Birthday trip – Besalú, Castellfullit de la Roca and sleeping under the stars!
Can you believe it’s already December? There are only 3 weeks left to end up this year. I guess I am not the only one who cannot wait to celebrate New Year and say Hi to 2021. Something inside me is telling me that this next year will be…. easier.
Despite the circumstances, Edwin and I still managed to travel a little this year and we feel very grateful for that. Somewhere along the way we learned to appreciate little things and to not take anything for granted. I think there is one word which describes our actual mood perfectly and it is GRATITUDE.
You should have already seen it on our Instagram account, but our last trip was super exciting! It was Edwin’s Birthday and I prepared a 2-days itinerary to celebrate it. He had no clue where we were going until a really last moment and I loved it because I could keep his curiosity for a long time. 🙂 We made two stops before we arrived to our final destination and both are totally worth visiting, so let’s see if we inspire you to discover them as well!
This charming medieval town has always been one of my favorites in Catalonia, so when I was planning Edwin’s birthday, I knew we had to go Besalú. The town is located in La Garrocha region which belongs to province of Girona, totally recommended for a visit. Girona is highly known for its medieval wonders and beautiful nature, especially for the Garrocha Volcanic Zone, an immense natural park with a large number of extinct volcanic cones. We didn’t have time to explore the park because we would need at least one entire day for trekking, but this is already written on our bucket list for the next time.
The origin of Besalú is medieval, although the first signs of settlements in Besalú date back to 600AC! Most of the buildings of great importance are kept in perfect condition and you can easily see the highlights of the town in a few hours. The first thing that will leave you speechless after arriving to Besalú will be the Old Bridge. This 11th century treasure may look untouched, but it underwent various restorations, the last in 1965 because of the damages during the Civil War.
The centuries of coexistence of Jews and Christians also shaped Besalú with a Jewish quarter, the Call, and several synagogues. In addition, the main one also had a mikveh (the space where the purification baths of Judaism are made). It is the only medieval one of the five that are preserved in Spain.
What else should you do in Besalú? Definitely visit Sant Pere Monastery and Sant Vincent Church, try local cuisine, walk down by the river of Fluvía and find Calle Rocafort, one of the most important streets of the town and famous for its surprising chair sculptures suspended on the buildings.
Besalú is a place where you will feel like traveling back in time to another era, where it seems that a knight is going to appear on horseback in the next narrow alley. What I loved about our visit was the fact that we could enjoy our company and take as many pictures as we wanted. There were hardly no tourists and the local people were the nicest. Traveling without feeling crowded is definitely one of very few good sides of this pandemic. One more thing – if you love to mix sightseeing with good cuisine as we do, Besalú won’t disappoint you. Their local meat is one of the bests in Catalonia and quoting Edwin, you simply have to try their confitado de buey. He is still saying how good it was!
Castellfullit de la Roca
Our second destination was Castellfullit de la Roca, located only 14 kilometers from Besalú and considered one of the most spectacular towns to see in Girona. If you are not in a hurry, we recommend you to take your time during your visit there, because this town is situated in the heart of La Garrocha Volcanic Zone, so there is a lot of trails to try in the national park. We didn’t have time for trekking, but this will definitely be done next time!
Castellfullit de la Roca is a very unique place during to its location on an imposing 50 meter high basaltic cliff with rows of houses built on the edges of the cliff. In addition to taking incredible photos from the bottom, it is worth walking the few streets of this small town which will lead you to the end of the cliff. There is a beautiful viewpoint together with the church of Sant Salvador. You will be impressed with the panoramic views of the mountains nearby!
The town sits on what was formerly a lava flow that solidified into basalt and that little by little was being pierced by the Toronell and Fluvià rivers. Shortly before reaching the town there is a small parking lot where you can leave the car and cross the bridge to observe how the town hangs over the precipice. This was definitely our favorite spot!
Our final destination literally left Edwin speechless. I was so happy to see his reaction! I booked a Bubble in Mil Estrelles to sleep under the stars and you should have seen my face when I looked at the sky and realized there were not only stars, but also full moon. I think the universe conspired to give us the most romantic night ever because I am obsessed with the moon and I love everything related to it. We also both love astronomy, I even ordered an astronautic Birthday cake for Edwin this year so every element of his Birthday was… cosmic 🙂
Mil Estrelles is situated very close to Girona and it was the first bubble hotel in Spain. I was thinking of this destination for Edwin’s last year Birthday already, but I finally decided for a tree house. You can read about that adventure here! This year I had plan B and C and even Z because the pandemic wasn’t helpful to plan anything and be 100% sure that our night under the stars would happen, but everything eventually worked out!
The Bubble was super warm and soooo cozy and it was very well equipped with heating, bathtub and even a gramophone. We had our own bathroom next to the dormitory room and a small hall where the hotel service was leaving our meals. I loved how much they respect guests privacy. You can spend the entire night in the bubble, having your dinner and breakfast served, and not crossing with even one human being, but you can also head to the main building where the reception is located and have some drinks in the chilling zone. We spent a couple of hours in the masia drinking white wine and listening to Christmas songs, and then came back for dinner to our Bubble. Everything was super delicious and the dinner included also a bottle of wine and desserts. The hotel service is also ver flexible with diet preferences, because when I called and asked for vegetarian menu for me, there was no problem at all 🙂
There are different options to book your night, you can simply book a bubble with breakfast included or a pack with dinner, bicycles, massage, or even electric scooter. I decided for dinner and bicycles but at the end we didn’t use our bikes because we preferred to stay and enjoy the Bubble. I think the option with dinner is much more convenient because there are no restaurants nearby and you would have to bring your own food instead, which wasn’t my plan 🙂 We enjoyed the dinner and the music from gramophone, which was also a very nice detail from reception! This was the first time we slept in a bed with canopy and adding the stars and the moon hanging over our bubble, I have to say it was one of our most romantic nights!
Next morning we had our delicious breakfast served in the Bubble and then we spent a couple of hours just enjoying our little garden. I haven’t mentioned that before, but each Bubble has its own garden and fence and there is also an automatic curtain in case you want to cover the bubble. So, and this is because many of my friends asked, there is no way someone from another bubble or reception will be able to see you inside your bubble. These Bubbles are made to ensure your privacy and make you feel cozy and comfortable.
Those 2 days were perfect to escape from big city and just charge our batteries. I love to make gifts and surprise people I care about and Edwin deserves the best because he is the most kind, good-hearted and genuine person that I know. He’s been working so hard these last few months, he always does one million things at the same time and he never complaints and I truly admire him for that. Seeing him happy and enjoying the stay and the entire itinerary was so beautiful. I am so grateful for having you in my life and I love you to the Moon and back.
Would you like to try sleeping in a Bubble or maybe you prefer more traditional gifts? 🙂