We caught the high speed train from Barcelona to Girona and it was a short 200kph (40mins) trip. The rolling fields of grasses blowing in the wind, the paddocks carpeted with red poppies and rural Spain dotted along the train track all went past in a semi-blur!
Girona (Spain) is absolutely gorgeous! And beautiful, full of history and such a delight. How lucky we were to discover that the spring flower festival was on – ‘Temps de Flors’. We found ourselves staying in a fantastic apartment which was only a 15 minute walk down to the heart of the ‘old city’ [but a 2hr walk back up! 😂 ], on a great bus route and a supermarket, almost next door. Everything to make our stay there so easy and just wonderful.
Girona is the perfect place to visit if you don’t like big cities, you can walk about in the ‘old city’ easily enough and the buses are great for everything else. It is a medieval city with the rivers Onya [main river] and Ter running through it. Several bridges cross the river and they are all from different eras. The most famous being the ‘Eiffel’ bridge [also called the ‘Pont de les Peixateries Velles’] being designed by Mr Eiffel himself, before he did the Eiffel Tower. There are 5 pedestrian bridges up and down the river [Onya], and all give you a fabulous view of the city. During the festival this year they had ‘woven telescopes’ so you could view the city – such a cool idea and made for wonderful photo opportunities.
The festival lured us into the romantic side of Girona and I fell in love! Girona is trumped by Barcelona [and maybe that is a good thing!], but I truly believe if you are to visit Barcelona you should do more than a day trip to Girona. It won’t disappoint and maybe if you go with your significant other … you will feel the romance 💖 If you ever have the chance to visit Girona, it is a must do. 😊
We walked along the ‘Rambla de la Llibertat’ which is very beautiful and has a very charming feel to it. From the market stalls, to the wonderful cafes and all the Gelato stands it is a perfect place to start your journey.
The Jewish (Jueu) Quarter is an amazing area of wonderful winding cobbled streets that were established in the 12th century. From charming cafes to cobbled lanes this was an enchanting part of the city, within the walls and has been a part of the city for over 500 years.
We we first arrived in Girona we had no idea that the festival was on and so we are sitting in a wonderful cafe, below the Cathedral, and wondered what was happening!! There was a hive of activity and an explosion of colour as the ‘steps’ were decorated for the festival. After a leisurely lunch we wandered along to the tourist information centre to discover that the ‘Temps de Flors’ was commencing that weekend and everyone was in setup mode.
This festival has been a highlight of Girona since 1956 when it was a bouquet competition and has since morphed into the most spectacular ‘FREE’ festival I have ever had the privilege of attending. Of course it has become bigger than ‘itself’ and now all the shops, cafes, restaurants, museums and the city itself have evolved into an incredible exhibition, that now lasts a week!
The wall walk [also called the Passeig de la Muralla] of the medieval city is almost horseshoe-shaped and is so incredible. I loved being able to peer into the houses and gardens below, especially as so many business and homes,had taken the time to join the festival. The wall itself it amazing just on its own, with incredible views over the city across the tiled roofs and beyond to the snow capped mountains.
We climbed several of the ‘lookouts’ to give it just a wee bit more ‘height’ … most were okay for me and I was so transfixed with the view I forgot how high I was!! …. until it was time to climb down!! Some of the tiny spiral staircases made my heart beat a little faster …. taking me back to our stay in Malta! The view of the public gardens, church’s, alley-ways and the city itself were just fantastic …. I want to come back here!!
So the Temps de Flors is just beyond your tiny imaginations [well mine anyway!!] … I have populated this blog with [a few] photos from in and around the city. Most business, and all the museums are involved, which made visiting any of them, just not possible [in the normal sense] as the volume of people was overwhelming!
So Game of Thrones (GOT) fun fact ! We have NEVER seen it but, it has been filmed here – where hasn’t GOT been filmed?!? Anway I suppose if you were a GOT fan, you would have got an extra ‘hit’ out of visiting here?!?
So fun fact about Girona …. they speak Catalan, here although Spanish is widely recognised!! So as you can see we loved it here, a truly wonderful and romantic city 💖
We are heading to France … stand by for that update!
“Because at the end … you won’t remember the time you spent working”