Besalú is a little stone Catalonian town, sitting right at the point where the Riera de Capellada separates from the Riu Fluvià. The crowning feature of this place is a beautiful 12th century Romanesque bridge crossing over the Fluvià River. We read about it online and were mega psyched.
We arrived there in the evening on December 2 2015 and parked on the east side of the bridge, outside the city proper in a large dirt lot. In the summer this place must be crawling with tourists, but since it’s the off-season, the only people around are residents (i.e. Reason Number One why we always travel in the winter). After we had eaten dinner we took a walk around in the dark, which was nice because we got to see the city all lit up.
The next morning, we set out again on foot over the bridge and saw the town in the sunlight.
This place is the paradigmatic medieval city. All I want to do is break out my Ren fair dress and walk around barefoot with a basket and drink mead and dance to lute music.
Once home to Wilfred the Hairy, the uniter of Catalonia, this city remains Catalonian to the core. Catalonians have long wished for independence from Spain, and that was very apparent as we walked through the narrow streets. There were Catalonian flags hanging out of every window and in every shop front.
Also, random chairs on the wall:
One of the most interesting parts of the city is the old Jewish quarter, which features the ruins of an old Mikveh, a Jewish ritual bath used for purification rituals. The ruins were covered so I couldn’t take a picture of them, but the quarter itself was really lovely. It was a little lower than the rest of the city and since it is on the edge of the town and nearer to the ground, it feels much more open because you can see the river and the gardens outside the walls.
Later on we took a bike ride along the dirt path behind the city into the woods, and looped back around so that we could through the town again from behind.