Fraternizing with travelers| Travel to Girona
Coming across as 'intrusive': Isn't it what we try to consciously avoid, on our travels to a new destination?
Yes, our interests are piqued, we want to soak in all the culture and come across as friendly, to both locals and fellow travelers. But we'd rather avoid being labelled as the nosy tourists.
On my recent trip to Girona, I was super pleased to let go of my inhibitions, chatter away and make new friends with diverse globetrotters. One all the way from Australia, the other from one of my favorite destinations in the world: Philippines and a couple from India. (Yes, Indians are everywhere!)
My chief intention was to get to Costa Brava and Girona was part of the deal. Another city to add to my list? Why not?I knew nothing of Girona, apparently containing Cataluña's wealthiest tax-payers!
Truth be told, Girona would not make it easily to a traveler's wishlist, on their first visit to Spain. The very first image of Girona I glimpsed, as I stepped out of the van, was the bridge across the river Onyar, and the famous color-blocked apartments. Our guide Alex insisted we join her for a walking tour into this serene and miniature example of medieval times. It's such a welcome change, when you're presented with the chance to explore a city at peace and click innumerable pictures, sans tourists milling around.
As we continued to trudge into the rampart, to the church perched atop the peak, faint bell-like sounds welcomed us. It was the pleasant sound of fingers tapping onto an instrument called hang drums. The melody in addition to the red rooftops, the foliage and the bell tower looming in the distance, created a serene atmosphere.
Alex provided a wealth of trivia:
- Girona had an Eiffel bridge, built by the same Alexandre Gustave Eiffel of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, way earlier before the tower earned him fame
- There's a legend that says, if you plant a quick peck on Leona's bottom(the statue of the lioness located near the bridge), you'll definitely be back for sure
Didn't that perk my ears! I didn't waste a minute to ascend the stairs and kiss ass!
We kindly excused ourselves later, to find a secluded café and sit back to watch people stroll by while indulging in breakfast. I couldn't help noticing, the house next doors to the cafe, had its stairway lined with vines of ripe grapes! We lazed and exchanged travel tales: Of the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef, the diversity of flora and fauna in Australia, changing seasons in India and our new found obsession with Spain.
With our tummies now content, we steered back to the Cathedral of Girona and whilst Monica ventured to offer a short prayer, we continued to gaze into the distance, the occasional breeze providing much needed respite from the July heat.
It's unplanned wanderings like these, that warm up your heart and open your eyes, to the possibilities and the beauty of going, off the beaten track.
Things to do in girona
- If you're not too keen on driving around, you could definitely try the day trips that Explore Catalunya has to offer. The guides are friendly and the activities are spaced out.
- You would not need tickets in advance for a visit to the Cathedral of Girona
- Why not pay a visit to the Dali Museum? It's an hour away by train. Some of Dali's most iconic art can be found her. Be prepared for crowds though! Tickets can be purchased here
- The restaurant - El Celler De Can Roca has won 3 Michelin stars and was the top restaurant in the world in 2013 as mentioned by the English Restaurant Magazine. A meal won't be cheap but will definitely be divine. Details available here
This was part of the day trip that also included a visit to Pals and Costa Brava.
Have you been to any enchanting places that you be-chanced upon, that were initially not part of your itinerary?
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