2017-10-03 Hotel Carlemany, Girona, Spain Looking from our window in Hotel Carlemany this morning we see a lot of disruption with hundreds of people rallying in the adjoining square Local Police are surrounded by chanting protesters against the hard force used by Police in Barcelona with the people who were in favour of the Catalan Independence. Fortunately it all remained calm here and the Police ended up joining in the march with thousands of people through the streets of Girona Once the roads in the town cleared we decided to go for a drive north of the city. Absolutely nothing was open in Girona as everybody was on strike against what was happening in Spain re the Catalan Independence As we head up the highway dozens of tractors make their way towards the city centre of Girona obviously in protest against what is happening and the unlawful imprisonment of the leaders of the pro ‘Independence Movement’ More protesters sit and block the highway as we make our way out of town!! We get on Road C-66 which will take us 24 kms to the town of Banyoles with it’s beautiful lake It is not long before we arrive in the picturesque town of Banyoles The area of the lake, being the largest natural lake in Catalonia, is 112 ha. It is 2100 m long and 750 m wide and average depth of 15 m (max depth being 62.4 m) The lake is used for water sports, such as canoeing, rowing or water skiing and can be a great place to walk or cycle around. It appears that during holiday time it would be a nice place to visit Today Banyoles is like a ghost town with no people, no shops, restaurants or cafes open and just a handful of visitors here, like ourselves We didn’t spend much time here in Banyoles and decided to head north west on road GI-524 in the direction of the town of Olot Our pleasant drive takes us through beautiful countryside A quick drive through another deserted town of Mieres and we continue on to Santa Pau We approach the medieval village of Santa Pau which is situated amongst extinct volcanoes and consists of stone houses jumbled together along irregular laid out streets We attempt to enter the town via the narrowest of pathways and gave up as time was ticking by and as there was nowhere to leave the car….. Continuing on we arrive at Olot which like the tiny village of Santa Pau is famous for the surrounding volcanoes. Unfortunately as it was getting late and without a shop or a cafe open we decided to head back to Girona via the tourist town of Besalu Driving back in an easterly direction we arrive at our next stop Besalu, another medieval town was built between two rivers The ancient town is a popular destination for tourists staying in the Girona area Iglesia de San Vicente the old Catholic Church in Besalu Besalu also appeared to be deserted, just like the other towns we briefly visited today Even one of the town squares which would normally be a busy lively place with tourists is abandoned today!! Following the dark narrow alleyways we search for the entrance to the bridge Finally we find a path to see the medieval town’s most significant feature which is the 12th-century Romanesque bridge over the Fluvià River Beautiful reflections of the bridge can be seen today in the almost perfect calm conditions The bridge is certainly a delightful attraction for the medieval town of Besalu It was a worthwhile detour visiting the old town and it’s stunning bridge The day had disappeared and at 6 pm we were finally on our way back heading south east to Girona where we are staying This sign gave us a chuckle!! On our return to Girona the Police presence in the streets was quite significant Streams and streams of people were mostly heading in the same direction Once back at the hotel we fortunately made a booking for the hotel restaurant which was one of very few that were open tonight in all the town At 9 pm we arrive for dinner in the hotel restaurant and order a nice Spanish red to have with our 3 course dinner (with 2 choices) which was all that was available tonight Ric chooses the soup We share the salad which was fresh and nice The rib eye steak, although cut on the thin side suited Ric’s hunger quite well The fish although a little overdone was quite acceptable Saving the red wine to take to our room, we order a couple of Spanish dessert wines to sample on our last night in Spain Delicious apple pie and ice cream comes next Followed by a chocolate raspberry mouse…. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.