Feeling uninspired? Usher in the new year with a trip to Girona, a beautiful city to visit which offers not only a great escape from your boring daily routine but also makes for a very attractive subject for your next set of analogue photographs.
I’m not from Catalan but after six years of living in this city, I already feel very much at home. Although when people ask me what I miss so much about my homeland, I often answer with words from a typical Sardana, “I love Girona.” I am convinced that those who have come over or have gone through here, leave this small provincial capital saying the same thing as I do.
What do you say about a little tour of this town?
Our tour starts off at the Rambla de la Libertad, a street that leads directly to the Old Town which is the most remarkable and charming place in the city. This is where most of the points of interest in the city are located like the Jewry (Jewish Call), which is one of the best preserved medieval villages in Europe. Some of you are most likely familiar with this place if you have seen films such as Agnosia, The Perfume or Soldiers of Salamis. Along these streets we arrived at the Cathedral of Santa Maria which dates back to the XI-XVIII century and is of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque influences. It has the distinction of being the widest Gothic nave in the world (22.98 m) and the second widest of any style.
A few meters from the cathedral are the Arab Baths and the Basilica of Saint Feliu. If we continue along these streets cross the Plaza de La Independencia and arrive at the “Parc de la Devesa” http://www.pedresdegirona.com/separata_devesa_2.htm. One of the biggest parks in Catalonia with 2,500 bananas distributed in 40 acres.
I assume that as we were traveling along, we have already made about twenty-thousand pictures. But in my mind, I left portraying one of the characteristic images of Girona – the Houses of Onar. For this stroll, we went through four of the eleven bridges that cross the city. These buildings are built along the river and it’s facade resemble Oñar, a palette of earthy colors, pink, and yellow.
The bridges were made to unite the left (Mercadal neighborhood) with the right (old). There is no medieval bridge so most of the buildings are contemporary. Highlights:
- Stone Bridge or Pont de Isabel II or Pedra (1849).
- Iron Bridge or Eiffel Pont de les Peixateries Velles. It was built in 1876 by the company of Gustave Eiffel. Yes, yes, the same as the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
- Bridge Gómez o Princess (1916). It is called as such because this Gómez was expropriated to build the house. If we jump all at once at the center, we can notice of how the ground shakes. This connects the Plaza de Sant Feliu to Paseo Canalejas.
- Bridge of Sant Agusti. Joins the end of the street Argenteria with Plaza de la Independencia.
What better way to end your visit than a panoramic view of the city from its walls. Making the worth is surely well worth it as it was built between the IX-XV centuries and along its route there are several towers to take precious Lomographs of the sunset.
Before you go to this lovely city, do not forget to kiss the ass of “the lioness”, a small stone figure. Legend has it that all those who go to Girona who want to return safely from a trip is obliged to kiss the ass of the lioness. Also, all those visitors who want to return safely from their trip should also pay the lioness a visit.
If only I have more time I will tell you guys about the many different legends that are associated with this place, so you will have to come back and visit me. To go here you can fly over via the “airport”: http://www.girona-airport.net/ which is about 13km from the capital, and since flights from low cost carriers are always available, you simply have no excuse not to drop by. If you want to take the trip and see Girona here are the best times to visit:
- Oct. 29: Fires of Sant Narcis
- 3rd week of May: “Temps de Flors or Time of flowers”: http://www.gironatempsdeflors.net/cat/imatges.php On this date, the old town is decorated with flowers of all kinds.
I hope I was able to entice you guys to visit this beautiful city. “Javi” http://www.lomography.es/homes/javihacefotos has already been here and has great photos:
If ever you come here, I will gladly do a mensajito guide;)