Do you think you’ve heard about all the special monuments in your country even though you’ve never visited them all? It was what I thought about my land, Catalonia, but recently I discovered a new one with plenty of history and mysticism. I would like to share with you my recent trip and show you this special place.
Last weekend we had three days off so my boyfriend and I decided to take a short trip in Tarragona, the south of Catalonia. We visited Ribera d’Ebre, a rural zone with plenty of fruit trees like peach trees and plum trees. The Ebre River crosses their villages and it is a touristic resource, where it’s possible to enjoy unforgettable routes through the river with a canoe. Limiting with Ribera d’Ebre there’s Baix Ebre and Terra Alta. These regions have recovered an ancient railway, now named Via Verda (The green way), and turned it into the perfect path to cross by bicycle. So, we rented two and we went from Benifallet to Bot, and vice versa, more or less 28 kilometers (17 miles). There are plenty of old dark tunnels, some of them have lights that are powered through solar energy, but some of them don’t and it is necessary to take with you a lantern. If you enjoy riding a bike, it is possible to do all the way in two days, from Horta de Sant Joan to Tortosa, that is, from mountains to sea, or vice versa, but it’s more difficult. Here you can find more information.
During the Spanish civil war The Ebre Battle took place in 1938 in this area where sadly a lot of people died. Therefore, apart from doing some exercise, you can learn more about the Catalonia history by visiting the little villages. Miravet is one of them, and in addition it has a Templar castle, which in the beginning was a Muslim fortress. The views from the top of the castle are impressive, and you can see the Ebre River.
The second day we exchanged the fruit trees for vineyards and olive groves, we arrived to El Priorat. We visited little towns surrounded by vines and wineries. And talking about wine, this area has two certificates of origin: Priorat and Montsant. I have to say that the weather wasn’t very nice because it rained a lot, so we sheltered from rain in local shops named “Agrobotigues” to buy some local products. Later, I’ll show you all the products we bought.
The special monument that I mentioned before is La Cartoixa d’Escaladei, an ancient monastery placed at the foot of Serralada del Montsant. It was the first one of Carthusian order that settled down in the Iberian Peninsula, and the monks that lived there dedicated their hours to pray in silence and solitude; for them to live there was like “to be dead for the world”. They had their own cell where they ate, prayed, read, and did some manual works. Sunday was the day when they all ate together in the same place but always in silence. I really recommend visiting it, while you imagine how they lived inside the monastery.
The last day, guess what… it rained again! Do you remember that the day before we visited the local shops? We did it again. We enjoy buying local food to taste it later at home. In the picture below you can see all the products we bought: fig jam, different types of olives, olive spread, oil, oil jam and wine from Priorat and from Montsant. An authentic delicacy!
Besides the rain, there was also an enigmatic fog that impeded us to admire the beautiful views of la Serralada del Montsant, a protected Natural Park perfect to do some hikes. We visited Cornulleda and Morera del Montsant, ending the trip in Siurana, a legendary village placed at the top of a cliff where you could see the reservoir surrounded by mountains. But unfortunately, when we arrived there it was impossible to appreciate the view because of the ghost-grey mist:
But after lunch, at last the sun appeared, and we could admire the picturesque views.
If you want more information about this trip, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ll advise you for a sustainable travel in this land.
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