Girona, where history comes alive.

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February 21st 2014
Published: February 24th 2014
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We took advantage of some good weather to travel by train to Girona. Getting there from MatarĂ³ was not as easy as it could have been with timetables seemingly scheduled precisely so that you miss the connecting train by 5 minutes leaving you with almost an hour to wait for the next one. Come on people, think about it!! Anyway, I'll be ranting about that more at so pop over there and to read all about it !

From the train station in Girona we had literally a 2 minute walk to our hotel. The Hotel Europa was excellent: the price and location were superb, the bed was comfortable, the shower was amazing and the wifi was super fast! What more would you want when travelling on a budget? They were incredibly friendly too, but wouldn't let us practise our Spanish. No matter what we said, the reply came back in English.

Our first task was finding a nice place to sit and eat our lunch. Looking for a green space we followed our map but none of the nearby plazas contained a blade of grass. Oh well, we ended up sat on some interesting benches/sculptures in the Plaza de la Constitucion. It was a nice spot to watch the world and its dogs go by. From there we wandered aimlessly around the old medieval town admiring the beautiful riverside facades reflecting in the river. We wandered around the maze of streets around the cathedral before finding a bar in the sun where we could enjoy a pre-siesta beer. That evening we dined alone in a restaurant (what's new?!) before settling down for a Guinness in McKiernan's Irish Pub.

The next day we found a lovely cafe for breakfast. After coffee and chocolate croissants to get the day going, we walked the length and breadth of the city thanks to a walking tour in our Spanish language guidebook to Catalonia. That took us to some familiar places from our wanderings the previous day, but way beyond to the John Lennon Gardens (can't IMAGINE why they are so named) and the church of St Nicholas. We found no Beatles memorabilia in the gardens nor statues of Father Christmas at the church though. The views from the top of the gardens over the city towards the distant mountains were absolutely stunning. From there we came back down into town and crossed the river. Then we sat in the park and chilled out for a while amongst the enormous trees.

Feeling a little weary we decided to visit the Museum of Cinema after lunch. This is a very interesting journey through cinematic history. They certainly have a lot of exhibits in there ranging from spinning visual optical illusions right through to costumes from Mars Attacks! Some of the early cinema equipment grabbed our attention and the interactive displays brought out the child within. The old Luminex projectors were fabulous and there were various places where you could sit and watch a short film about the development of the industry. The historical tour seemed to stop abruptly in the 1960s which is a shame because cinema has changed dramatically since then but despite this, we thought it was a brilliant place to pass a couple of hours and well worth the effort.

The weather forecast for the next (and final) day was not good. Allowing for that, we planned to visit the Jewish Museum then head back to MatarĂ³. The forecasters had it right and our planning meant that we were not disappointed. Tucked away in what remains of an old synagogue, the museum was full of interesting exhibits, but we felt they were not presented in the most attention grabbing way. There was no interactivity and we got tired of reading long texts after a while. Nevertheless, it was a good insight into Jewish life before the inquisition and expulsion. It's hard to imagine the horrors which took place within the city walls, and all because of religion.

Suitably educated, we returned to the hotel to collect our bags then headed to the train station. Luckily we had planned this journey a little better and had only a 15 minute wait at Macanet for our our connection. To do that, we had to pay extra to travel on a "Media Distancia" train as the regional train had precisely ZERO minutes to make the connection!!

Additional photos below
Photos: 30, Displayed: 25


Clock in the parkClock in the park
Clock in the park

On top of the toilets!

24th February 2014
Stone built churches

Love this Romanesque church!
Great get-away to a picturesque spot! And how lovely to be able to travel by train--oh, I miss Spain.

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