While the current travel restrictions are in place I have no new stories to post so what I thought that I would do is to go through my picture archives and see where I was on this day at any time in the last few travelling years.
On 8th July 2013 I was in the town of Besalu in Catalonia.
We found the Hotel Three Arcs and the receptionist told me that we could ignore the traffic restriction notices that seemed to suggest that the place was pedestrianised and bring the car into the main square but I was nervous about this because it involved driving over one of those solid steel retractable bollards that rise up from the centre of the road.
I was worried in case it raised up without warning and the CCTV cameras would catch the moment and I would forever be shown on television repeats of the Spanish equivalent of ‘You’ve Been Framed’ or ‘America’s Funniest Videos’. I could sense that a local driver behind was getting impatient so I had to go and I revved the engine and popped the clutch, spun the wheels and dashed across as quickly as I could. Nothing happened – the bollard stayed down of course and people sitting at a bar probably wondered why I had set off as though I was an Italian driver at a set of red traffic lights.
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Posted in Cathedrals, Europe, Food, History, Literature, Natural Environment, Postcards, Spain, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Almagro, Besalu, Carmona, Catalonia, Catalonia Postcards, Chincon, Ciudad Rodrigo, Cudillero, Pedro Bernardo, Ronda, Santillana del Mar, Sigüenza, Trujillo
My full post about the charming town of Besalú can be seen here
Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments’ on Norm’s site, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).
Posted in Europe, History, Postcards, Spain, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Besalu, Catalonia, Catalonia Churches, Catalonia Independence, Catalonia Postcards, Culture, Life, Spain Doors, Spain UNESCO
From Besalu in Catalonia to Chinchon in Castilla-La Mancha about four hundred and fifty miles to the south.
The Plaza is in a marvellous location with a big irregular shaped square that is used for town festivals and the occasional bullfight; it is surrounded by a hierarchical arrangement of buildings of two and three storeys with two hundred and thirty-four wooden running balconies all painted a uniform shade of green called ‘claros’ and below these shops, bars and restaurants on the ground floor all spilling out onto the pavement.
It was the location for one of the opening scenes, a bullfight as it happens, in the 1966 film, ‘Return of the Magnificent Seven’ and was also used as a location for the film ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’.
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Posted in Cathedrals, El Cid, Europe, Hotels, Literature, Natural Environment, Postcards, Spain, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Besalu, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, Chinchon, Don Quixote, Madrid, Spain UNESCO
Besalú is designated as a National Historic Property but it is rather small and as we were staying here for a couple of nights we thought it best not to rush around and see everything straight away. This plan suited me just fine because it was exceptionally hot by mid-afternoon so the best place to be was in the main square under a parasol with a big glass of cool Estrella beer in a frozen glass and several plates of local specialities for lunch.
Eventually the bars and restaurants began to close down as the owners and staff cleared the tables and started to think about the afternoon siesta so we took the hint and moved off to go and explore the streets of Besalú.
Away from the medieval main square we melted into narrow alleys with cobbled streets with weathered stone buildings and balconies with terracotta pots host to effervescent flower displays, wooden doors with heavy metal hinges and rusty locks and several coats of paint attempting to conceal the damage of hundreds of years.
Click on an image to scroll through the gallery…
Posted in Cathedrals, Europe, Food, History, Hotels, Literature, Postcards, Spain, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Besalu, Catalonia, Catalonia Churches, Catalonia Independence, Catalonia Postcards, Culture, Life, Spain UNESCO
Trying to understand the work of the Catalan artist is rather like pushing a supermarket trolley with a wonky wheel. It is all over the place!
I am not a great lover of the works of Dali I have to say, I wouldn’t hang one in my front room, but even I could appreciate the genius of most of this eclectic work that seemed to me to be the product of a mixed up mind as though its contents had spent some time in a food blender.
The museum is only small but is full to the brim with his art and sculpture, his illustrations and collections in a sort of wild and random style that he put together himself and probably comes closest to providing an insight into what it must have been like to be him with his head overflowing with ideas and creativity.
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Posted in Arts and Crafts, Cantabria, Cathedrals, Europe, History, Literature, Postcards, Spain, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Art, Besalu, Catalonia, Catalonia Postcards, Culture, Figueres, Life, Salvador Dali, Sant Ferran Castle Figueres
The cool narrow alleys started to drop now as we approached the river Fluvià where fat carp swam lazily close to the surface in the sunshine and mocked the fishermen who were valiantly trying their luck and then we reached the twelfth century Romanesque bridge which is the principal feature of the town.
Before the adjacent new road bridge was built this was the only way of crossing the river and it is heavily fortified in a redundant sort of way and was once so important that it was blown up and partially destroyed during the Spanish civil war.
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Posted in Cathedrals, Europe, History, Knights of St John, Postcards, Spain, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Almagro, Besalu, Carmona, Catalonia, Catalonia Postcards, Chincon, Ciudad Rodrigo, Cudillero, Pedro Bernardo, Ronda, Santillana del Mar, Sigüenza, Trujillo, Weekly Photo Challenge
Generally speaking I would say that the blue doors of Greece are my favourites but the wooden doors of Spain are equally appealing. This orange door in Besalu in Catalonia rather caught my eye.
Posted in Europe, Greece, History, Spain, Travel
Tagged Besalu, Blue doors, Catalonia, Door Furniture, Doors and Windows, Girona, Knobs and Knockers
Some Recycled Pictures from the Shadows of the Archives…
Posted in Cathedrals, El Cid, Europe, France, History, Poland, Spain, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Aranjuez Spain, Besalu, Caceres, rhodes, Spain, Street of Knights, Weekly Photo Challenge
Frayed Door – Catalonia, Spain
See More doors from Catalonia
Posted in Europe, History, Spain, Travel, World Heritage
Tagged Besalu, Blue doors, Catalonia, Girona, Medieval, Peratallada, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge
Doors and Windows of Catalonia
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Posted in Arts and Crafts, Europe, History, Spain, Travel
Tagged Besalu, Blue doors, Catalonia, Door Furniture, Doors and Windows, Girona, Knobs and Knockers, postaday, Weekly Photo Challenge