|The Cathedral tower in Ripoll.|
|Crossing Pont Nou in Camprodon.|
Not travelling by plane this Easter gave me the chance to see more around where I'm living. Some places I'd been to before, and others were new, even though they were just around the corner from me for years - Caldes for example. Sometimes it's the places closest to you that you miss, opting for the further away, harder to get to, more exotic places first. There's nothing wrong with that, but I'm a firm believer in seeing your own backyard a little first before you start checking out the neighbour's. I've done a bit of travelling myself, both in my own country and abroad, but never truly explored Australia like I should - something that I aim to fix one day. I've always made fun of English people who've never visited their capital city, saying that they hate it even before they've seen it, or people from the South of England never going to Scotland or even Wales, only a few hours drive away on their little island. While I'm here though, I feel I need to get out and explore my second home some more. I'd enjoyed my day trips to San Miquel del Fai and Vic - the former was a first time visit and latter was more of a revisit, as I'd been to Vic before but never truly explored it in depth. Next on my list was also a revisit, but one that I would never say no to visiting - it will always be very special in my heart and my camera will always be ready to capture a new angle of a favourite place.
|Pont Nou (New Bridge) in Camprodon - a truly spectacular bridge.|
|View from the New Bridge.|
|The stone archway into the city.|
The town of Camprodon, way up north near Ripoll and the Pyrenees, will always be a magical place for me. I've been here in Winter, when it is absolutely freezing, and also Spring and Autumn when the countryside is full of colour, but I love it every time. Located 120kms from Barcelona and 75 from Girona, it isn't really close to the big cities and takes a while to get there - but it's worth it. The town started with just a monastery, the monastery of Sant Pere de Camprodon, a 10th century church, but was granted market rights in 1118. In 1252, Camprodon was granted the title of royal city and left the jurisdiction of the abbot of Sant Pere and became it's own boss. While still small to this day, with only 2,500 people living there, the town is very popular with tourists and gets very busy. The thing that stands out in this town, and is the biggest tourist attraction, is the bridge. Built in the 13th Century, most likely around the time the town was granted the title of a 'Royal City,' it's an impressive, stone arch bridge that spans the river that runs past the town, the River Ter. The bridge is a typical style from this time in Catalonia, you can see many around, including one not far from here in San Joan de les Abadeses, and they are typically called "ponts del diables," or Devil's Bridges. They aren't flat - both ends reach up at quite a sharp angle for a bridge and meet at the peak of the bridge, right in the middle. The bridge here in Camprodon is called 'Pont Nou,' or 'New Bridge,' even thought it's nearly 700 years old - it's had a difficult history too. Even though it's called the 'Roman Bridge,' construction started in 1315 - it was restored in 1362 only to be damaged in 1428 by an earthquake, and nearly completely destroyed in Catalonian Civil War. The bridge you see today is a reconstruction of the original, but still impressive.
|The colourful houses on the canal - Girona in miniature.|
|The Església de Santa Maria de Camprodon.|
|Santa Maria de Camprodon.|
Apart from the bridge, the town is lovely, small cobbled streets, cute little shops, cafes and bars and a canal running through the centre too. Walking along this canal, you get to see some very colourful houses hanging over the water, much like Girona but on a smaller scale. It was getting around lunch time, and although I'd packed my lunch, I was feeling like a beer by the river with a view of the bridge. Sadly, today was Sunday, and so the supermarkets were all closed - I had to resort to an expensive take-away from a bar to take back. While searching for the elusive beer, I got a chance to enjoy the town again. The Església de Santa Maria de Camprodon is a beautiful stone church, built in around 1013 and further enlarged in 1096, is is now part of the Inventory of Architectural Heritage of Catalonia. I walked in and was greeting by silence - the way a church should be. The inside was not heavily decorated, instead it was stark stone with arches on the ceiling which were plastered white. Simple, yet polished, wooden benches sat in the church, facing the altar which had a large, gold 'crown' hanging over it - the only gold in the place. Although small in size, it was lovely. I found a bar which would let me get a takeaway and headed back to the river, along the way passing by some grand old houses on the edge of town. I sat down under the road bridge, on the river, had my lunch and chilled out with the view of one of my favourite bridges. It's hard to choose my favourite, you have the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Millau Viaduct in France (the tallest bridge in The World - wow!), Tower Bridge in London, The Ponte Sant'Angelo in Rome, Charles's Bridge in Prague and so many more, but I really enjoy this simple stone archway. After lunch it was time to head home, but head home happy - I just love this place, it's worth the drive every time!
|A beautiful bridge - I love Camprodon.|
|The fields around Cardedeu - just beautiful!|
|Sant Esteve d'Alcoll.|
|The Torre del Moro.|
|The thistle is the symbol of Cardedeu.|
|The green fields of Cardedeu.|
|Cardedeu and it's green fields - with Montseny always in view.|
|Cardedeu - green and lush.|
|Cardedeu from Sant Esteve d'Alcoll.|
|Sunday streets in Sant Antoni.|
|A village church.|
|The green fields and mountains of Sant Antoni de Villamajor.|
|Montseny seen from Sant Antoni.|