I made a trip up to Agullana, Catalonia specifically for the purposes of buying almighty, delicious wine from an “artisan” winemaker in this little mountain village. This small village/town extremely close to the French border and while very relaxed, is charming as these towns go. Little did I know that the real draw was a water fountain in the center on Carrer del Reng.
One would think that the main point of interest for the locals in a town like this would be a square by the church or by the market, but no, it’s the fountain. And this isn’t some fancy fountain like you find in the middle of the Sant Felip Neri Square in Barcelona. Nope, it’s a pipe sticking out of a wall with a drainage area. It ain’t glamorous but it is mighty popular.
On my first trip to the village, I saw a number of people waiting their turn to fill up bottles. With this second trip, it was the same thing. Some Colombian truck driver (who was ahead of me) told me that when he makes deliveries every Wednesday to the village, he fills up a couple of bottles to take home. Then of course there are always the stupid Southern French who somehow found out about this fountain and fill up there, I’m assuming because it’s free and they’re lame.
Then it was my turn to grab 15L of water au natural. While I was filling up, some local guy in the village pulled up and asked to fill up a .5L bottle just to drink while driving. Of course, while filling up, I got in a chat with some older folks who pulled up and were mulling around while I took my sweet time. This older man told me that across the way, in Cantallops, “Well, there’s a much better fountain, but you know, it’s quite far and this one is here so I just use this one.” Let me emphasize that “far” in this case is about 7km and they did have a car, but hey, that is another village.
Of course after all this, you are probably wondering as to the taste. Awesome. I understand why everyone makes the effort. It’s even better than the goat water or any bottled water I’ve had to date. It’s got a buttery, smooth quality to it and is very, very refreshing. This is of course because it isn’t pure water. There’s stuff in there and I assume that it doesn’t kill or douse you lupus given all the old folks in the town who seem to drink it religiously. But, fountains in mountain towns like this are exceedingly common. Don’t read this article and think you need to go to Agullana just for the fountain, but when traveling in Europe, take a chance and drink that water from the fountain you see everyone else drinking.
You might be asking as to whether I’ll bring any of this water back as a sample. The very definitive answer is no. Water weight in my luggage would take the place of potential wine weight and you can only guess where my loyalties lie in that decision.