Both towns, which are relatively close to each other, are located in the Girona province. One Sunday, Eva’s dad, Joan, drove us to these two towns. It was a great day out. 🙂
We first visited Besalú – it was an important town in the Middle Ages and it is famous for its beautiful Romanesque bridge.
A count, apparently credited for the unification of Catalonia, stayed in this town and because of this, many flocked to the town for the security and prosperity that the count could offer. This town also historically protected the farmers nearby. Today, it mainly serves as a nice weekend getaway for people who live in Girona.
We then got to Banyoles – famous for its lake (largest in Catalonia) which was the venue for the rowing events during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. According to Eva’s dad, when he was young, it was popular for couples to go on dates on a row boat. That is quite cute, isn’t it? We also had a pre-lunch at Banyoles and that comprises of olives and alcohol. I didn’t really fancy olives before I got here but I think I grew to like the taste of olives. When we were travelling to Banyoles, we also saw several horse carriages riding slowly in front of us on a road with only one lane. I would have been quite irritated if I were rushing to go to somewhere but I was on a holiday and I loved seeing those black horses.
On the way back to Girona, Joan made a detour and showed us some farms and told us interesting things about agriculture in Spain. Apparently, agriculture represented 7 % of Spain’s economy and most food products are for domestic consumption. Unlike other countries where agriculture is more collectivized, farming in Spain is mainly a family business. There is also a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in European Union which is essentially a protectionism strategy to protect European farmers from overseas competition. Help is varied from one country to another. Some people criticize that too much help is given by the EU to the farmers who contribute only a very small portion to the GDP.