The landscape, paths and routes of our journey over the Hills of Girona were beautiful but then so were the two cities we visited at the end of our week’s trip.
Here are some views of ancient Besalu. NB not a scrap of litter or graffiti in sight.
Portal de la Força – Castle Gate
During our week in Catalonia I realised that certain themes were emerging. One of these was baths, but also we’d come across a spring. So I merged these pictures into a themed post for today. A detour from the chronological story.
I mentioned already that Can Batlle Guest House was quirky but comfortable. Even the bathroom fitted this bill!
For those who book the 5-day option the walk ends at Santa Pau. However, we learnt over the years that ATG can be very flexible with their dates and as I was intrigued by what I had seen in pictures and read in books about Besalu I wanted to include the walk to, and overnight stay in, Besalu at the end of the walking part of our trip. ATG were able to oblige so we set off on the Tuesday morning :
Santa Pau to Besalu: Footpaths pass craggy peaks and mountain rivers (opportunities for swimming in natural pools), before climbing to a high ridge with views. Then oak and pine forests lead to the medieval town of Besalú with its 11th century fortified bridge, Jewish bath-house and 12th century monastery church (12.7 or 13.5 miles, 6-7 hours).
Due to a bit of a mix up Miquel had to collect us and drive us to suitable point a short way along the route. The beginning of Monday’s walk was to be along a quiet but tarmac road but he dropped us in the central square of a village on the outskirts of Les Preses. We were soon on a stony track climbing quite steeply through woodland.
Joanetes to Santa Pau: Easy paths enter the Natural Park of Garrotxa passing Romanesque churches in picturesque woodland settings. Continue through beech forest between dormant volcanoes before reaching the medieval village of Santa Pau, an ancient barony with a castle founded in the 11th century (11.8 miles, 6 hours).
Often on ATG walks you’re offered a choice of routes to reach the next point on your itinerary. Needless to say we chose the longer walks on this trip.
“Day 2 Rupit to Mas La Serra via La Salut: From Rupit, pass the Salt de Sallent, follow paths along the edge of the Collsacabra with splendid views, then walk through open grassy pastures and woodland to the superbly situated Santuari de Nostra Senyora de la Salut, before continuing on to accommodation in a spectacular setting (10.2 miles, 5 hrs).” [As usual we made some detours and covered more mileage than this … and took longer, of course]
Last week was my annual summer walking trip with my sister. For the sixth consecutive year we chose an ATG Independent Footloose holiday; our first in Spain. I say Spain, but we were very much under the impression that we were in a country called Catalonia with its own language, flag, foods and distinctive geography.
Welcome to St Dyfnog’s
On our way back from Foel Fennli we stopped in the village of Llanrhaeadr, bypassed by the main road, to visit the church of St Dyfnog and its famous Jesse Stained Glass Window. The church gains 3 stars in the Jenkins Wales book. Apparently, the “rhaeadr” part of the name means waterfall.