Spain will give you whiplash. It is a country that leaves you simultaneously shaking, turning, and scratching your head.
You shake it in awe, as in I-can't-believe-they-make-places-this-nice, with the food, warm people, and jaw-dropping views on every corner.
You turn it on the streets and beaches, as caramel-coloured beautiful people (of both sexes) pass by you every 20 steps or so.
And you scratch it, as you wonder how the country can't seem to make it work and seems to be permanently on the verge of collapse economically, despite a booming tourist trade, world-class cities in Barcelona and Madrid, and all the aforementioned natural assets. I think everyone is simply too distracted to work. I would be too.
It is with this whiplash that I write this post, fresh off a week of business in Barcelona followed by chilling on the Costa Brava.
A 90-minute, 14.30Euro bus ride from Barcelona's Estacio Nord to the village of S'Agaro and its beach, Platja Sant Pol, brings you to the beginning of the area known as the Costa Brava. It's an amazing area.
With dozens of beaches lining the coast, you can walk along the coast for hours, from beach to beach, on a mix of clean-cut paths and more rustic trails lined by huge villas and simple brush and pine trees. (Smelling pine trees along a massive stretch of sea was a particular highlight - normally, pine for a Canadian means forests and a winter coat).
I normally feel compelled to share some great insight in these posts - in this case, the only wisdom to be gleaned is: go to the Costa Brava.
More to come in the next few days.