We woke to leaden skies and thundery rain – not what we were hoping for on our final day in beautiful Girona. Still, it was a good excuse for a long, relaxing breakfast as there was little point in hurrying outdoors.
By 10.30 a.m. the rain had eased slightly so armed with our umbrellas we avoided the puddles as best we could on our way over to Parc de la Devesa (Devesa Park) where a large street market takes place each Thursday and Saturday. We’d read that there are usually around 200 stalls selling locally grown fruit and vegetables, cheese, fish, meat and textiles.
As the weather was so poor the market was somewhat depleted with just the fresh produce stalls braving the elements. Nevertheless, it was still interesting to take a stroll around the market and observe locals stocking up on their weekend essentials. This vast urban park is comprised of forested pathways with wide avenues with many of its trees planted in the 1850’s and several of them towering 55 metres high.
Continuing into the centre of the park, the French styled La Devesa Park features ornamental gardens containing a variety of both native and exotic plants and a peacock house. Sadly our walk was cut short due to thunder, lightning and heavy rain so we returned to our hotel for a coffee and to gather our belongings together before checking out at 12.00 noon.
We left our luggage to collect later as we had arranged a guided tour of the Jewish History Museum in the old town. The museum details the story of the Jewish medieval communities in Catalonia and the old kingdom of Aragon from the 9th to the 15th centuries.
In addition to self-guided tours of the museum. combined tickets costing only €6 include a 75 minute guided tour of the museum’s 11 galleries plus a walking tour through the streets of the Jewish Quarter. We joined a small group of people and our informative guide who spoke both Spanish and English showed us around. We thought this was an excellent idea as I’m certain we learnt much more about Girona’s medieval community than we would have done just by wandering around the museum and it’s surrounding streets on our own.
As an example, a hollowed out space about the size of a brick was pointed out to us on the right hand door post of a former Jewish home. The Mezuzah (Jewish prayer) written on a roll of parchment was placed in crevices such as this and upon entering or leaving their homes, Jews placed their hands over it. This was so interesting to learn and something we would not have noticed on our own.
It was still drizzling when we ended the tour so we made our way to the Plaça de la Independència for a late lunch. The square is surrounded by neo-classical portico arches under which are the terraces of lots of inviting restaurants, Sadly, it was too wet to dine outdoors but our indoor table at Konig was very pleasant with good food and a bustling atmosphere.
By the time we needed to return to the airport the rain showers had all but ceased and we walked along to the city bus station in good time for the hourly service to the airport. As we had purchased return tickets for the Sagalés 602 service on our arrival a few days earlier, we just needed to place the card onto the reader as we boarded. Return tickets cost €5.50 for the 20 minute journey, 12km from the city centre.
Girona airport was reasonably quiet and we had plenty of time to relax on a seat overlooking the runway, catching up on the news on our iPads and enjoying a cup of coffee before boarding our flight home.
Our Ryanair flight departed on time and, as with the outward journey, had a full load. I was wide awake so it was a good opportunity to read a few chapters of my ebook before landing back into Bournemouth.
Our short break in Girona had been very pleasant and we had found lots of interesting things to see and do and even managed to fit in an afternoon trip to the seaside resort of Lloret de Mar. The majority of passengers arriving into Girona airport leave straightaway for Barcelona or to one of the resorts on the Costa Brava coast but as Girona is such a beautiful city and an attractive short break destination itself, I suggest a few days there. Girona is lovely and I’m certain you wouldn’t be disappointed!
During our stay in Girona we were guests of Visit Girona and as always all views and opinions are entirely my own.
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