When we arrived at Frontignan we had no idea what we would be up to. We knew it was on the beach and that there were pink flamingos but beyond that it was a bit of a mystery. Sometimes we arrive in a place knowing all of the unmissables and sometimes we discover them as we go. So when the girls were in bed on our first night here, we started researching and realised how close we were to Spain. It was a little too enticing to pass up. One of our very good friends is from Barcelona and we had a great time there on our honeymoon all those years ago. We still hadn’t fully decided when we woke the next morning but Jordan and I looked at each other as if to say ‘why not’ and so we jumped in the car and viva la vida!- Off we went to Spain.
Even though the tolls were exorbitant (over $45 AUD ONE WAY- we took the long/ scenic route home to avoid those!), we are so glad we went. It had a vibrancy and pulse that was obvious and distinct from France and we loved it.
We begun our tour of the city by climbing the city walls and using this as our route to the Girona Cathedral. The walls were probably a highlight for us all and we had read about an ancient toilet along the wall that kept them intrigued and excited to plough on. See if you can see it if you go. So strange and wonderful.
The girls were slightly confused when the people we passed along the walls greeted us with a friendly ‘hola!’- because for one, they were being greeted (not so frequent in France) and for two, ‘why are they not saying bon jour?’. It was a really good opportunity for them to learn about culture and language.
We descended the city walls into the beautiful Jardins de Alemanys, we could have kept going all the way to the Cathedral but we heard the impossible to resist sounds of a lone violinist performing to noone in particular in the gardens so we alighted the stairs and enjoyed the beautiful music in an equally beautiful setting. I think this area could have been my favourite. There were little alcoves surrounding a central, almost court yard with places to sit. It felt hallowed and radiant; there were friends whispering to one another in a private cathedral of stone and young lovers holding hands as if they were alone. It was beautiful. I could have stopped here and felt fulfilled and in love with this city.
On to the Girona Cathedral. We had heard a legend about a witch who had been turned into a stone gargoyle on the cathedral; apparently she had been saying bad things about the church and so her punishment was to be turned to stone. Apparently you can actually see her, but we did not. We ate our lunch on the steps of the cathedral and enjoyed the beautiful surrounds.
Girona has been used as a setting for Game of Thrones. We love this series (we’re not die hard fans, do not own tshirts- but thought it would be cool to see!). Scenes from Braavos, King’s Landing and Old Town had been filmed there and whilst we couldn’t really recognise them, they definitely had a GoT feel to them and we were glad we did it regardless.
When you’re in Spain you must must have churros and every cafe and restaurant we passed didn’t seem to have it on the menu. We went to the tourist and spoke to the loveliest lady who told us where to find the best churros in Girona (we think, also maybe the only!) and so we headed there and the girls were totally delighted by the fact that they got an entire cup of chocolate to dip their “pretzel doughnuts” into. YUM! The place was called Montse L’Artesena (Carrer de la Cort Reial, 9) and it was gorgeous. It had a little terrace out front to sit on and the lady inside was really friendly (our girls were impressed by and maybe a little envious of the little girl working the register). We recommend!
Back into the car to head to Figueres, the home town of Salvadore Dali. We pre-purchased tickets to the Theatre/Museum in Girona, on advice of our tourist office friend and were glad we did; the line was huge. It cost us 14 euro each (kids were free) and we really enjoyed it. It was weird and wacky (what else would you expect?) and spectacular. Some of the exhibitions were interactive and because of their peculiarity the girls were totally enthralled.
We had such a special day in Girona. Wish we had more time. We would have loved to check out the Costa Brava and perhaps gone on a little cruise in Roses but we didn’t feel disappointed- we had an awesome day!
Check out our IGTV video post below!