Port Bou, Platja de Garbet, Vilanova de la Muga

you are what we were, we are what you will be - commonly found in graveyards

Portbou

is not now the prettiest of destinations (there's a lot of competition on the Costa Brava), despite being 'the most beautiful place' Hannah Arendt had ever seen in 1940. However, it is home to one of the most impactful monuments i have ever seen, that to the German philosopher, Walter Benjamin. I won't spoil it here by showing you the monument - it needs the context. Definitely worth the visit. 

There is a

Walter Benjamin route

but there's little information, so better read up a little before visiting. Suffice to say, Benjamin died in the Hotel in Portbou while fleeing France at the beginning of the War. He was trying to cross Spain to get to Portugal but his party was held up at the border. The hotel is still standing.

We had lunch in town, but it being New Year's Eve, the choice was limited.

On the way back we stopped at the

Platja (beach) de Garbet

.

Then a visit to the 10th-12th Century Sant Eulalia Church In

Vilanova de la Muga

(just outside Figueres). The painted apse is 13th century. It's a beautiful

Romanesque church

.

Here there is a '

Ruta dels Estanys

', an attractive walk, taking in both sides of the Muga river.