Aquest article no està traduït al català; es mostra la seva versió en anglès
On why we should all move to Banyoles.
CATALONIA TODAY – SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT
Years it had been since I visited Banyoles, and it turned out to be a stunning surprise, even though I knew the place well enough. Indeed with Banyoles, to quote the pot-bellied porn star Ron Jeremy, each time's like the first time. The sight of the Estany, a vast inland lake - still as silk, its colour changing at a snail's pace until it reaches a fine neutral polish at dusk – provides more peace of mind than an entire day's dose of ansiolitics. The centre of town is a good place to be, too, its Plaça Major – now refurbished with exposed sluiceways trickling their way past the tenth century colonnades – being surely one of the most beguiling in all Catalonia.
So well did I feel in Banyoles last weekend that I went as far as to do some physical exercise, something normally as unusual for me as praying. Not only did I swim a few lengths in the pool at the quaint Ast hotel - its prices unreasonably reasonable - but I even hired a boat and rowed my nuclear family all the way across the lake and back again, emerging coated in sweat but also full to the brim with an unfamiliar, almost creepy sense of self-satisfaction.
What with all that and a meal at a famously popular restaurant, Can Bernat - whose grilled meat makes you thank your lucky stars you're not a vegetarian - and taking into account the city's many other pluses, such as a thriving African community and L'Altell, one of the finest bookshops in the country, when leaving Banyoles I could have been forgiven for wondering – not for the first time – why I didn't finally up my Barcelonan sticks and go and live there. For good.