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Notes from Cadaques

Day One:

Beautiful beautiful place. White houses cascade into a blue sea. Green faded shutters and blue doors. Velvet air skims my skin and turns it brown. Soft place. Echoes of voices come flowing from the promenade. Dali types wear black clothing and sip Ricard. Son skims stones from the shore, stones flat and smooth lacking coarseness. Green olives glisten in a terracotta bowl. Mopeds crawl the hills. No clocks. No computers. No 'phones. Lights at night transform this place into a white Christmas tree brimming with gifts. A woman's body lies naked on a bed, mounds and hollows and crevices wet with sap.

Day Two:

Rise with the sun and I have not spoken yet, made no sound. Plugs have been pulled. Young man at water's edge casts a string. Peaceful scene. I wonder if he can see the woman on the balcony with a small pad in her hand throwing her pen on the page as she attempts to describe how still her mind is for once, as calm at the water that laps on the small shore below.

Siesta time and son suffers cramps. No pharmacy available. Brandy. Yes, sit in sidewalk cafe and order Cognac. Fourteen year old resists. Strange looks from the other holiday makers. I want to put up sign, ''son sick, terrible cramps, can't believe no pharmacy open, old remedy of my mothers, a cure all''. He sips and sips and then Burps for Texas. We are ecstatic. 

Day Three:

They pull up as close to the shore as possible. Their beautiful sailboat looks like a resting swan. Middle aged, he drops anchor and unties the dinghy and readies the oars to row to the sand. Once on the shore, she gets out with a small folding chair and her handbag. She gives her loved one a kiss. He rows back to the boat, hauls in the dinghy and roars off across the bay. She unfolds the chair and sits down and shuts her eyes, raising her wrinkled face to the sun.

Salvador Dali wanted his house to be ''intrauterine'', just sufficient for he and his wife Gala to live a raw and simple life without metaphor. That struck me as odd. I thought all artists lived by metaphor. Are metaphors a means of escapism? An avoidance? A not saying of what one really wants to say? A cover up? Wanted to buy The Secret Life of Salvador Dali but the book store had only one copy left. In Dutch.

Note: Never order a Vi de Casa at three o'clock in the afternoon and do not, repeat do not reques another Vi de Casa at three thirty in the afternoon. Result: enforced siesta....

Day Four:

Found the most amazing restaurant with a Paella that defies all Paella on this earth. We practically wept with joy. I decided that I want to live here, dine out for practically nothing  every night and I will never cook again.

Drove to Cap de Creus. Saw a snake cross the road. A dead boar with his legs in the air. Do not like it here. I do not like being on narrow cliff roads with nothing between me and the craggy coast below. Men like it. I am a stick in the mud. Men!

The bees think I am a flower with my hair wrapped in a scarf the colour of Bougainvillea.

Green chaise longue. Blond french woman in a black bikini, her skin the colour of beech leaves in Fall. Hot sun and a David Hockney pool, turquoise tile and ripples of light and olive trees shade. My sons lie like sons of Adonis, sprawl of limbs and nothing threatens. Two elderly women join the scene. Sisters? Or dare I say lovers? Possibly. One is stout with short grey hair and wears a suit the colourof the pool. The other is slight and thin with a scarlet band in her hair. She dangles her legs in the water and ripples the David Hockney. They like to play Scrabble in the shade and eat olives with their Ricard underneath a cobalt blue sky.

Last evening insight -

Reluctant to leave. To say goodbye to a place where my soul has found peace. I do not want to leave the lap and the sway, the soothing sounds of a new found paradise. Dinner is fun with people,new friends, who leave soon for Thailand and Vietnam. We eat Seafood Cassoulet and share amazing commonalities. They like the same music, have read the same books. Yet I doubt that I will ever see them again. Good young souls, vibrant, worried about stand by flights and Bangkok and how they will manage the forty five minute swim to the island where the movie The Beach was made. Generation gap. What? No way. I sat at a table tonight with twenty year olds and I felt like I was talking to myself.

Good night to this place and good bye. But I will be back. Sometimes you find a charm and you do not want to let it go. I am taking back the colours and the sounds and the taste and the peace and the soft smoothness of existence, the skimming of the stones my son threw on the sea, gliding across the blue mirror of sea with nothing to stop them only themselves.

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beautiful, Mary I feel like I am there at sea side. Happy to know you enjoy a trip. jitu

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Amazing descriptions.

Amazing descriptions. Over-all, it sounds like a wonderful vacation. Welcome home.

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lovely travelogue

Oh, Mary, what a wonderful vacation you've had! Lucky you!

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How nice to have friends to

How nice to have friends to share the trip with. Thanks Jodi, David and Jitu!