CB 300 El Turo - 10 bedrooms


El Munt is located outside of the village of Castellterçol.

The name Castellterçol comes from the conjunction of castle and Terçol, the name of the local warlords who founded the village here way back in 898AD. The village became prosperous in the 17th and 18th century due largely to wool production but also for the production and distribution of ice, and 12 of the 25 original stone igloos where the snow was compacted to form ice are still visible around the village.


Getting there:the drive up from Barcelona city center took me exactly 40 minutes to Castellterçol, and even though there are some curves, it isn´t a stressful drive, and is mostly quite scenic. On your way to Castellterçol on the C-59, you will make your way uphill though Sant Feliu de Codines, which has some fine modernist houses right on the main road. About three-quarters of your way through town, on your right, you will come across the road signposted for Sant Miquel de Fai, a 17thC monastery built right into a massive stone shelf in a stunning setting, well worth a visit, a bit reminiscent of the Navajo dwellings in Arizona, USA. One of the most beautiful aspects of this Catalan heritage site is the 30 meter-high waterfall right next to the main church, but of course the water falls only in the rainy season, and is dry most of the summer.

Just as you leave St Feliu de Codines, you will come across the Cim d'Aligues on your right at a very pronounced curve, (see www.cimaaligues.com or call 93 866 2648 to reserve) which offers daily shows of rapacious hunting birds such as hawks, eagles, owls, etc. These birds are trained to fly right over your heads and fun for kids of all ages. Shows at 13h and 17h. Bring a hat as there is no shade, not to mention other risks related to overflying birds!

A little further up the road from Sant Feliu is the Golf course, but I have not visited it yet. It is very clearly signposted and I found this on internet:

Golf Sant Feliu

Address

Golf Sant Feliu, Ctra.de Mollet a Moiá,km.23.300, Apdo. 56
Sant Feliu de Codines, 08182 Barcelona

Telephone

+34 938 663 096

Fax

+34 938 662 030

Email

golfsantfeliu@hotmail.com

Website

http://www.grupbroquetas.com
/golf/

Holes

9

Yardage

3265

Par

35

Visitors

Advanced booking recommended. Proof of handicap necessary.

Green Fees

C/D/E



Back to the road to Castellterçol:

The landscape gets more lush and greener as you approach Castellterçol. Just where you turn left for El Turó at Castellterçol´s traffic light, there is a cluster of restaurants and cafés, including La Violeta bar and restaurant, right on the corner - you can´t miss it! This is a family run operation since the early 20thC that has been able to adapt and modernize to current tastes (unlike the bar next door!) as Castellterçol has become part of greater Barcelona exurbia with quite well-to-do Catalans either commuting into the city or using the village for summer and weekend getaways... La Violeta offers surprisingly good meals for a very reasonable price, especially the 10-Euro midday menu which I thoroughly enjoyed (mixed lettuce and avocado salad and magret de canard with raspberry sauce and delicious sweetmeats, along with country bread and a full bottle of Coto de Hadas chewy red wine and pastry dessert - yes, all for 10 Euros! It was a great way to start my exploration of the area!

After lunch I went for a stroll and there is a nice looking old fashioned restaurant housed in a gorgeous old farmhouse directly across (the C-59)from La Violeta called Hostal Castellterçol (93 866 6062) which was closed but I´m told it that the 30 Euro weekend menu (17.50 Euro kiddy menu) in the ancient masia (old farmhouse) setting was quite good. Beyond the Hostal is a neighbourhood with some nice old house with wavy modernist/art-nouveau features.



The main road into Castellterçol village goes from the traffic light at a 45º angle (the road to El Turó is a 90º angle) and the first café you come across is the local casino (the casino in Catalonia is the village hangout - every town has one - where old fogies sit around playing cards all day) called La Teula which has a small terrace out back and there are two fairly well-kept billiard tables and a pool table which you can rent by the hour. There is also an internet part of the café, 2 Euros an hour (but this was not working when I was there! - welcome to Spain). The internet in the town library, across from the church, was working fine, and was free.



