Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Girona: Off the Beaten Path

I have never heard of Girona until three months before the big trip, it was initially recommended by one of my travel buddies since her officemate can't stop raving about the city. Armed with a two-way train ticket, we decided to just basically wing it once we reached Girona. No plans just see where our feet will lead us.

Once we reached the Girona railway station, with a mixture of following signages ang asking locals our first stop is the tourism office (Oficina de Turisme de Girona) which is about 15 minutes walk from the train station. Here we were greeted with warm smiles by the tourism officers as they gave us copies of maps and guided us through what to do and see in the city. 

Girona is a walkable city, once you are in the city center you can practically walk from the Jewish quarters back to the railway station with a few stops in Mango and Zara stores. 

If you are planning to visit Girona, here are some Girona Highlights

Jewish Quarter
Walk along cobblestone streets ang get lost in the labrythine stone buildings that somehow transports you to the middle ages. 

Walking along the walls (Passeig de Muralla)
Girona used to be a walled city back in olden times, now in the era of iPhones you can still experience the walls of Girona since it was reconstructed in recent years and is one of the experience not to be missed if you find yourself in this part of Spain. Now called Passeig de Muralla it now forms a wall around the old city. It provides a different perspective as the small city of Girona spreads out before you from the vantage point of the wall and watchtowers.
The tourism office will be your best bet to reach this place since they can provide you with the map and directions and there are also signages that can help guide you along the way.

Onyar river and the houses beside the river
This river splits the city into the old and new, on one side is the modern and hip Girona with the rows of shops, mouth watering food in restaurants and cafes and the ubiquitous Mango and Zara stores while on the other side is the steeped in history and medieval architecture Girona. 
Flanked with colored houses with the Cathedral as the background this is the postcard worthy picture that you need to take of Girona

Red bridge over the Onyar
As you take in the panorama of the Onyar River, you can't help but notice the red bridge over the river with its criss crossing lines. You are actually looking at a bridge designed by a famous man that his name is so iconic - Gustave Eiffel. This bridge is called Pont de Ferro or Pont Eiffel

New town 
Explore the more modern face of Girona on this side of the river where you can do a little shopping, grab a bite or drink, sample the very rich and thick xocolat, dig into melt in your mouth pastries and cakes.

An 8 hr daytrip just scratched the surface of this endearing city perhaps if you have more time to spare why not spent a day or two enjoying the charm of Girona.

How to get to Girona: Take the Renfe train from Barcelona to Girona.Booking can be done online. 


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