Day 16: Romanyá de la Selva

We founds this place via the happenstance and serendipity of travel. The visitor center in Durango gave us some English language programs for travel in Basque country (and really great birding guides, as well). In one was the description of a local “dolmen” – an ancient rock structure, ala Stonehenge, but smaller.

We were already pointed the other direction and not willing to go back, but we did want to see one of these dolmens. I did a little research and found that there was one on the other side of the Iberian peninsula near Barcelona – which was where we were headed. Except that, after the stress of Bilbao in the camper before, we’d agreed we didn’t really have it in us to do another city jaunt. Why not, instead, visit this dolmen and enjoy the countryside?

We made the same mistake we’d made before, however, and decided to first check out the coast. Catalonia’s coastlines are shuttered and sad in the winter, despite the fact that it was rather warm out (the warmest weather we’d experienced our whole trip.) So we took a leap of faith and went in search of the medieval village of Romanya de la Selva.

We found it and it was perfect.

10409254_10205363535864346_8881619021430979230_n 10849971_10205363537344383_7380034134817267171_n 10868166_10205363536744368_1287518010148576844_nThere is a four star restaurant in Romanya de la Selva called Can Roquet. It’s all the rage, we hear. Needless to say, we were not surprised when we found it closed. We were, however, quite surprised to find the fine dining establishment next door open. Well, open at 7 – as is customary with Spaniards.

In the meantime, we went on a hike to find the dolmens we’d read about, not really sure what we’d find. The sign said 900 meters. Perhaps as the crows flies. As the Declercqs hike, it was more like 9000.

10850069_10205363538304407_6367139500384443887_nWorth every misstep and poorly chosen path, because we finally found the dolmens and the ancient spirits who haunt this forest. I’m working up a little story in the direction of the latter, that I’ll share another time. For now, here are the 4000+ year old structures that led us to this perfect middle of nowhere. Humans are amazing. Also, dinner was great.