(above: a relatively wide street in Castell de Castells, Spain)
The recent trip to Spain involved a lot of exploration, part of the purpose being a survey of possible places to live. Neil and I needed to confirm our original positive feelings for the Costa Blanca and also to make certain that Dénia was where we belonged. Our road trips took us through even more towns, mountains, and valleys than our 2008 wanderings, and along the way I (the map-reader and general navigator) spotted a little town called Castell de Castells. We, of course, had to check it out.
Castell de Castells has a population of under 500. The streets are not just tiny, but so small that a stranger to its streets is compelled to hold his breath and fold in the wing mirrors in order to better squeeze through its passages. We had driven straight into the heart of a maze of capillary streets and barely passable lanes. At one point, I had to get out and guide the car out of a tight residential dead-end, only for us to become lost up an even smaller street with construction straight ahead, a local in a tiny 4×4 behind us, and a road to our left that looked as though I could brush my fingers along its framing buildings simultaneously! The local, an older man in a cap, got out and together we understood a series of right turns and a straight-ahead would get us out of his town. He was lovely and helpful and seemed not the slightest bit worried that we needed to scrape through that unbelievably tight road to our left. After all, he must do it at speed everyday!
We experienced a month’s worth of stress in Castell de Castells, happy as anything to be out of there. The car escaped without a scratch, though from our estimations, we had only a centimetre to spare at times.
Needless to say, we won’t be looking for property in Castell de Castells, although I’m sure the locals would be most entertained by our perpetual nervousness.
To see a couple more photos of Castell de Castells, see my Spain 2009 set on flickr.