My my my Girona

I’ve had the tune in my head since arriving in Girona, and it has taken me 2 days to finally remember that the actual name of the song is My Sharona! Nevertheless, I continue to hum my my my Girona to myself as we wander through this charming city (well, at least the old part of the city).

We are staying with our friend Ian, who decided to inject some adventure into his life by spending a year in another country. Spain was his country of choice as thanks to many trips to South America he had a basic grasp of the language, and it is a good jumping off point to other European countries. And, Girona seemed like a good spot to be – so here he is, installed in a cosy apartment a few blocks from the train station (handy) and a short stroll from the delightful old part of the city.

We have spent the past 2 days wandering the rabbit warren of small cobbled stoned streets of the lovely old quarter, and traversing the restored city walls, which provide beautiful views across the city and on to the distant snow capped Pyrenees. And of course, visiting the odd church or two.

The Girona Cathedral, which dominates the skyline:

has some stunning stained glass windows:

and a collection of beautiful old clerical robes:

But, the piece de resistance is the 11th century Creation tapestry, which is fascinating:

To reach the old city we have to cross the River Onyar, with multiple choices of bridges, all of which provide views of the colourful buildings lining the river:

Sculptures are dotted throughout the city, such as this contemplative girl waiting in the square just near Ian’s apartment, and the bare breasted woman signalling the way to a funky new coffee house we discovered (Espresso Mafia):

But, currently Girona is a hive of activity with a flurry of work being done to install the 90 odd floral inspired displays and works of art for the Girona Temps de Flors, which runs from the 7th – 15th of this month. Some are of questionable taste, but they certainly brighten up the old quarter and provide an element of surprise and discovery around almost every corner.

Unfortunately, we shall miss most of it as we left Girona today for the little village of Mollo, not far from the border with France. Tomorrow we start our 6 day walk, entitled In the foothills of the Pyrenees. Just before leaving Girona I took the opportunity to kiss the bottom of the famous Romanesque lion (or at least, the replica – the original is in the Girona museum). Legend has it that kissing the lion’s bottom will ensure a return to Girona. I thought that might be a good idea before embarking on the walk (and maybe, just maybe, it might keep the weather gods happy).

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