Yes, the streets are really this narrow!
Our drive to Girona was relatively uneventful—only missing a few roundabouts. But getting into old town Girona and our hotel was a completely different story! We ended up G-d knows where, on a one-way dirt road that was extremely steep and narrow and appeared to go nowhere. Somehow, we made it down the steep hill to where we thought our hotel might be located. “Ah-ha,” Craig exclaimed, “a parking spot!” While it wasn’t painted red, it did look like an entrance to a shop door and I was very concerned. Nonetheless, we traipsed into the old town and found our hotel literally right around the corner where we had started!
Girona lies in northeast Catalonia, just 99 km (62 mi) from Barcelona. One of the most historic sites in Spain, it was originally founded by Romans, the city later was taken over by Moors and Franks before finally falling under the rule of Barcelona. Influenced by different cultures and religions, the city beckons visitors with beautiful architecture. The Jewish Museum provides an in-depth history of the Jewish community before they were expelled during the Inquisition.
Our hotel, Museu Llegendes de Girona is TripAdvisor’s #2 hotel in Girona and was exceptional. While touting that Mark Zuckerberg and his wife stayed in room 302, it was the room and the service that wowed us. While in a 400-year-old building, our room was ultra-modern with a fully encased glass bathroom. Luckily, the glass was frosted, so the shower was not so intimidating.
Once we checked in we headed out to explore old town Girona, and for the next three+ hours we had an opportunity to visit Arab baths from the 4th century, cathedrals from to 12th and 13th centuries and much more.
As we headed back to the hotel I got a sinking feeling we should check on the car and low and behold, there was a ticket Upon returning to the hotel I told Craig I simply wanted to move the car into the $23E hotel parking area and know that I could sleep well at night. Good thing I did! When I returned to move the car the policia and tow truck operator were trying to figure out how to tow our rental car. “Los seintos, señor,” I exclaimed!
I quickly moved the car and brought it to the hotel where I had to squeeze—and I do mean squeeze, into an underground garage and pay a mere $23 Euro. Every corner of the garage was chipped. I had never been so nervous parking in my life!
We had tried months earlier to get a reservation at the number one-rated restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca, with no luck. Fortunately, the hotel staff had another great recommendation, Arros |Peix. I’ve never selected live seafood for my dinner, but that’s exactly what we did! While the restaurant wasn’t fancy, it was certainly the best seafood I’ve ever had. The owner had us select each course including scallops, prawns, razor clams grilled octopus – the most amazing EVER with red potatoes soaked in the octopus brine. Then, for our main course we had a huge turbo filleted at our table!
Talk about fresh seafood…they were still moving!
Our first course, scallops
Ode to Mama Lola
The Spanish are known for being late diners. So when we went to our 8:30 reservation, we were surprised to see the place packed. But it was packed with Swiss, French, German, British and us! Apparently the rest of Europe dines earlier than the Spaniards! Seated next to a charming Swiss couple, we dove into great conversation about food, travel and even a little politics.
We strolled back to the hotel under the stars, along the cobblestone streets, back to our hotel for one of the best night’s sleep one the trip. However, students partying outside our window woke us in the middle of the night…ode to a college town!