Published: March 31st 2011January 14th 2011
I returned to Girona after a pleasant couple of days with my friends. I travelled to Barcelona on Tuesday after my morning's sightseeing, stalking along the streets my suitcase rumbling behind me. I successfully bought my ticket to Barcelona and hopped on the train. In Barcelona Sants I bought my ticket on to Sabadell, temporarily wedged myself in the turnstyle and managed to get onto the train without a minute to spare. Without a train map on me I spent the majority of the trip worrying that my Spanish had faded over the christmas break and I'd misunderstood instructions and got on the wrong train, but sure enough I arrived in Sabadell without any hiccups and emerged onto the dark street and plonked myself down on top of my suitcase to await my lift. I waited over half an hour but finally my friend's sister arrived to rescue me and provide me with the explanation she was late because the lift at my friend's apartment block had broken down... while she was inside! We finally arrived home to find the older of the kids leaping about and the younger konked out across the sofa. We said our goodbyes and I was
left alone with my friend. I gave her the contents of my suitcase, which was basically all the blankets and things she'd lent me plus the gift of a pair of pillows which she seemed rather bemused by - hey they aren't exactly the easiest shape to fit in the suitcase for the return trip.
The next two days passed very peacefully. The first day we spent most of our time rooted to the sofa, watching television, talking and relaxing. I discovered a quiz game on the computer and got very competative. My friend pronounced me a genius as I was having to do it in Spanish but the simple fact I was taking twice as long as normal to read the questions meant I was frantically clicking on random answers most of the time in an attempt to bet the timer so my genius was mostly down to luck (apparently the only good luck I get in Spain is related to pointless games, not aquiring decent jobs!) When her boyfriend returned from work we added a third member to our sofa sprawl and spent the evening watching a film.
The following day in an attempt to get me some
exercise my friend announced we should go for a walk. Since her electric wheelchair has recently died that meant I was in charge of pushing. We set off on a tour around her apartment block so she could show me the garden and swimming pool. From there we headed onto the actual streets. My wheelchair manouvering skills leave much to be desired and I think my friend must have nerves of steel as my first two attempts at getting up and down pavement curbs nearly left her sprawled in the road. Still we managed and I got the hang of it and it became quite peaceful strolling along the streets in the sun. We stopped for a rest on a bench and I soon heard my name being screeched. I looked up to see the kids waving out of the car window and her sister stopped to let them out while she went to park. They ran around us playing games and darting about. Eventually we all piled into her sister's house and I was left on the sofa while the kids excitedly brought me their toys and things to show me. It took me a minute to realise that
the white fluffy bundle unceremoniously dumped in my hands was actually a live guinea pig, and not just another toy. Still, the tiny creature seemed unperturbed and soon fell asleep on me.
I returned to Girona today after a sad little goodbye with an uncomprehending 2 year old who was insistant she be allowed to spend the day at my house and play with my baby. After failing to explain she can't visit me without getting on an aeroplane first and that I have no baby for her to play with, I had to wave and depart, dragging my once again empty suitcase behind me.
Back in Girona I returned to the same hostel as before where I was greeted with a confused look and a demand - 'You! You were here before!' I found myself on a different floor to last time but with an identical room.
Leaving my things I set off for a wander walking through the narrow streets and up and down the winding steps before returning to the main plaza and moving on towards the supermarket. Supplies in hand I once again set off along the streets, seeking a way upwards to my favourite spot
by the old city walls. Clambering up the final steps on the hillside I stepped around the impressive ruin jutting upwards, standing apart from the rest of the walls, a definant solitary remnant of Girona's past. I picked my way around and settled on the sun warmed wood of a bench and tore into my bread and cheese while relaxing to the sounds of birdsong and the distant mummerings of people.
Food finished I walked down the other side of the hill into the gardens contained within the walls. I decided to climb the walls and follow them round, so I climbed the nearest tower and emerged on the wall walkway looking ahead at a long pathway, embraced by walls either side and encompassing the city below.
Walking on I paused every so often to admiring the gradually changing view as I moved further away and around and the sun sank lower.
Just as I was beginning to think I might have to retrace my steps before dark fell I realised the wall ended directly in front of the plaza where my hostel was. I had time to visit the supermarket again and my friend arrived in the late evening
to give me the remainder of my things so I could start packing and moving things between cases and checking my weight allowance. What a fun way to spend the evening! At least tomorrow will bring some real sightseeing...
There are more photos below