A day in Girona
Girona Travel Blog› entry 4 of 4 › view all entries
We woke up late. After two very busy days we really seemed to need the rest. Today was planned to explore Girona; however, yesterday in our restless spirits we saw a large part of the old city already. So why not take it easy and relaxed? We took some time to sit down for a typical vacation breakfast of a croissant and orange juice and debated what we should see and do this day. After a while the sun climbed above the streets, our minds woke up completely and our feet began to itch, and we were off.
The old city is fairly large - for a medieval city, and it is enclosed by a high city wall. You cannot see the wall from the riverside, but there are places where you can find stairs to climb to the top. The wall is largely restored and it is possible to walk all the way over it from one end to the other. We did so. From the wall we had a great view over the city and the entire valley it is situated in. From here I saw how the cathedral sticks out of the city like a massive stone rectangle.
Along the wall, there are a few quiet gardens where you can descend again to the city. The wall sort of ends at the entrance of the city’s cathedral, so we just as easily added a visit to the cathedral to our walk.
Girona’s cathedral has such a weird shape. It looks like a cube with a tower stuck on top. But the cathedral is strangely impressive in unexpected ways. The entrance has a massive stairway leading up to with, lifted far above the ground, and inside, in the ship of the church, there are no pillars. In fact (let me check wikipedia for you) it has the second widest nave of the world after St. Peter’s in the Vatican. So basically it is a completely hollow cube. But the inside is quite dark and solemn; the walls are huge, dark-grey stone slabs.
During our visit to the church, it began to rain. From the church we hurried a bit to another sight of the city, the Arab baths. These baths weren’t in fact built by the Arabs, but afterwards when they were already pushed from the Iberian pensinsula. The new Christian rulers imitated the Arab way of bathing. The baths aren’t very big but it is a nice excursion.
Soon the sky cleared and we slipped over the city wall to the other side, where the ground is forested, green and fresh after the rain. There is another valley there, adjacent to the one of the big river, just behind the hill of the city. The Spanish landscape continues there with green hills and little, silent villages. I would have loved to keep on walking, away into the unknown, but the day was already drawing to a close.
We returned to Girona and ended our short holiday fittingly among the terraces with some beers and great food. The waiter in our restaurant was particularly proud of the food and when he saw that we couldn't understand Catalan he translated all the courses to English and, wildly gesturing, described the food, complete with the ingredients.