Monday, January 19, 2009

Pals, Peratallada, and the Ancients

My days have been packed with markets and village tours. Much of Spain is filled with the most extraordinary villages many dating from five hundred to one thousand years old. Magnificent stone buildings line cobbled streets so narrow most American cars could not fit on them.

Pals is a working town with an old center that has been restored to its medieval splendor. In the summer months, little stores and restaurants are open for visitors. The winter is quieter, but makes for easy walking and gawking.

Nearby, Palau-Sator is much smaller than Pals but has a striking clock tower and what appears to be a village oven in a center square. And not too far down the road from Palau is Peratallada, a remarkable 13th century stone village again with shops and restaurants open in the summer months, but with fewer visitors in the winter you can takes pictures without interference and admire the centuries-worn “streets” hewn out of stone.

The Cuitat de Iberia is an impressive archeological site where the indigenous Indiketa lived from 600 BC. A small museum shows some of the writing, agricultural and spiritual artifacts found around the site. The Indiketa writing has still not been deciphered. Their metallurgy was advanced, making coins, tools and weapons. All in all quite humbling.

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