Girona, known as the city of four rivers, reminds me of Florence. Its historic center is a stunning labyrinth of medieval corridors that stands tall over the entire city. We visited when the sky welcomed all of Girona’s visitors with a vividly clear azure, none of my photos really do it justice. The azure was only a slight variation of the cobalt I often saw in Barcelona. The blue of the Mediterranean, the blue Picasso used in his ‘rooftops of Barcelona’ painting and the blue tile in Gaudi’s buildings were so distinct, I would often think as I walked around, the sky found a way to complement the pulse of Catalunya. Although I firmly believe azure and cobalt are not accurate labels.
We were happily lost at first, my family decided it was my fault because I refused to turn around and go back to grab my husband’s phone, before leaving Barcelona. I don’t think they realized we would have waited an hour more for a train. There was some complaining, er, the children weren’t too pleased, but I said to them.. “what is a trip without some excitement?” apparently they did not want that sort of excitement. Well, with my come what may attitude, they had no choice. We ended up exploring the other half of the city, wandering aimlessly in the heat, walking in the direction opposite to the Historic center for about 30 mins. It was the residential part of the city as diverse as many parts of Barcelona. The vibe was very relaxed. I had to flag down locals, my Spanish is okay, I’d say part of the fun was trying to speak rapidly, then forgetting words and excusing myself for not being clear. Oh but everyone was so lovely and they liked it so much more when I tried to speak. I couldn’t utter more than two to three words of Catalan but it is just exciting to pretend to be local, if only in my head. Girona is hotter than Barcelona because it doesn’t have an ocean breeze and It is only a 40 minute train ride from Barcelona’s Sants station. We did eventually meet a family from San Diego who joined us because we mentioned our planned walk around the Jewish quarter.
An overview of the medieval quarter
Endless steps, lots of climbing, much oohing and aahing
Girona’s Cathedral- Jamie Lannister boldly galloped up those steps. There was some CGI magic involved too.
Climbing 90 steps to this 11th century Gothic beauty, with its massive Baroque front, in the heat, was not for the faint hearted. But it is stunning and really worth the effort. I had another motive as well, I am a Game of Thrones person. And GoT people really want to see locations. I am strange that way. Season 6 saw Girona used as the capital Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms. It also doubled as the free city of Essos where a blind, “girl with no name” Arya Stark fought the waif and suffered multiple bruises.
Yes, that’s me. Completely ecstatic to be sitting on the Iron Throne. 3 feet off the ground – no one knew it, the cloak covers everything. It was so exciting to take that seat and photo. I giggled on the inside the entire time.
The steps of Sant Marti Convent, very quiet and serene when we visited.
It was completely transformed into a busy 17th century marketplace in the series of course, and featured in the chase scene between Arya Stark and the knife wielding waif.
This was truly a wonderful day trip. We discovered, we ate, we wandered.