Route 3

Sant Iscle de Vallalta / Sant Cebrià de Vallalta / Sant Pol de Mar

1. Parc del Montnegre i el Corredor

Parc del Montnegre i el Corredor
Parc del Montnegre i el Corredor

Carrer de les Escoles, 2, Sant Iscle de Vallalta
GPS: 41.6244, 2.56906

They call it the lung of the Maresme, do you know why?

Montnegre Park is a hill with the majority of towns in the Maresme, with Sant Iscle in the middle and a great starting point to discover these forests by the sea.

It is an immense green area: pine groves of stone pine from the coastal slope, to holm oaks and cork oaks towards the interior of the massif.
Its routes will take you to country houses, Neolithic dolmens, Iberian remains and medieval churches.

2. Les dones d'aigua

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Les dones d'aigua

Sant Iscle de Vallalta
GPS: 41.63857, 2.55479

It’s one of my favourite spots…

A magical place, a short distance from the village where you can find a cave and a waterfall. And, if you’re lucky (and imaginative), you’ll see my friends the nymphs.

Treasure
Treasure

Find out about the legend where these characters announced by Picotet came from and draw the part you like best.

Did you know?
Did you know?

On full moon nights, legend has it that one can hear the cries of the shepherd in love looking for his beloved nymph and also the cries of the woman drowning in her greed.

Info
Info

The water women

A long time ago, when fantastic beings such as centaurs, faunas, satyrs, Oreads, Dryads and nymphs lived in Montnegre, some of them stood out for their beauty: the water ladies.

About 3 km from the village square, towards the North-West on the way to Vallgorguina, at Can Maresme valley and following the stream there is a spot where the water formed a pool and a cavern where its leafy terrain and thick vegetation gives it an esoteric appearance. In daylight, only a small ray of sunshine can filter through so much darkness, it is a charming place.

This is the place where legend says these nymphs used to live and on full moon nights, they washed their ethereal clothes, spreading them on the grass while singing softly and dancing subtly.

Once, a strapping young shepherd decided to take a rest near the cool stream, but suddenly woke up attracted by the sweetest of voices. Enchanted, he, little by little and without making noise, got closer to the place to spy over a scene he had never seen before: beautiful women dancing, with bare feet and legs, long hair and wrapped in ethereal veils that shook to the beat of a strange and enchanting music.
Out of all of them, he felt attracted by one, who saw him, but without saying anything continued her dance, even more ecstatically. The shepherd thought it was all a dream, but on the next full moon he returned to the same place to find the truth: he heard those harmonious voices again and also saw the woman he liked. After getting to know each other, the couple escaped to live in the forest.

After a while, the nymph was expecting a son. It was the first time that a nymph was pregnant by a mortal and therefore, when the child was born, the nymphs did not know how to help their fellow nymph. They were shouting desperately around the pool, when an old lady who lived in Can Patiràs, the nearest house, listened well to the prayers of those exotic women. They went down into the stream and one of them, holding a rod in her hands, opened up the waters of the pond: there underneath everything was light, as if the sun, the moon and all the stars had all come out at the same time.

The woman from Can Patiràs helped the young woman in childbirth and so her companions, to express their gratitude, filled her apron with something they told her not to look at until she got home. On her way back, the woman was feeling her skirt wondering a thousand times what it might be that the nymphs gave her. Finally, she could not control her curiosity and before arriving home, she took a look at it: it was just a pile of bran! Disenchanted and angry, she threw it all away because she had plenty at home! But when she arrived, her family was marvelled at her grandmother’s apron: all the brans crumbs left in the apron’s creases had turned into pure gold. Enraged, the grandmother went back to pick up what she had thrown away, but she could not find anything. She stumbled down to the stream, where out of despair, jumped into the water. She was then swallowed in punishment for her curiosity.

The young shepherd who threatened the tranquillity of the divinities from the forest was condemned to wander through the mountains of Montnegre forever and ever, and even now, on full-moon nights it is said that one can hear the sad wails of the young man looking for his beloved and the woman who drowned by the stream in greed.

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Dues dones d'aigua

3. Les maduixes del Maresme

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Les maduixes del Maresme

Carrer del Centre, 27, Sant Cebrià de Vallalta
GPS: 41.61966, 2.60001

Do you know them? Intense red, with a pleasant aroma, a fleshy texture, with such a nice taste … mmmm! Sweet, with a point of acidity, delicious!

