Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Time to head back to Barcelona for the Barcelona stage of this vacation. But first, a detour to Besalú.
Besalú is a beautiful, thousand-year-old medieval town in the Catalan interior on the banks of the Rio Fluvia, about 20 minutes west of Figueres. A side trip was in order.
The rental car this trip was a red striped diesel Mini Cooper. Minis are fun cars to drive, with extremely forgiving transmission. I would be cruising at highway speed and forget to take the car out of third gear, it was so smooth.
Besalú was not far. And the biggest driving challenge was dodging bicycles. The Figueres is a major road cycling area. I do not know why.
We headed down a narrow alley.
And came across the beautiful ancient-looking church. Sant Vicenç de Besalú. San Vicente for your Spanish speakers. The language of this area is Catalan. Which is most decidedly NOT a "dialect" of Spanish. It is a very distinct language that bears as much similarity to French as it does Spanish. The people throughout this region are very appreciative when you recognize that they speak their own distinctive language.
Sant Vicenç was interesting, but you could not go in. It wasn't clear where the rest of Besalú was, since we did not come in the main way. But it is a small city.
And it was easy to find the arched bridge that is the signature of Besalú. So let's join the tourist hordes invading town from across the bridge.
But first, selfie time.
I can't get enough of me, apparently. Now, to cross the bridge and enter Besalú.
The town is best viewed from the bridge. Note that the bridge is flying the Catalan flag. You don't (m)any Spanish flags in this part of Spain. I've yet to see one, in fact.
Artsy "town reflected in water" shot.
This is the other medieval era church building in Besalú.
Monestir de Sant Pere de Besalú.
Oh. Look at the time. Time to head back to the Mini for the drive back to Barcelona. We drove along the coast, but, alas, there were only a few brief glimpses of the Mediterranean. The C-253, the road closest to the coast paralleling the coast, is not California Route 1 hugging the Pacific Ocean. But there will be PLENTY of pictures of the Mediterranean from Barcelona