As I’m sure you guys have been able to tell, I’ve really been loving getting out of the craziness of the city on the weekends and exploring some of the coastal towns. This one’s called Costa Brava, which means “wild” or “rough” coast. It’s a part of the Northern Spanish coast that stretches from a town called Blanes, about an hour by car outside of Barcelona, all the way to the French border.
For me, this coastline was something extra special because it looks much more like the Northern Californian and Oregonian beaches at home. While the long, flat, tree-less beaches in Barcelona are beautiful, I didn’t even realize how much I had missed the green that we are so lucky to have in Oregon. What’s your favorite beach or place you’ve visited there? Personally, I love Cannon Beach and some places in Florence for all the nature near by.
Some of my friends wanted to get in the water here but don’t let the sun fool you, it was still only 14 degrees Celsius using the metric system like they do here, which is 57 degrees in Fahrenheit!
The last picture even reminds me of tropical islands somewhere, and was at the highest point of our three mile hike.
When we got to this cove, there was a little beach hut with nine cats out front playing in the sand!
The inside of the house looked something like a fairytale, with a small fireplace, Indian prayer flags, books everywhere, framed pictures clearly much older than I am, and these notes paper clipped and hung in dream catchers.
As I was looking around and trying to guess what the notes were, an old man with the bluest eyes came up and asked me what my wish was. I had to think for a second, because this is quite a big question to be put on the spot. He laughed and explained that these were this year’s wishes from travelers and locals passing by. His name was Kito, and he went on to tell me about being raised in the area, living there on the beach for eight years, and some of the people he’d met. Last year in 2017 he had collected over 1,972 wishes, and made sure I knew he never read a single one because they were “ultra secreto.” Can you imagine what it would feel like to wake up and know you have that many people’s dreams in your house?
Here’s the view out of the beach hut, and Kito in the back.
When I had to say goodbye, the last thing Kito did was hold my hand, point at the sun, and tell me with a smile, “the moon and the sun are 50/50, you can’t be upset when there’s one without the other.” I’ve thought a lot about what he meant by this, but he said it was just a fact of life and being here that is up to our own interpretation.
This all reminded me of what I’ve learned about stereotypes about Catalonia, the region of Spain I’m in. The people are known for taking pride in being very straightforward and level headed, open to negotiation. On the other hand, Spanish people in general are looked at as passionate, emotional, and irrational. This is also a big part of the political problems between Catalonia and the rest of Spain I mentioned in my other post. I think Kito’s quote and demeanor is an example of how these two can interact, and how no national or regional stereotype is really a single truth about an individual. He was passionate about every word he said in a way that made me want him to keep talking, but at the same time very logical in that sometimes we get a moon and sometimes a sun and we can appreciate each in the moment.
There are some people who you can just feel are special. There was something so intriguing and wise about him, and the way he spoke sounded like older times. After my friend and I hung up our wishes, it was time to go, but I have no doubt I’ll remember Kito and his notes for the years to come. If you had one wish to hang up in his house, what would it be?