And look where, you are in the village with the best conditions for growing strawberries: a sloping terrain, which makes the sun’s rays reach the strawberries in winter and sauló soil (which allows for better root development).

If you like strawberries as much as I do, don’t miss the gastronomic days and the Strawberry of the Maresme fairs that are organized in many of its towns. I recommend them to you!

Did you know?
Did you know?

I am very excited because it seems to be made especially for me: the strawberry with the highest quality is called the “pàjaro” variety.

Treasure
Treasure

Help granny find her basket of strawberries on the pastimes page.

4. Can Planiol

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Can Planiol

Carrer d’Abat Deàs, 30, Sant Pol de Mar
GPS: 41.60069, 2.62163

Look how nice! Those colours!

Modernism is also present in Sant Pol de Mar and Can Planiol is a good example, with its beautiful facade. It was designed by architect Ignasi Mas Morell, a friend of the Planiol family who had businesses in Cuba.

Riddle icon
Riddle

The habaneras are songs that were called that way because they were sung in Havana, the capital of Cuba.

Did you know?
Did you know?

The habaneras are songs that were called that way because they were sung in Havana, the capital of Cuba.

Info
Info

Habanera songs

In 1898, Spain lost its last colonies Cuba, Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam. This period was known as “The Disaster of ’98” and provoked a deep demoralization and socialcrisis.

For the Catalans it was also an important change. Many families had relatives in Cuba, since many men had gone there to “make a fortune”. Many returned to Catalonia, as well as soldiers who had gone to battle (a quarter of the Spanish soldiers were Catalan).

Relations between Cuba and the Catalan territory were very close due to regular and established commercial relations and family and personal ties. A testimony of this are the many Catalan surnames that still exist on the island.

Rum, sugar and tobacco from Cuba were highly appreciated and popular, especially for the Spanish bourgeois of the 19th century. Also, from this Caribbean island came a new musical genre: the habanera.

This autochthonous music from the island, in Cuba was simply known as “canciones” (songs), but the Catalans renamed them after its city of origin, Havana. And that’s how they still call them.

Although it was known before, it was from 1898 that the habanera became enormously popular: sailors and fishermen from the coast learned these songs which they sung in many marine taverns. They talked about love and war and the Caribbean landscapes the sailors once had known. They were somehow nostalgic but also daring and hot.

Here, in Catalonia, they also acquired a satirical character, a relevant force. The songs learnt by the sailors in Cuba were later sang here, where they were also learned by other fishermen. Throughout this process of oral tradition, these songs suffered modifications, which made it difficult to know the original version. Obviously, at first the habanera was sung in Spanish and later it began to be catalanized, acquiring its own character but maintaining the original themes and rhythms.

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Cantant havaneres

5. Caseta de la platja de les barques

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Caseta de la platja de les barques

Platja de les Barques, Sant Pol de Mar
GPS: 41.60121, 2.6239

On this beach, there is a hut with glass windows which is called the hut of the “maquinilla”.
The engine that was used to take the boats out of the sea is stored there, it was used to drag them to the beach.

Did you know?
Did you know?

Before, the boats were also taken out with ropes, but they were pulled by bulls!

Activity
Activity

The most famous Catalan habanera is called “My grandfather”. Do you dare to sing it? So, dress up and record it.

Info
Info

“My grandfather”

One of the best-known Habaneras is “My grandfather,” which goes like this:

My grandfather went to Cuba
aboard the “Catalan”
the best warship
of the overseas fleet.
The helmsman and the boatswain
and fourteen sailors
were born in Calella,
were born in Palafrugell.

When the “Catalan” went out to sea
the young boys from Calella
were drinking fruit punch with rum,
with their hands on the guitar,
they would often sing,
Long live Catalunya! Long live the “Catalan”!

Times of wars arrived
of treachery and betrayal
and in the sea of the Antilles
the canyons resounded like thunder.
The sailors of Calella
and my grandfather among them all
died on the decks,
died while manning the canyons.

When the “Catalan” went out to sea
my grandfather shouted:
“Come on guys, it’s late!”
but the brave ones on board never came back,
they never came back,
the Americans were the ones to blame!