The attractive village of Camprodon in the Catalan Pyrénées has enough to keep a curious visitor busy for an afternoon, especially when a knowledgeable guide is on hand to provide an informative narrative relevant to each point of interest.
Strolling through the narrow streets is like taking a walk through the history of the region. Occupied by various warring factions, hoping to claim the Spanish throne, and providing a safe route through the mountains for refugees, and pilgrims alike across the centuries.
The medieval buildings may now contain modern shops, and offices, but a good guide will provide a wealth of interesting facts, and anecdotes about the bakeries, computer shop, and boutiques to entertain their charges.
The last time I’d visited the region a guided tour of the Monastery of Santa Maria de Ripoll, supposedly by a monk. However, it soon became clear all was not what it seemed, he was acting, an actor in a monk’s habit.
Prior to our visit to Camprodon, just the previous evening, during dinner, I’d recounted the tour of the monastery with the fake monk to several of our group.
Walking around the village our guide seemed familiar, and I was slightly distracted attempting to work out where we’d met. Towards the end of the tour, he pulled me aside, and speaking to me in an almost conspiratorial, quiet voice, informed me he had been the monk on the previous tour.
It’s not clear whether there is a shortage of good monks or good guides in Catalonia, but it’s certainly a coincidence. Moments of travel serendipity like this, however, are constant reminders of the reasons, travelling is such an amazing experience. It is full of constant surprises, and even returning to a previously visited destination provides new experiences, and memories which will last a lifetime.
Names, and images have been withheld to protect the fraudulent.