Yesterday was the perfect day to do an afternoon trip to Girona. It was pouring and windy and dark and all around gross in Barcelona when I walked to the metro station this morning – but 100km away in Girona, the weather was much better. (Not great, just better). I got to Girona around 1:00pm. I walked to the old town, across a bridge from which you could see awesome colorful buildings along the river.
From there, I stopped quickly in the tourism office for a map that I didn’t end up using. I walked to what I thought was the Cathedral. It was pretty, church-like, and had a big bell tower – description of a cathedral, right? Wrong. The church was actually the Basilica de Sant Feliu. This was a very interesting church. There was a beautiful altar of the side of the central nave. It was not so much in the gothic style like the rest of the basilica. A nice change of pace, I think, from all the gothic churches. It was beautiful.
After the basilica, I rounded the corner to find the Cathedral. I don’t know if it was the weather – or the incredible amount of churches I have visited – or that I wasn’t feeling great, but the main Cathedral was not supremely impressive. Maybe it’s a post-Sagrada Familia thing, where nothing can measure up to that, or maybe it just wasn’t a great cathedral. We will never know. And you all, my readers, will not know from this post because I am not including pictures of the inside (I don’t have any – photography was not allowed).
Anyway, after the Cathedral, I walked down to El Call. Call is a word used exclusively in Catalunya to describe old Jewish quarters, commonly referred to in English as ghettos, but with a slightly less depressing connotation. I ate lunch on El Call, and got a much needed cafe con leche. The weather was not helping my energy levels. After eating mad regaining some strength, I went to the Jewish Museum. If you, readers, are ever in Barcelona and like Jewish history, take the day trip to Girona for this museum. It is a fantastic history of the Jews of Barcelona, Girona, and all of Spain.
Now for you Jewish history buffs who are thinking, ‘What? A fantastic Jewish museum in Girona? But I’ve never heard of that place!’ Think again! Rabbi Nachmonides, otherwise known as the Ramban was born, and spent most of his life in Girona.
Anyway, after the museum I walked the winding streets of El Call for a bit and then made my way over to the Girona Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya.
The museum was pretty cool, but what makes it better is that it is housed inside an old Roman monastery, Monestir de Sant Pere de Galligants.
My plan was to go to the museum, and then keep with the theme, and do the walk along Passeig Arqueologic. The problem was, it had gotten very dark out. Passeig Arqueologic is a walk through winding stone corridors from very ancient buildings. Doing this walk would have violated my personal rule about being in dark alleys alone at night, so I skipped it. I walked back along la Rambla to Plaça de Catalunya (yes, Girona has that too!) to the bridge out of old town. As I was walking, it started to rain. I picked the perfect time to leave.
So that was it. An afternoon in Girona, a city I highly recommend for art lovers, history lovers, food lovers and everyone else.