Spain itself is a fantastic, diverse country with two coastlines that can be explored as well as the fantastic Pyrenees mountains to the north of the country. It can be difficult to choose just one place to check out in this welcoming and interesting country, which is why I suggest Girona, from my own personal experience. While I had only a day in Girona, it can be a great place to start in order to get a taste and a feel of the Spanish lifestyle and culture.
Girona – The Town
Girona is over 2000 years old with a rich history, which makes it a fascinating place to explore by foot or car. Many Spanish (and European cities) are best explored by foot – due to the winding, narrow backstreets and alleys which hold some of the greatest local treasures you will find away from the main squares of these cities. There are a number of backstreet cafes, shops and restaurants to relax and have a glass of wine or local beer in, alongside some of the delicious tapas on offer throughout the country. The city of Girona is built on top of a winding river, flanked on either side by colourful houses and buildings which makes for great photo opportunities. The added benefit to Girona is that it is serviced by its own international airport, making it easy to start and end any trip to Spain here – before hitting Barcelona or further afield.
Girona also has several sights such as its own version of Barcelona’s Las Ramblas and the Girona Cathedral, with its nearly one hundred stone steps to the church itself. The city walls provide a look back to the history of early Girona, and also provide stunning views over the city. These are three must sees when in Girona, but I also chose to go to the Salvador Dali museum which is a must for anyone who is interested in art – especially the unique styles and themes of Dali.
Salvador Dali Museum
This museum is dedicated to all things Dali. Many people will know Dali’s intriguing themes featuring melting clocks and strange, blocky abstract ideas which work well in the style in which he paints and sculpts. The museum itself is host to the largest single collection of Dali’s works, many of which were part of his own personal collection and features works from all decades of his career. Dali himself helped design this museum and he is in fact buried beneath the main stage in a crypt below.
The museum itself is a pure work of art, and was designed to create a theatrical experience for visitors. There is additionally a small section of work by other artists including El Greco, Marcel Duchamp, as well as Antoni Pitxot who was a friend and colleague of Dali’s.
So in all, Girona is a fantastic place to spend a day or more. If you are starting your trip out in a bigger city like Barcelona, Girona gives you a bit of a break from the hectic hustle and bustle of the big city and lets you take a bit of a slower, relaxed approach to sightseeing. So check out Girona on your next trip – you really will not regret it.
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