Catalonia and the Camargue
We were recently in Catalonia, the tension over the impending referendum was noticeable here and there. We were there in Montagut, at camping Can Banal. Outside the campsite in the surrounding places you saw many Catalan flags and here and there also banners that called for Yes to vote in the referendum. Anyway, we did not come there to interfere in local politics, but because of the natural beauty. Especially the two-tailed pasha (Charaxius jasius), also called foxy emperor, was high on the wish list. This butterfly flies in many places around the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea and further inland to a height of 450 m. The condition is that the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) grows, because that is the food plant of the caterpillar.
The landscape is beautiful because of the old basalt formations, both the basalt columns and the horizontal basalt. Click here for the pictures.
On the return trip we spent a few more days in the Camargue, near Arles in the south of France. The Camargue is the delta of the Rhône and especially in spring a very attractive area for bird watchers. Now in September it is a lot less in that respect. It is one of the places in Europe where flamingos occur. If you say: “Flamingos, wild horses and fighting bulls” then you actually say “Camargue”.
We arrived late in the afternoon and took a first walk at sunset and full moon. The Camargue is a flat area and resembles the Peel (in the Netherlands) in terms of landscape, with much shallow water just like here. The main difference is mainly in the salt content of that water. You will see many salt-loving plants such as samphire and sea lavender. In the southeast, salt is extracted by evaporating seawater in basins, where the salt-saturated water turns red. The Camargue is also famous for its unique semi-wild Camargue horses. An ancient breed, the foals are black at birth, later they color via brown to gray and once they are adult they are white. The bulls bred for bullfighting are also worth photographing. Click here for the photos of the Camargue.