One of our favourite towns so far, Besalû’s iconic bridge set the tone for the tour around the maze of its medieval cobbled streets. Like much of this region the place is steeped in history of the conflicts that have played out here.
Today Besalû is a magnet for tourists like us and I image the restaurants and bars in the square and side alleys being full in the height of summer. Lucky for us, our out of season visit enable us to see a more tranquil side of this beautiful place. Although, sadly Trip Advisor’s number one eatery recommendation was….. shut.
In low season when this place is closed up the restaurants have some very strange places to store their furniture! However in summer I bet you get some great views….
Modesty prevents me from admitting my photographic genius for this shot was inspired by Dali’s Swan’s reflecting Elephants!
SERIOUS BIT WARNING
As we drove through Catalonia everywhere there were Catalonia flags and also hundreds, no thousands of yellow ribbons symbolising independence. Tied to railings, painted on roads, on walls… yellow ribbons, tied to anything and everything.
While walking around Besalû, Lesley was intrigued by a poster she saw in a window. “Freedom Jordis – political prisoners of the Spanish state”.
This is not about a couple of rowdy Newcastle United fans getting banged up for drunk and disorderly but a serious issue of Catalonian nationalists being imprisoned for promoting self-determination.
The Catalan independence vote in 2017 saw a result of 90% voting for independence in a referendum that had 42% turnout – restricted by intimidation and repression by the Spanish police. The referendum was said by Spain to be illegal and many of the Catalan government were put in prison. Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart who were part of a protest against the Spanish suppression prior to the referendum were also jailed.
The strikes in Spain today are in part protesting about releasing these political prisoners.
For us the strike meant the main route from Besalû to Girona was blockaded and the tourist office in Besalû where you buy tokens for fresh water was closed. So based on a vague piece of advice we went off on a wild goose chase via the back roads in search of some urgently needed free, fresh water for Charlie.
Wot no water – Charlie the motorhome and his dishy Spanish night time friend, whose occupants gave us the dubious advice of where to find water when this service point was out of order.
The mysterious aire with free water in Sant Joan les Font never was found but, a quiet spot near a school with water collected from a tap nearby was a reasonable substitute. And joy of joy, we’re kept company for most the night by the Monastery bell….. 1/4 past, 1/2 past, 1/4 to “BONG”.
Pip, PIp Toodle Oo