The road continues into town where there is a quite narrow shopping street that looks like it should be turned into a pedestrian zone but that would choke off one of the two access roads into the two squares that make up the town center. That main shopping street has a bit of everything, including a fishmonger, a wine and liquor shop, a butchershop, a shop that "keeps" stationary: - ), two bakeries, and even a somewhat pricy tapas bar which also does some catering, called Buisi. Make your way past the shopping street and look for parking at the big square at the end.

There are two or three bars in the town center, which I course I had the obligation to visit. Although L'Angel bar right next to the church has a terrace and serves enormous free-poured drinks at very low prices, I preferred the more neighbourly atmosphere at the terrace-less bar just off the parking lot, which was a lot more lively and had a smattering of tapas on offer. By the time I had finished my after midnight drink here I was in no shape to remember the name of the place, but you can´t miss it - the only café on the parking lot - and the road that turns sharply downhill from the parking lot goes back to your turn off for El Turó and the traffic light at La Violeta, passing the small Tandy supermarket on your left. This is the nearest store to El Turó. The largest supermarket in the immediate area is the SPAR, where most guests at El Turó do their shopping.You’ll find the SPAR just before entering Moiá, turn left towards Manresa. You can see it from the traffic circle.



That just about does it for Castellterçol, but Moiá is only a few minutes away and has slightly more to offer. On your way to Moiá you will pass Castellterçol’s Municipal Pool complex, where 3.50 Euros gets you in and it looks quite civilized, with a 25x30 meter pool surrounded by an impeccably kept grassy lawn and some shade trees. I am told there is another pool and tennis club, somewhat more expensive, on the hilltop just above town. I have asked Anna and Josep at El Turó to look into this and send me the info. I have done this and it seems it is for members only, though knowing Spain, that rule is probably not set in cement.

The straightaway from Castellterçol feeds right in to the center of Moiá, and what I did to get my bearings was to follow that road straight through town, straight as you can up about 1.5 kms to the Mirador de la Creu, ie., "the panoramic view from the cross", a lavendar-scented park with fantastic views at the highest point just behind Moiá. The views are great and there are descriptive panels to tell you the names of the towns and several mountain ranges you can see from up here. To the right, on the road to Manresa, you can see the Moiá golf course. Again, to get to the Mirador, as I said, go straight through Moiá and as you leave town going uphill, you will come to a well-signposted left turn for the Mirador, about 500 meters after the square where the Mayor´s office and Tourism Information desk is situated.

Back in Moiá, the quite attractive main church square, with the lovely grapevine festooned portico of baroque Santa María de Moià, is not so easy to find. As you work your way uphill on main street, just after passing the Llobet supermarket on your right, the turn for the church is two streets up on your right, just before the popular café with terrace under a wide awning there on the corner, just before a sort of little stone square there where bored youths hang out... Around the church square there is another terraced café, a caterer or traiteur (en français) called Buffet de Cuina, with prepared Catalan food to take away or have delivered – they know El Munt, and the Pesilmar fresh fishmonger, and just across the street a tobacco shop. Directly across the main road from the church you´ll find another popular terraced café, and a couple of restaurants, including El Colom, and Padrisa, which is part owned by the local butcher and reputed for the quality of the grilled meats.



I only had time to take one culinary excursion out of Moiá, and I was advised to try to get a table at the tiny restaurant called Can Valeri (93 830 3169) in the historic setting of Santa Maria de l'Estany village, a 12thC Cistercian monastery with a gorgeous cloister. Well, the restaurant was closed but upon interviewing neighbors and looking at la carte, was assured it is a place worth trying. The menu has typical country fare, only about 20 items in total, which is a good sign. “El que abarca mucho aprieta poco.”Oh, the road to Santa Maria de l'Estany is the same as the road straight through Moià town, going straight instead of turning off for the Mirador.

