    • March 26, 2014

      I did indeed see a Casteller, several times. A spectacular show I will always remember. And what a great fantasy. Like running away to join the circus, but better.

  • August 27, 2012

    Thanks for the beautiful punch in the gut reminder to get my ass back to Spain. And pronto!

  • March 23, 2014
    Marta Rizzo

    Fantastic way to explain the beauty of Barcelona and Costa Brava. And what is there not to like about Spain with its gorgeous, warm friendly and well sculpted people, its beautiful beaches and land, and a cuisine, and wine, that many consider to be the best in the world. This is the nation that over 500 years ago, when they rule and came to the new world, they opened the gates so that the rest of Europe could arrive to all over America too… Kirsten I am sure that Hemingway, who felt more Spaniard than North American, would had been a great drinking buddy of you. Now please pass me another copa Rioja and some pintxo. OLE!

    • March 26, 2014

      We’re definitely of like mind, Marta 🙂 I’m so glad you love it as well. And I will cheers with my next glass of Rioja, to you. (And I would very much like to have met Hemingway in fact.)

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