So, with 49 days to go, the third part of my long trip has begun. After 9 days in a work conference in Orlando, about 4 weeks of the most amazing family time in Norway, the last bit is here – The solo trip.
I left Trondheim yesterday and flew to Barcelona, and even tho it was a direct flight I was pretty tired when I got here. Mostly because of my lovely 10.6kg backpack. But’it’s all good. The weather here was really good. Sunny and 23°C. From the airport I bought a Hola Barcelona card and took the Subway from there. I also got some cash from the ATM inside the Airport.
They have several options for different periods of time
The Barcelona subway seems to be really good so far and makes me feel ashamed when I think about the Toronto Subway lol Look at this grid:
The best option, though, will depend on how many days you will stay here. For example, if you will be here for 3 or 4 days and will be going everywhere by subway, the Hola card is a good option because you have unlimited trips for 48, 72, 96 or 120 hours. In my case, I will be here for 10 days, I walk a lot, so I only take the subway when I really need to, so it was better to buy the T-10 card where you have 10 trips for 10 Euros and no limits on the days. All the options I mentioned are part of the Barcelona Public Transportation system.
It is easy to ride, very, very well marked, all the directions are clear, it’s clean, some stations are new, some are old but in general is very good. After getting to the AirBnB all I could do was go to the grocery store to by some food and other things, and go back for a shower and some TV. But today was a different story.
The day started around 7:00AM and I walked to Plaça Catalunya to take the bus to Girona and Figueres. I had bought a tour from Get Your Guide way back when I was planning the trip (in May). I had done this before. Last year when I came to spain and I bought all my Andaluzia tours from them and it all worked pretty well. They have tours all over the world since they work with local companies. So, so far no complaints.
First we headed to Girona. The only complaint I had is that the bus did not have power plugs. In the Cell Phone era, we barely use our cameras anymore and we use our phones for everything. While we don’t have super batteries that lasts days while you actually use your phone, charging stations are appreciated.
Girona, like everywhere here in Europe has a lot of history. It goes from a little Eiffel Bridge, built by the Eiffel company even before they built the Eiffel tower, from walls from the first century BC of the Força Vella, the Jewish Quarter and the Jewish persecution. Of course, we explored the old town, mostly. And it can all be done by foot. We had a local guide called Carma. She was amazing and she also shared several local legends.
One of the great stories from Girona is the Flies of Sant Narcís. The legend says that the French, way more numerous than the Catalans, were trying to invade Girona, but the people from Girona were resisting bravely inside the walls of the city. The only thing that stood outside of the wall was the Saint Felix Church. The French then, decided to invade the church profaning the tomb of Saint Narcís. When the opened the tomb giant flies came out of it, and killed many of the French soldiers and their horses. So you see lots of statues of flies, and there’s even a street called Carrer de les mosque where you can rub the flies for good luck.
Another story I liked is the Lioness’ bottom. Yes, you got it right. It’s said that after a certain time the gates of the city were closed, but some people got stuck at work outside of the walls. So, how would the guard know, from the watching tower, in the dark, if the person standing in front of the gate was a citizen of Girona or an enemy?
So what the people from the town did was this:
In front to the gate, there is a pole with a statue of a lioness climbing it. So they would go all the way up to the pole and kissed the Lioness’ butt. This way the guard would know it was someone from the city and would let them in. Today, the statue is still there and is said that if you kiss the lioness’ butt you will return to Girona. I would never kiss something that a gazillion people have been kissing for CENTURIES! But there were lots of brave non-germaphobes who did it! I’m not a germaphobe, BTW (maybe a little) I’m just rational.
Girona has plenty (PLENTY) of options to eat, from the famous tapas to German food (?). But to be honest, I asked in several places about Gluten Free options and the answer I got was:
BUT (not butt) I found a place where they knew what gluten was and had GF options so I ordered a tuna salad with chicken lol and coffee, because coffee is so good everywhere I go here. Can’t wait to go to Italy!!
Another thing Girona is known for is the filming locations for Game of Thrones.
From Girona we went to Figueres and the Dali Museum, and OH MY GOSH! I might be a little biased, since Dali is one of my favorite painters, but I have never had such an amazing and mind-blowing experience in a museum like this one before, and I’ve been to a lot of museums. The problem is, I feel like if I tell either it won’t make up to the experience of being there and/or it will spoil the experience for you. So I’m gonna add some pictures that I feel won’t hurt the experience and if you like art at all, please GO! And go with a guide because it’s a completely different experience than going by yourself.
The tour I bought included the entrance to the museum and to the jewelry exposition (totally worth it).
From the museum parking lot you can see the Pyrenees.
And the town is also very charming
It is a really long tour. It takes about 12 hours, you walk a lot, I walked about 13 km according to my Fitbit. So keep in mind you should be wearing comfy shoes.
On our way back the bus left us where they had picked us up, at Plaça Catalunya. I was really tired and had planned to take the subway back to the apartment. HOWEVER, when I got there I realized my pass was in my other bag. So lesson learned, always checked if you have your subway card with you. I decided to walk back home since the weather was nice and all. It was an exhausting but AMAZING day!