Ah yes, we promised you Girona, quite a long time ago. We’ve been busy since then but I hope you’ll think it was worth waiting for.
Again we took the train, from Valencia to Girona, via Barcelona. We stayed with Servas hosts, ‘quim and Caro and delivered greetings from Jorge in Alicante. They very kindly invited us to stay for the three nights we were in Girona – Servas visits are expected to be for 2 nights only.
We’d arrived on the first day of the Girona Flower Festival. So after dinner, close to 10pm we set off, in a light drizzle, to walk into town to have a look. By the time we arrived the drizzle had become a deluge but we stuck to our task and, dodging the umbrellas and leaking gutters, made a circuit of the exhibits.
Originally Girona was a walled, medieval city with lots of little alleys, staircases and corners. The displays were in the streets and inside the ancient buildings.
By the time we got home, after midnight, we were sopping wet and exhausted!
Next day we set out to explore the city and walk the walls but unfortunately it was soon raining again!
Our hosts live within walking distance of the centre but in a development they said had been built for civil servants under the Franco regime – a very nice house. When the rain stopped, ‘quim, short for Joaquim, took us to visit the family’s allotment, mostly worked by Caro’s father. We couldn’t get close as the gate was locked (it was Sunday afternoon) but the area looked the same as – allotments. One part of the site is very wet, it was interesting to see the method of planting on ridges that is used to deal with this.
We ate some excellent broad beans and artichokes that had been harvested from the plot.
On Monday the sun finally came out so off we went to see the town and the flowers at their best. It was very busy, the festival seems to attract visitors from far and wide, there were lots of coaches.
Girona is one of the main cities of the Catalonia autonomous region which in October voted to become independent from Spain. The resulting chaos, is ongoing, you can read more here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41584864
Caro’ and ‘quim are passionate supporters of the independence movement, we learnt all about it, very rapidly. The streets are full of banners calling for freedom for the press and politicians, some of whom have been arrested. We dutifully wore the yellow ribbon of solidarity.
The last photo is of ‘quim and Alan, I have no idea what they were discussing.
Finally we walked to the station for the train to Paris and on by Eurostar to London, very convenient.
Our final post on this trip will be about the Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings in the region.