Some cities beckon sports lovers, others are the darlings of festival lovers. Some delight the palate while others offer up a smorgasbord rich in history, art and architecture. Girona, Spain is none of these. Girona is all of the above.
I first arrived in this Catalonian capital back in September to attend the Travel Blog Exchange Conference, sponsored by Costa Brava Tourism. My plan had been to spend a few days in Girona, followed by several weeks traveling around France, ending with two weeks in Iceland before heading back to the U.S. to spend Christmas with my family. As often happens, my plans were thwarted.
Post-conference, the tourism board went into high gear, chauffeuring me to Vall de Nuria, high in the Spanish Pyrenees for a day, followed by a three-day press trip that promised to make me “feel like a local” in Girona. I milked a cow at an organic farm, hiked to the top of a ring of volcanoes, enjoyed a traditional Catalonian breakfast of tomatoes rubbed on fresh bread and slathered with olive oil at a 700-year old farm, explored a natural spring at Canet d’Adri, and spent a day with one of the city’s top chefs, learning about the gastronomic delights of Catalonia. One morning I kayaked the rapids of the Ter, one of four rivers that converge in Girona, then joined an afternoon walking tour of Barri Vell, the old town in Girona where eye-poppingly colorful houses reflected in the mirrored surface of the River Onyar. Continue reading