Looking for an alternative I was recommended a very simple and inexpensive restaurant just between Moiá and Santa Maria de L'Estany called Magadins Vell (93 820 8328) where I had an agreeable dinner of esqueixada (desalted codfish salad) and a thick entrecote accompanied by an equally thick carafe of house wine, all for about 20 Euros. Outside the restaurant is where I was allowed to have my first cigarette of the day, it smelled strongly of fertilizer out there, but I had a fun conversation with some other local nicotine addicts.


Other restaurants I have been recommended include the Urbisol, about 4 or 5 kms in directions Manresa on the road from Moiá. In Sant Feliu de Codines I was recommended Fonda Benet, which has been around for ages.

In short, there are restaurants in the area and I very much look forward to your feedback to enhance this information on the area around Casterterçol.

In closing I should add that one of the most popular tourist attractions in the immediate area are the caves at La Cova de Toll, just 6 kms from Moiá heading towards Vic - the opposite direction from Manresa. The stalagmite and stalactite strewn caves can be visited from 10:30 to 14:00h the summer months only on weekends. see www.covesdeltoll.com and for more info on the area in general www.elmoianes.net and for Castellterçol we have www.castell3sols.com.

And perhaps most importantly, for nice walks from your doorstep at El Turó make your way away from town to the lovely nearby hermitages of Sant Juliá and San Salvador.

I hope this info helps ... but I am sure you will know the area a lot better than me after only a few days there!

Sant Miquel del Fai:

http://www.trivago.co.uk/sant-miquel-del-fai-102823/hotel/sant-miquel-del-fai-espai-natural-164370/pictures


Spanish TV is now 100% digital. You have to turn the digital receiver on and then hit the AV or Video button on the TV zapper to active this outside source, then you switch over to the digital zapper. There are about 35 channels, most of them garbage, but there are 3 24-hour children´s channels (Disney, Clan, and Canal 3/300), 3 or 4sports channels and news channels, and the great thing about digital is that foreign shows (mostly US series and movies) can be seen in original version. Your zapper will have a button labelled AUDIO or LANG or something like that, and once you click on that, you can opt between dubbed and original version. There are also buttons to see information on the present and future programming, INFO; text TV (weather, flights, stock market, etc) and lots of other extras. This is not cable TV. It is 100% free.


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As far as music and entertainment, the best listings are probably in the local "el Punt", or the "Avui" newspapers, and you´ll want to check the listings of the back pages under Agenda, with listings of what festa majors (town festivals), concerts, and balls (dances) are on offer. I usually use the excuse of checking the local paper to justify going into a bar and have a coffee or a drink while looking over the bar´s copy of the papers.

It is a bit early in the season for me to know what the programming is for summer, but aside from the usual daily assortment of Festa Major's throughout July and August, there is the jazz festivals at Calella de Palafrugell, and of course the big classical music festivals at Perelada casino grounds, Torroella de Montgris festival, and the Schubertiada in Vilabertran.

I don't think there will be any football in July and August, but you might want to check the Barca listing in:

To buy tickets on-line for shows and sporting events:

www.telentrada.com

or

www.barcelonatickets.com

The later is the best of the two and is in English.

Quickies:

- If it is hot, do as the locals. Keep house shutters and doors closed during the day, and open up at night and early morning to air out when the temps are low. The thick stone walls keep cool air in and hot air out.

- If there are flies, buy the green slow-burning coils for outdoor use that help keep the flies and bees away, especially during your outdoor meals.

- If there are mosquitoes at night, use bug-plugs , either liquid or tablets. There are usually some around the house and more can be purchased for about 5 Euros and they work quite well - see Raid, Bloom, Fogo, Cruz Verde products in Drug Stores or Supermarkets everywhere. You can also use mosquito repellent lotions. My favourite bug plug is called Bloom by Cruz Verde. I think it stinks less of citronella than the other brands.