The apples in Spain fall mainly on the plain


Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

I was zipping along on my electric bike in the countryside of Catalonia Spain between Peratallada and Pals.  I was way ahead of the rest of the group.  The wind was breezing thru my hair, putting little wisps of strands of hair on my face.  I felt like a kid again!  Pump, pump, pump, glide, glide, glide.  Occasionally, I would stop along the way and let the group catch up with me.  The sun, beaming down on me, but in a cool, breezy kind of way and it was just wonderful to be out on a paved road in the middle of nowhere in Spain.  The week before had me busy with activities in Barcelona, Girona and now, it was a time to relax and let the wind take me away.  This is one of the things I love about travel. Suddenly you find yourself in places you never dreamed.   Also, nothing could be easier than riding an electric bike, and so again I strolled far out in front of the group.

“How many apples fell on Newton’s head before he took the hint? Nature is always hinting at us. It hints over and over again. And suddenly we take the hint.”
Robert Frost


Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

Electric bikes in the countryside of Catalonia, Spain courtesy of Roda D’OR

I decided to park the bike because I saw what seemed like an endless supply of green apples.  I got off to catch a closer look with my camera.

Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

Apples, apples, they were everywhere.  Barrels, buckets, trees, apple pallets, and crates, scattered about for as far as the eye can see.

Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

Crates so full, they spilled over onto the grown.

Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

With my camera ready, I took shot after shot.

But then, to my surprise, he came around from I don’t know where.  “Hey,  how are you?”

Apple Orchard owner Narcis in the Catalonia area of Spain

Apple Orchard owner Narcis Coll in the Catalonia area of Spain

I was startled and thought he would kick me off of his property immediately.  He spoke some English. “Do you want an apple?”  I said, “why, sure.”

Green granny smith apples of Costa Brava, Spain

“You cannot sell a blemished apple in the supermarket, but you can sell a tasteless one provided it is shiny, smooth, even, uniform and bright.”
Elspeth Huxley

And so began my conversation with the retired, gentleman who owned the apple orchard in Catalonia named Narcis Coll.  He had worked around the world and settle for this area of Spain to retire and grow apples.

“The apple of his eye.”

Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

“There is little choice in a barrel of rotten apples.”

William Shakespeare

Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

Apples in the countryside of Spain, Costa Brava

Spain, Costa Brava Sept 2012 254

The large apple box container in front of us contained apples he told me.  “These are not my prize apples, you know, the kind that goes to the store?  and look pretty?  But these taste just as good.  These are the ones that fall to the ground, we use them for making apple juice.”

Apples in Costa Brava, Spain

Apples in Costa Brava, Spain

“Oh,” I said.  Then he picked one of the better-looking ones from the box, wiped the dirt off of it on his pants and offered it to me.  I took it and then took a big bite of this girl scout green apple, as not to offend him and his precious apples.  Then we chatted up about his life in Spain,  until one by one, each member of our group of electric bike riders began to arrive.  They too parked their bikes and came over to meet the apple man.

Green Apples from Catalonia Spain

Green Apples from Catalonia Spain

Offering each one an apple, carefully selected, he could not have been nicer and answered all the questions our journalistic group had for him.  We all hung around for a long time and rested our legs in the breezy sun.  I think we innately knew that this encounter, out in the middle of nowhere in Spain, meeting an apple orchard owner, with the breezes in the air was special and was the highlight of the day.  We were soaking it up: sun, apples and a gracious gentleman.  Then, refueled with apples in our bellies, we continued to peddle the countryside in the warm afternoon,  past castles, more fields of apples and hay bundles until our next stop.

Electric bikes in Costa Brava, Spain

Costa Brava, Spain

“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.”
Bernard Baruch

Looking back on this day, it makes me think that while on my travels, I never know who I am going to meet.  People from around the world are what makes my travel so interesting and they certainly enhance my experience when I come across one so friendly and sweet.  I never forget that encounter.

Just like that pallet of apples, people come in many shapes and sizes, some scarred from their very existence, while others remain perfect in their shape and texture. Many are sweet.  I had never really thought about how many references there are to apples in our world, but as I research granny smith apples, I see that they have had quite an impact in our world today.

“Surely the apple is the noblest of fruits.” — Henry David Thoreau

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  

“One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch”

Disclaimer:  My visit to the Costa Brava area of Spain was a sponsored press trip by the Costa Brava Tourism Board.  Also thanks to Roda D’OR for an amazing ride on those electric bikes!  Opinions noted here are entirely my own.

Want more info about Spain?

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Luxury Cava and Wine Tour in Spain

The Rock of Gibraltar and Seville, Spain

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  1. Dima @ Dima's Corner February 22, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Whoa, electric bikes? I don’t think they mentioned that part, otherwise I would have signed up! 😉

    I’m gonna go have an apple now.

    • admin February 22, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      So much fun and so easy to ride! We had a ball that day!

