Garrotxa Catalonia

Here is a brief report from pretty Besalu from which I did a 6 day circular walk to Olot in Garrotxa Catalonia.

Pretty Besalu village in Garrotxa Catalonia

It was a great hike with some big climbs and spectacular scenery.

Stunning scenery

The region is studded with extinct volcanoes from 10,000 years ago but there are plenty of still quite fresh looking crumbly black basalt lava flows which can be a bit tricky to walk on. The lava forced its way up through limestone which has been lifted up in huge plates and this makes for the great scenery.

There are plenty of fossils in the limestone. I’m reliably informed that these are Alveolina from the Cainozoic Period .

Fossalised limestone

EEEEEEEEKKK !!!! Snake on the trail!! I am again reliably informed its an Aesculapian snake.

Aesculapian snake

This being a very Catholic country there are churches/chapels everywhere - on top of the mountain there is Sant Julia del Mont said to date originally from the 9th century.

Sant Julia del Mont church

And in the caldera of an extinct volcano there is the now abandoned Santa Margarida hermitage which was destroyed in an earthquake in the 15th century and then rebuilt - presumably with the intention of keeping the devil and his underworld down where they belong.

Abandoned Santa Margarida hermitage

September 11 was Catalonia national day and there are Catalonia flags everywhere in the villages - not a Spanish flag in sight - not that these cats would care.

Cats and Catalonia flags

The issue of independence continues to fester.


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