In Hospitalet de l’Infant – relaxing

It is two quiet weeks that we spend in Hospitalet de l’Infant, end of May 2019, after our grand tour across northern Spain.

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Enjoying beach life – reading, walking…

There are various beaches in and around Hospitalet. In May they are still pretty quiet.

Dogs may need washing after a day on the beach.

The sun rises early behind the port of Hospitalet,…

… soon makes long shades…

… and then warms our balcony, where we stay during the day, sunbathing, swimming…

… and reading. Some of our topics are art and landscape in Catalonia, the history of the Iberian Peninsula and Spanish cooking and wines. In the Larousse about Spanish wines (2008), I learn more about the Txakolí wine from the Basque Country. There is a white variety called “Zuri” and a red grape called “Beltza” and the vineyards are in three areas, one of which we have seen, namely Getaria.

When back at home, I will have to try cooking the oxtail in wine sauce with chocolate. I have eaten it once, and it was delicious (Karlos Arguiñano, “1000 recetas de oro”, Barcelona 2019).

We have found these books in the library of Hospitalet. They dispose of an excellent book selection and rent them out free of cost, even to tourists (we just had to register our names).

Sometimes we have lunch in one of our favorite restaurants such as in La Becana in Ametlla where I eat steamed mussels…

… and, for dessert, a crema Catalana with the crunchy sugar.

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Small walks around Hospitalet – to the Ermita, the Punta or the Iberian village

From time to time we go for a walk around Hospitalet. One of our destinations is the Ermita de Sant Roc. A drivable road leads up to the Ermita. We walk and pick some rosemary to spice our meals.

From here the view of Hospitalet and the coast line towards Salou is magnificent.

Another small walk takes us up to Punto de los Rojales…

… with another magnificent view of the Mediterranean sea.

High above the Ebro near Tivissa, we love to walk to the Iberian settlement dating from 400 to 600 BC and to the medieval Castellet de Banyoles. The Ebro could be well controlled from this point.

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Special event at Hospitalet de l’Infant – Cursa BTT

Hospitalet is a quiet place, especially now, in May. But…  one Sunday promises to be busy. Signs announce a mountain bike race, starting at ten up to two o’clock.

On Saturday evening, the trails are ready.

On Sunday morning the bikers arrive. They take out their bikes and warm up diligently by spinning on their bikes fixed to a stand.

Then they leave in groups behind the pine trees (teenagers, young men, veterans, ladies…)

The dog of one biker couple is waiting for the masters – what may take them so long, it may ask himself.

Yes, we spend two quiet weeks in Hospitalet recovering from our grand tour across the north of Spain.

 

 

 

In Catalonia – enyoing the mild late autumn days in Hospitalet de l’Infant

On October 28th 2016 we arrive in Hospitalet de l’Infant and settle in the small apartment of our friends. We enjoy the balcony – the weather is still warm enough for that.

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The late autumn days here are mild (around 20 degrees and more) and some people (most of them retired) populate the beach.

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However, the small bars have been dismounted and the slide-boats are now hidden in this backyard waiting for the next summer.

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The offerings of the Sunday market have changed: Now we can buy warm sweaters and socks – in summer it was bathing suits and light blouses.

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The late afternoon sun produces long shades on the beach.

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The waves play gently with the sand.

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The clouds remind me of our southwind clouds from the Alps, called “Föhn”. Actually it is a similar phenomena: The wind comes from the north west descending from the mountains behind our coast line and clearing up the sky.

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In the morning, Ursula captures the rising sun above the Mediterranean Sea.

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Later during our stay, the north west wind is blowing heftily, and I prefer to do my swimming in the large public swimming pool that is open until ten at night. Hospitalet seems to be a wealthy small town: They provide these piscines municipals with attached fitness center and in addition a public library, where we as “simple” tourists can rent out books for free.

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In 1306 the Infant Peter of Arragon and Anjou built the hospital of Hospitalet near the pass of Balaguer where the Via Augusta crosses the hills towards Tortosa and the Ebro valley.

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The hospital was in use for several centuries. It was destroyed several times, the final and last time by a storm in 1910. One highlight was the visit of Elizabeth Fox, a noble lady from England, that stayed here overnight around 1800. The museum tells her story with much humor.

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The shops are open – bakeries have fresh bread, Jordi offers fresh fish from l’Amettla, the grocery shop has delicious fruit and vegetables, the Chinese shop has all we need to complete our small household, the electrician shop repairs our broken vacuum cleaner in two days (and how proud the electrician is of that!), the mercer has everything you may need for sewing, the arts shop frames our pictures and fotos (to decorate our small apartment), the sports shop sells bathing suits… and this shop sells “Fisch Fang Wurmer” or worms for fishing (it is open on weekdays – I am just not sure, how happy the worms will be when used to fang fish).

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We have all we need for our two weeks’ vacation – and while enjoying that, we also undertake many excursions into the surroundings of Hospitalet de l’Infant. There is so much to discover in Catalonia.

Quiet days in L’Hospitalet de l’Infant

Some of our days in L’Hospitalet are very quiet.We stayed “at home” shopping, swimming, reading, walking and enjoying our balcony. I am not a beach person… but leisure in this “off-the-beaten-tracks” village L’Hospitalet de l’Infant has its charms, especially now in early June, before the season has started off.

In the morning we would watch the sunrise.

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In town we would do some shopping – for instance buy fresh fruit or vegetables in the Fruites i Verduras Shop – tasty cherries and strawberries. Or we would buy fresh fish in the Peixateria. They have it from l’Ametlla de Mar, a village not far from Hospitalet. We love their codfish and sole. We prepared it just with butter and some rosemary that we had collected in the hills near Hospitalet. Delicious.

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The apartment house has a pool – we would swim in it, sometimes together with the first guests from Spain. One couple is from San Sebastian. Another couple has a baby. And one man has come just with his dog.

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Walking…

When temperatures cool down a bit in the late afternoon, we would walk along the beach line of Hospitalet or follow the GR 92 from Hospitalet to climb the hills.

Once we visited the camping site Cala d’Oques. “Oques” is Catalan. It is the plural of “oca” which means “goose”.  The emblem of the camping site matches its name. The small restaurant serves excellent tapas – even rated in TripAdvisor. Buen provecho.

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From here GR 92 leads up to the Punto de les Rojales (well marked).

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We enjoy the view of the sea…

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… and of Hospitalet.

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The landscape towards the mountains is a harsh contrast to the romantic coast line. There are motorways paralleled by well constructed roads and factories or power stations.

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The village beaches are getting ready for July/August… they just start to become populated

The guests are slowly arriving in L’Hospitalet – on our second Sunday the beach was more populated than on our first Sunday, but there is still space left.

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The beaches and the water are clean. We frown at these plastic cars and find out, they are pedal boats with a slide.

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When back home we will learn that such pedal boats are also in use on the lake of Zurich. We must have missed an important evolution of water games…

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Market on Sundays

Every Sunday there is a street market on the quay. We hear Swiss German, German, French, Russian, Spanish… but also much Catalan. Products on sale are for swimming,…

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… household,…

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… and there are also fresh products on sale – fruit, vegetables, cheese and fish.

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It is not just a souvenir market, but also a resource used by the locals.

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Rounding off a quiet day

To round off a quiet day, we have a tasty Montsant wine…

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or a Vermouth – this is pretty common apetizer here.

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Yes, I am not a beach person, but leisure in this place has its charm.