  2. […] for about two hours through the villages from Peratallada to Pals, going through the countryside, past apple orchards and farms, winding our way from village to village.  I thoroughly enjoyed the breezy ride as I zipped along […]

  3. [email protected] April 17, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Wow, even with a few bruises thos apples look delicious! Thanks so much for sumbitting this post to our TBEX contest! We really enjoyed reading it. Sounds like you met a lot of interesting people when you travel and had a fun day on the electrics bikes!

    • admin April 17, 2013 at 9:12 am

      I like meeting the working people of the world, the ones that can be happy by just being, he seemed like one of those kind of men. Very genuine and sweet. It was a pleasure to meet him!

  4. Rick April 23, 2013 at 4:28 am

    He looks like a nice guy–and healthy, too. I guess with all those apples, the doctor stays pretty far away. Ciao!

    • admin April 23, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Nice and healthy, just what the good doctor ordered with those apples.

  5. santafetraveler September 6, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Apples definitely make me think of fall and cider. It’s not something we get much of in NM- but we used to live in apple country in NY. Takes me back. Our early home decor was old apple crates garnered from local orchards. Memories!

    • admin September 6, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      It was mid October and the weather and the breezes were perfect!

  6. noel September 6, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Wow, yes it is the simple things that happen when you travel that make an impression. For me as a photographer, it is the people and interaction that makes it special and when you capture it in a photo…wow. Now I want to try some of those apples too!

    • admin September 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      Agreed, the simple thing in travel, that is what I enjoy the most… he was just happy to be there and I was happy to meet him!

  7. Cathy Sweeney September 6, 2013 at 11:31 am

    This is such a lovely story! Wonderful serendipity stopping to take those photos. I would love to take a bike ride around Catalonia and see what surprises I might find, too. Great pics, too.

    • admin September 6, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Thanks so much, yes, it is a must do – electric bikes through Catalonia countryside! You will love it!

  8. Irene S. Levine September 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Gosh, this is another view of Catalonia that’s different than any I’ve experienced!

    • admin September 6, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      I loved it! It was amazingly beautiful and that breezy day was spectacular… riding the electric bikes!

  9. Neva Fels September 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Your pictures took me back to when I was a child and enjoyed so many apples collected in one place. Thanks for the memories.

    • admin September 6, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      It sure is fun collecting apples!

  10. Patti September 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    That is a lot of apples – I do love a good apple pie! Thanks so much for linking up!

    • admin September 7, 2013 at 4:51 pm

      When the apples are FALLING from the sky, I had to link to this FALL post!

  11. Suzanne Fluhr (Boomeresque) September 7, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    You had me at “electric bike”. I even disturbed my husband reading in bed next to me to tell him about it. His response was, “Why would you want an electric bike. It defeats the purpose — of getting exercise?” I couldn’t disagree more. For one thing, I like the idea of biking as transportation—with exercise as a fortuitous byproduct.

    I also agree with your assertion that some of the best things about travel are the unscripted moments — like the apple man. Spain does some amazing things with apples too besides juice — cidre and cava spring to mind.

    • admin September 7, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      You tell your husband that that bike was harder to ride that you would imagine! We biked most of the day from little towns to little towns out in the middle of wheat fields and apple orchards, so I felt like I got my exercise for the day!! Something about having nothing planned and going for guided bike tour through the countryside made it a special day… it really was fun. Thanks for reading!

  12. Marcia September 9, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I’m always touched by people who show such generosity. Narcis sounds like a gentle man.
    I didn’t realize they grew apples in Catalonia.

    • admin September 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      Yes, he seemed like such a gentle man. Come to find out, he was friends with one of the gals’Dads that worked for the tourism board who was with us! She could vouch that he was nice!

      • Marcia September 16, 2013 at 8:47 am

        How lovely! Still, it was a beautiful thing for him to do.
        These green apples remind me of Granny Smith, my favorite.

        • admin September 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm

          He is a good man! And the apples weren’t bad either! ha!

  13. Mike September 10, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I absolutely love apples and these look delicious! And great suggestion by Santa Fe traveler on apple cider. Yummy… 🙂

    • admin September 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      So many apples…

  14. […] Then:  The Apples in Spain Fall Mainly on the Plain […]

  15. Aiguablava August 9, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    […] Post #7:  The Apples in Spain Fall Mainly on the Plain […]

  16. […] The Apples in Spain Fall Mainly on the Plain: Costa Brava […]

  17. […] Post #7: The Apples in Spain Fall Mainly on the Plain […]

  18. Devin September 14, 2015 at 5:19 am

    Hello! My wife and I are living in Barcelona, and being from Iowa and Oregon, we LOVE the fall, and especially picking apples. We’d sure like to find either this man and his orchard, or maybe other orchards near Barcelona. Any suggestions on how to do so??

    • Cacinda Maloney September 14, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      Devin, no, I don’t know where you can get some apples! Maybe we can google it and find out! Thanks for reading.

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