Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Girona - Land of Poets and Bandits

A land of poets and bandits   OFELIA DE PABLO
translated from an original article - El Mundo

The Catalan region, attached to Gerona, draws countless bends and stories of misdeeds and some Robin Hood among its lush forests of ancient trees

Slow and lazy, like someone who already knows his way back home, and slide the river Ter by the countless bends that draw part of the territory of the district of Osona. Sanctuary of poets and hideout of bandits, its legends of misdeeds are hidden among thick forests while the verses to play or climb peaks are immersed in the sacred crypts. It is a landscape of green and water, cherished by the moss that collapses without warning into gorges of vertigo looking at how far the sea.

Why write more verses in the sand? Playa del sea from the sky, when I can write to your page with big stars my poems? It is the song of the prince of poets Catalans, Jacint Verdaguer, as he called his followers, who was born in the heart of Osona in Folgueroles. A creator of images, one-Expressionists who drew lines on his beloved Pyrenees mountains in his book-Canigó which became the most important work of the Catalan Renaissance, or extolling the sea at L'Atlàntida, who started next to his stay in Ter at the Shrine of the Gleva.

Verses accompanying the river while it drops land in the north of the region through the lush natural park of the Castle Montesquiu, in the foothills of the Pyrenees, one of the three parks Osona.

IN SEARCH OF MUSHROOMS. A foot and the shoulder bag, the passenger leans to the vertiginous peaks and travels from one end to an incomparable world of pine forests and bojs until one of the most beautiful beech forests of the province: the Grevolosa. His place of nomos Bufadors Els is a micro-lying under trees where the prized mushrooms grow, so celebrated in the local cuisine.

The winding bends of the river twists in curves impossible folding their wishes before the fortifications of castles and Voltregà Oris, who dominated in the past for these sites lead to the Sanctuary of the Gleva. Along the way there to stop to savor local specialties like the Ratafia-appreciated a bitter taste in liquor but intense and full of flavor, which the distillery Sant Quirze still manufactured in a craft or venturing into the world of beekeeping in Stonehouse.

Armed with a special costume and, of the hands of Ramon, you can access the interesting world of bees and collecting your own honey. They also organize visits for children. Before lead to the dam of Sau, the river is left behind the medieval site of Iberian and L'Esquerda occupied since the eighth century BC to get ausetanos by one of the jewels of the Catalan Romanesque architecture: the Monastery of Sant Pere de Casserres. Founded in the year 1005 by the viscounts Osona-Cardona, was the only Benedictine monastery in the region which, for 300 years, had religious activity. Is not paralyzed, despite the vicissitudes of time.

The other side of the SRT. However, during the fourteenth century was virtually abandoned, but has managed to recover a significant portion of its original structure, the central nave, tower, the cloister and the spaces where the monks lived in the eleventh century . The cultural visit continues on the other side of Ter, where the important architectural works of Sant Esteve or Tavernoles of Sant Pere de Savassona.

The latter is located on top of one of the many rock formations in the area, ideal for climbing into their fantastic blocks. Not surprisingly, trains the champion here in the world of climbing, Ramon Julian. For the uninitiated can practice their descent from the rocks: the rappel.

The waters of Ter reach the slopes of the rocky cliffs of stylish and Tavertet The Collsacabra and scatters forming a small sea, 17 kilometers long and three-wide reservoir of Sau, who in 1962 buried the village of San Romá only his sight Romanesque bell tower. The villagers used to this proud survivor of his time as a reference for the water gap, and if the height is adequate, can be considered to swamp the canoe traveling through the arc of the bell.

Located halfway between the Natural Park of Montseny and the Pyrenees, the area of the Valle de Sau The Collsacabra and invite you to enjoy a single area of legends and adventures worthy of Serrallonga bogey of the day, back in the seventeenth century. The Catalan known as Robin Hood was hiding in the mountains of Les Guilleries, south of the region, after committing the most heinous acts. Its beautiful forests of lush vegetation gave shelter to the criminals while, a short distance, in-Folgueroles a little later in time-born great Verdaguer. Today, his house has become one of the oldest literary museums and their footprints are felt throughout the town.

Rising above the Valley of the fortifications Sau gritty Collsacabra embrace of the human heart of the place: Tavertet. It is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful villages in the area. His village, declared of cultural interest, it still retains 48 houses built between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, surrounding the beautiful church of Sant Cristòfol of the eleventh century.In front of the village, the view of the impressive Natural Park Montseny, chaired by the always challenging Matagalls The summit, the breath away.

Suddenly, a sharp decline and endless curves that flow into the swamp of Sau is opened before our eyes, are the routes of the coalfish, old trails that have been recovered for the enjoyment of nature lovers. One proposal is fun to get up on the back of a Segway, skates off, appliances apparent unstable two-wheeled platform and a magic-a small motor and a system of the army-let amount outstanding, traveled roads and enjoy a different form only playing to keep the balance. Not all succeed.

Medieval town. The route through the valley ends in one of the most charming places: Rupit, a small medieval town of which preserves intact its original historic center. Bamboleante suspension bridge crossing its wooden us into a tale of medieval cobbled streets, balconies and beautiful ancestral home, where the stylized bell tower of the baroque church of Sant Miquel defines his profile on the horizon. Nothing better to finish with a wonderful soup with meatballs or roasted a delicious barbecue of grilled meat dotted with mushrooms. And for dessert, the eternal carquiñoles of Rupit. Anthology!

The western part of the district-the-Lluncanés has been home to one of the bandits who immortalized Miguel de Cervantes in his works. Land of legends of witches and passage of transhumance shepherds, the area offers great potential for activities such as mountain bike ride. In Prats is a center where you can rent mountain bikes and also learn of the tours. There's something for all audiences.

It is highly recommended the route of transhumance, or that runs from El Prat Llunçanès and Oristà. Its 15 miles of easy slope allow the study of the environment much more closely. Upon arriving at Oristà can visit his delightful little town with the wonderful hidden crypt under the pre-Romanesque church of Sant Andreu. In his hand, the Pottery Museum of Catalan curious contains more than 5,000 pieces, a real chest full of treasures.

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