“The Most Beautiful Villages of Spain” by Hugh Palmer

Initially for this blog post, I was going to do a review of a collection of short stories revolving around my favorite book series. However, when I came into the bookshop today, Ryann showed me our new theme table. I’m not really sure if that’s what we really call it, but it’s this table next to the glass case in the bookstore, and we usually have a theme going for it. Last time it was France and this time it was Spain. Ryann knew I would love the Spain table because I lived in Madrid for a year and a half when I was eighteen. I still think about it all the time and my heart aches to be there constantly. So, our little theme table made me really happy. As I looked through the books, I found The Most Beautiful Villages of Spain by Hugh Palmer, and I wondered if I had ever seen any of these villages. I always thought the whole country of Spain was beautiful, even Madrid with its New York City-esque sky scrapers had that old world charm to it. There’s so much history in that country, and I think that’s part of the reason I fell in love with it so much. After looking through this book, I not only want to go back, but I have to. I need to find these beautiful, hidden villages.

I moved to Spain because I got an opportunity to study over there, and I couldn’t pass it up.  Every semester, the school would take you on a trip to a different part of Spain. My first semester, I chose Barcelona. How could you not? I was a huge art nerd, so I really wanted to see Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. Also, they were taking us to Salvador Dalí’s museum in Figueres and then to Cadaqués, which was where Dalí lived. I looked through the index of the book, and  immediately found Cadaqués. I had completely forgotten I had gone there until just now. I remember it being the most beautiful place I had ever been, and this book really shows the true beauty of that village. I remember that even though it was October, the water looked so beautiful; I had to swim in it. We were those crazy Americans, but it was probably going to be my only time on the Mediterranean so I wanted to remember it. Cadaqués looked just like I remembered it. The long, narrow, cobblestone roads, the white houses with red roofs; it truly is one of the most beautiful villages in Spain.

The rest of the photos in this book showed picture perfect villages nestled away in the Spanish country side. They were the kind of photos that make you want to find a little house in the town and never leave again. My favorite was Bárcena Major in Cantabria in Northern Spain which is a little town tucked in the mountain with all stone houses and flowers hanging from every house. Stop by the bookstore and look at our theme table! I plan on reading all of the books on it. You should come just to look at Palmer’s pictures alone. They really are breathtaking.

~ Brynne

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