After leaving the beach we headed inland to the town centre of Castelldefels for a little reccy. We passed through here last year, around the same time in fact, but under less enjoyable circumstances with me seeking treatment for some pretty serious cat bites and scratches. I still have the scars.
That’s another story, but the town of Castelldefels is more modern than our favourite haunt, Sitges, but does offer a good range of shops (tiendas), pharmacies (farmacias), cafés, bars, restaurants, supermarkets, fruit and veg shops (including the excellent Carme Miranda) and best of all, not one but two Veritas.
Castelldefels conforms to the standard Spanish architectural philosophy of “build them tall and narrow” to block the sun out but in a lot of modern cities it works too well and actually gives them a slightly gloomy sense. I sound like I have S.A.D. and there’s possibly something in that, but when the sun is obscured too much I get a weird sense of oppressiveness hanging over me. I don’t mind vitamin D direct from source.
Gava is in a similar mould although is very reminiscent of Gracia in Barcelona which sits between Eixample and Tibidabo and is home to Parc Guell, due to its hilly base and criss-cross street layout.
That is where the comparison ends with Barcelona and begins with Castelldefels as the town centre is a big place with masses of the usual amenities. There is a big retail park to the east of Gava where you’ll find Caprabo, Carrefour and a cinema amongst other warehouse type stores (I didn’t pay that much attention) so food shopping and entertainment options aren’t limited.
Both Gava and Castelldefels are on the train line between Barcelona and Vilanova so access and transport options are very good. There are also local bus services which means that even travellers on the hoof can get around easily.
Gava is a gateway to Parc del Garraf and the road to Begues, just 3km away, is an easy jaunt which leads to some excellent adventure opportunities including Ermita Santa Eulalia.
Aside from the beach, castle and access to the natural park, both towns are a little too modern for my liking and don’t offer the kind of attractions I would like to see. That said, Gava and Castelldefels are cheaper places to live than other coastal towns.
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