Between Olot and Vic
Green hills, bizarre rocks, giant plains, wild waters, cold oak forests, blossoming meadows, scenic views, grazing cows, picturesque towns solitude, silence – this could well be the wild west, but it is still Catalonia, about an hour’s drive from the sea, right between lot and Vic.
We leave the highway to Figueres in Olot and follow the signs for Santa Coloma de Farners. We are heading for Rupit and the bizarre landscape of the Collasacabra. Just out of Olot, close to the small village Sant Esteve d’en Bas, we turn in right, to Coll d’Uria. In serpentines, the C153 leads up into the mountains, air cooling down pleasantly as the road climbs up, light falling through the forest’s green. On the side of the road, an old lady is collecting wild strawberries.
Santuari de la Salut
We stop at the next bend to get some, too. Then we continue on our road to Santurari de la Salut. There, a small spring aptly named “La Font de Salut” trickles out of the rocks. A small chapel is situated nearby, guarded by a statue of “Mare de Deu”.Right next to the chapel, there is a restaurant, and it is there where we buy a glass of honey and sit down on the terrace to drink a cup of coffee. The view is amazing albeit slightly obscured by morning fog. On we go, travelling via el zig-zag to “Coll de Condreu”. Here, we stop by at “el Far” to take a look at “Mare de Deu del Far”.
On the way there we take the occasional breaks in order to take pictures of blossoming meadows and colourful butterflies. And then, we see them, and are completely overcome with surprise: five stone eagles! The stone eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is known to be the king of the skies.Majestically, the big birds roam the skies, floating above the hills in perpetual beauty. They circle over the landscape, the rocks, the hills, the cows, quick and swift as dreams, passing closely over our heads and then settling down on a nearby rock. All too soon, however, they set off again and vanish in the sky’s deep blue. The view on “Serra de la maso” and the storage lake is beautiful beyond words. The Hostalet near the view point is closed, though, and thus we continue until we reach a small village called Rupit. We leave our car at the village’s outskirts, and continue afoot, braving the rope bridge. The village might as well be located in the mountains of Switzerland: houses built of grey stones date back to the 16th and 17th century, balconies afringed with flowers, predominantly red cranesbills. Most of the houses are multi-storied, leaning against the rocky walls as if in a hug. Hundreds of years ago, a small river dug a deep canyon into the rocks. Some of the houses are actually restaurants or small hotels. We treat ourselves with a traditional lunch, buying spicy fuet (a Catalan sausage) as well as goat and feta cheese.
Waterfall “Salt de Sallent”
Noon comes and goes and we continue our expedition – on foot again. we are now heading for “Salt de Sallent” a famous waterfall located about one walking hour outside of the village. The walking path starts out at the town centre and then leads along a small stream under high trees. The burn soon swells to become a the impressive waterfall.
At some point we grow tired enough of walking to stick our feet into the crystal clear but very cold water, which is coming directly from the mountains. Thus refreshed we carry on to the high plateau. Here, tons of water are cascading down some 100 metres. A mirador is located a little bit further up, overlooking the spectacle. We take another break, this time choosing to sit down under an old and weather-beaten pine and enjoy the view. The air is sweet with the fragrance of wild flowers. We could not have picked a better spot. Again, we spot a stone eagle. Our gaze turned up to the sky, we mentally prepare ourselves for the rain that is yet to come and decide to start the return journey – back to the car. We need to hurry a little but arrive at the parking lot just before the thunderstorm does. The moment we close the car, the sky cracks open. It seems to be a sensible decision to not go shopping in Vic today. We will eventually do so, though.
Prerequsites for this trip: good hiking boots, binoculars, mobile phone, a picnic and a camera! For more information please visit www.osonaturisme.cat
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