Girona: Heart of Catalonia
January 1, 1970
Heart of Girona Part I
This summer i had an amazing experinces on visting some parts of Europe. And the main place in this journey was Girona. This beautiful old city with his magnetism attracts me so much,so i decided to visited it live.
From Barca to Girona
I arrived to Spain,Barcelona in the early morning from Moscow. I choose El-Prat airport because there is no straight flight from Moscow to Girona.But it was ok for me. A lot of trains moves from Barcelona to Girona every 30 minutes.But the problem was that there is no straight trains from El-Prat Airport to Girona.
First of all i need to take train to Estacio Sants in Barcelona and then take train to Girona. Thats what i did. If you will come to Barcelona and you will need to ride to Girona don’t worry you will find the way easily.You can go by the train,by the bus or by the taxi(it will be a litle bit expensive-about €190).Anyway you can easy find instructions on Internet.On every step you wiil have a lot of pointers and tips so..just follow the white rabbit)
I chose the cheapiest way to get to Girona and it was train.It was about €25 (included ticket from airport to Estacio Sants) and the journey lasts about 1 hour 30 minutes. The road from Barca to Girona was very quickly and comfortable.All carriage were clean and it was not too much people in there. So i just enjoyed sunny day and beautiful nature which was outside the window. And it was pleasure to see it,because you see this beautiful fields of corn,and when the light reflected in small rivers and blinds a little bit, you started smiling. I started. Because i dreamed about this trip last 3 years and it was blessing to visited this country and city.
After i came to Girona railway station i tried to found a taxi or bus,but unfortunately almost all taxi drivers refuse me to pick me up to the hotel,because it was “not good way” for them. In addition to this I didn’t have connection on my phone to call a taxi. So i visited the nearest hotel and asked reception to help me and call taxi. Intelligent driver brought me to the hotel for 10 minutes and didn’t even take money for my luggage.
I was lived in Ibis Hotel Girona.This is cute place,with the good service and gastronomy. Apartments in this hotel has a good price, so you can be economic with your budget. They have only one minus – its a little bit far from historical centr of the city. But you can rent a bike and your road to centr will be fast and pleasant.And thats what i did.After i threw my staff in room,i rented bike and headed to the Heart of Girona. And yes.you can live in hotel with your pets.:)
Heart of Girona
Girona is ancient town based in Catalonia thousand years ago. In different times it was a Roman Citadel,base for franks,home for Moors and one of the biggest community of Jewish and their school.In XVII-XVIII centuries passed several times in France and returns to Spain.Walls of Girona was under attack 25 times ,but it was given to invaders only 7 times.But i don’t want to tell you too much about Girona,because you can find this information in Wikipedia. I just want to tell you something special,what suprised me and shocked.
Church of Sant Feliu
Firstly,what i saw when I crossed small bridge(which connected 2 parts of the city)was towered the Collegiate Church of Sant Feliu.It’s was unbelievable sight although i saw it from big distance. Big fundamental tower of this church looks like a big guard who protects his city. When i came closer, i’ve saw ancient wood bridge through the river Onyar. Amazing feeling when you see this beautful motley houses along the river,and it looks like you in Venice. All of this houses were built many years ago,but it still looks attractive. After i crossed bridge i came shortly to Church of Sant Feliu. Its style is 14th-century Gothic, the facade dating from the 18th, and it is one of the few Spanish churches which possesses a genuine spire.It was closed in this day,so i could only enjoyed from the outside.
I turned right from the church,and started to walked up the tiny street.All winding alleys, bystreets and street’s very small for people, but local people don’t care about it. They accustomed to live like this.There is some romantic in this small cozy roads which crossed this historical town. Be careful you can lost easily.And thats what happened to me. But i enjoyed this strolling without doubt. A lot of shops of souvenirs and different staff begining from chocolate,wine and hamon and ending with shops with swords,magnets and flies.Flies? Yes,they saved the city and i’m not kidding.Of course its a legend, but “there is no smoke without fire” if you understand what I mean. According to this story, the French army entered Catalunya and started burning and destroying whatever they find on their way. But in Girona, the whole town was waiting for them, ready to fight for their hometown.The Army started occupying the neighbourhoods that were outside the city walls, including the Church of Sant Feliu, where laid the tomb of Sant Narcís. French opened the tomb of The Saint Narcis and started sts remains over the alley ans streets. That same day,thousands of flies came out from that wooden tomb and went straight to the French army and started attacking soldiers and horses,expelled invaders from their piece of land.The Army of Saint Narcis saved the city.That’s why flies almost holy in Girona.After I’ve drinked sangria(classic Spanish alcohol drink consists of red wine and chopped fruit,usually its orange) in the cafe,I asked waiter how to get to the main building in Girona. She just smiled and show me with the hand.
Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona is the main building here.A primitive Christian church existed here before the Islamic conquest of Iberia, after which it was converted into a mosque, in 717. It was used by the Moors as a mosque, and after their final expulsion was either entirely remodelled or rebuilt in 908.The church was restored again in 1064 in Romanesque style after long peturbation between the others owners. The bell tower was completed in 1117. As a Gothic cathedral it was redesigned in 1416. New design includes the widest Gothic nave in the world, with a width of 22 metres (72 ft), and the second widest of any church after that of St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome,Italy.A lot of peoples all over the world visiting this cathedral all the time in year,especially in summer. For me to saw this gothic stronghold was unbeliavable feeling. It looks like i was in the world of “Game of Thrones” when i stayed belong this tower.By the way, some scenes from world famous serial “Game of Thrones” was created here in Girona. Views of city Braavos and the High Septa was filmed here in Girona. There is some special tour for fans you can order here in Girona and follow some step of Arya Stark’s.
After I enjoyed tte view of Cathedral I climbed up the street to the highest point of this beautiful place. On Girona city walls i looked down on this amazing city from the height of bird flight. What I saw in my first day here suprised me,I’ve never seen such a beautiful buildings,who survived through the years of wars and conflicts.But a lot of questions about this city still stayed in my mind.I still had a week to find answers.But I tell you about this next time. Thank you for your time!