La Garroxta is an absurdly lush and lovley county in the province of Girona – just north of Barcelona- by northern Cataluña. While it is very small, there are many places to explore and all within close distance to each other!
We explored some of the volcanic region around the town of Olot, where we stayed at “Les Cols Pavilions”
There are about 40 volcanoes in the region, with Croscat and Santa Magarida being the more impressive ones.
Castellfollit de la Roca: This beautiful thin town, dating from the 13th century, is situated on the edge of a fifty meter basalt cliff, almost a kilometer long. The cliff is the result of the erosive action of the rivers Fluvià and Toronell.
Parc de Pedra Tosca: This rough rock park was a monumental project. Constructed by RCR Architects, it involves volcanic rock mounts constrained by rusted steel plates creating a pathway to Les Preses Volcano Park.
Nucli antic de Santa Pau
Nucli antic de Santa Pau: yet another tiny Jewish settlement built between 13th and 14th centuries, with an abandoned castle in the middle
When we first booked our hotels for our Barcelona trip, we decided to stay in a different area of town due to the proximity of the tourist circus , a previous bad experience at a Barcelo hotel in Turkey and the bad reputation of the Raval district. However, we decided to stay there for a couple of nights after our Garrotxa excursion (lovely!).
To our surprise Raval was the most enjoyable and energetic area for us in Barcelona, it felt more happening, and having libraries, schools and the CCCB (Barcelona Center for Contemporary Culture) a couple of blocks from the hotel certainly helped. Located about three blocks away from the main Ramblas ultra touristic area, the Hotel itself is comfortable and the rooms compact and practical. While the service was average, the overall package proved a good value in terms of location, design and ease.
A friend looking for a nice, yet not over the top expensive hotel, stayed for a week in April 2015 and found it about the same as we did. A ‘Blog-Worthy’ home base in a wonderful part of the world!
Another restaurant by renowned chef Paco Perez ( of the Michelin 3star Miramar) is the lovey L’egg; a relaxed scene at the top of Passeig de Gràcia – just a few blocks from Casa Mila.
The menu as it’s name suggests, the offering is mostly of egg based dishes. Though the restaurant is famous amongst locals for its cocktails. As we did not try them, we can’t weigh in on that part 🙂
The food was quite good, with the Torrija the dish that had us coming back 2-3 times over the course of the week. It was e(gg)cellent!
The tomato and piparras (traditional long green pepper from the Basque Country) salad, was quite good.
The Merluza (hake) tacos with miso mayonnaise were particularly good although there were not tacos in the Mexican way, but battered and fried fish chunks.
The fried eggplant wedges with honey,were interesting, but a bit too oily for our tastes.
Hands down L’eggs provided the best croquettes during our entire Barcelona culianry trip. The were truly candy: fluffy inside with a tantalizingly crispy shell.
The Torrija de Santa Teresa, with vanilla coffee ice cream was the best ever, so good it sets the standard for any chef attempting to recreate this classic. In our opinion, worth a Michelin star on its own!
croquetas de yema
cocas cristal con tomate
Torrija de Santa Teresa, with vanilla coffee ice cream