Mountain memories from the Pyrenees: part 3 - sunrise over the Costa Brava
Chasing the sun
At 06:48 on a cold late-September morning, we were among a handful of people to be the first to see the sunrise over the Iberian Peninsula that day. The rugged features of the Cap de Creus natural park - wind-sculpted boulders, tumbling rocks and out-of-sight coves - form the easternmost point of mainland Spain. And we had a front row seat for the dawning of a new day.
It's rare in my day-to-day life that I take the time to watch the sun poke its head above the shadowy horizon and rise effortlessly as the features around me are given more definition and birds previously only heard are now seen. In fact, I can't recall the last time I did so. Finding a horizon, finding the time, is easier said than done. Which is to say nothing of our fickle British weather.
But on this day, it felt like our sun, like we had a vested interest in its journey westwards. And we chased that sun all day. We left behind Cadaqués and the Costa Brava and had breakfast under it outside the Dali Museum in Figueres. At Besalú we ate lunch under its gaze, looking out over the grand Romanesque bridge. At Banyoles we saw it shimmer and reflect the colourful houses in its big blue lake. We chased it all the way to the forests of La Garrotxa, where it finally sank away behind the hills which now encircled us.
It was a day that lasted as long as any other on our trip. But to me it felt personal, like a shared journey. I should really make more time to greet the dawning of a new day now and again.
Up next: Part 4 - People of the Pyrenees >