TEARS OF THE SEA.
Lloret De Mar is a popular resort, the center of Costa Brava in Spain. Its name translates as “Tears of the Sea”, though in some versions, the ancient name is related to the word for “laurels”. It is a pretty town with the population of about 38,000, and it absorbs about 250,000 tourists every season. One hears every language on Earth there, and English is universal. We came to it first by train from Barcelona to Blanes, and then by bus. Going back, we took a direct bus to Barcelona, and then a bus to the airport. According to legend, Lloret was founded in 966 A.D., as a sea fortress. One can see the various influences in its town church, which looks both Medieval European and Oriental, with some modernistic overtones added on after the restoration in the 20th century. Lloret has several beaches covered with fine white sand, a long shady promenade lined with palm-trees, about 170 hotels and a zillion cafes, restaurants, night clubs and shops. High above the beach, one can see the castle which looks like an ancient part of the scenery, so harmoniously it is built into the mountains. It is actually a private place, built in the 1980’s. There are walkways leading up to its gates, and tourists endelessly climb up, take pictures, then climb down. At the other end of the beach, also quite high above town, is the statue of the Fisherman’s Wife erected in 1966 for the town’s millennium jubilee. The towners maintain that if one touches the feet of the statue, one will have good luck. Rosamar hotels, for us, are the best hotels to stay at. If you choose Rosamar Maritim, you will be a minute away from the beach. When the sea is rough, you can go to Rosamar Garden and use its large pools. In the evenings, there are various entertainments for all ages in all the four hotels of the chain. The choice of accommodation includes the usual rooms, suites and apartments. The food is superb. When traveling with children and/or with husband, it is hard to over-rate the importance of a large varied breakfast, and this is what you get at Rosamar. Right behind Rosamar Maritim is the main shopping street. The best pizzeria in town is 3 minutes walk away. Besides offering a great choice of pizzas and pastas, it has a variety of dishes for every taste, including meats, fish and chicken, the menu is displayed outside in several languages, the prices are reasonable, and the manager is a polyglot who circulates among the tables greeting his guests in their native tongue. If you want to have a sumptuous dessert, you can stop by at any number of the cafes along the main street, or sit in the square facing the church and have a long drink before going any further on your excursions. There is a weekly market where you can buy anything from clothes, shoes and accessories to fruits & veggies. Walk to the Casino and follow the street behind it to your left, you will see crowds of people going in the same direction. Lloret has a bus terminal which is about 10 minutes away from Rosamar hotels. You can buy a return ticket and explore the surroundings. Tossa del Mar, a pretty old town with its amazing ancient fortress, is only 20 minutes ride away. I confess I was seldom as scared as when we went there, because the bus climbs up along a serpentine mountain for some ten minutes, and then goes down. The views are gorgeous, and the thrill is worth it. I wouldn’t recommend it as a place to rest, since one has to climb up and down all the time, including when getting to and from the beach, but it’s a great place to visit. Water World, an attraction park, and Marine Land, a park where you can see all the sea life and watch a wonderful performance with dolphins and sea lions, are both good places to spend a day at with family. The botanical gardens, Pina de Rosa gardens with a huge variety of cacti, and Santa Clothilde gardens are all a short distance away. The latter is a private estate, but large portions of the magnificent park with trees, flowers, statues, stairways and observation terraces, are open to the public. Before you go, be sure to ask at the reception if the garden or park is closed for siesta! The town of Girona is about an hour’s bus ride away. If you want some variety, go there after your morning swim, walk around the streets and along the river, look at the ruins and gardens, have lunch or dinner at one of the pretty restaurants outside in the shade. Then go back to Lloret. After a short absence, it feels like home! During the day, one enjoys the sea, the promenade, the indescribable bright colors. At night, one can sit in one of the open beach cafes with a drink, gazing at the dark sea, looking at passers-by, listening to the children playing in the sand. This is a place for total relaxation.