Girona and Montjuic
Long week! Too busy to write it all down until now.
On Friday we took a day trip to Girona, Spain, a city north of Barcelona, to see the historical buildings and such. It was gorgeous and historic — my kind of trip.
First we went to a church, Sant Feliu (I think in English it’d be Felix). One of the interesting things about the saint is that he was supposed to have protected the city through a plague of flies, so the city mascot of sorts is now a fly. You can buy shirts and jewelry and things like that with flies on it. Kind of cool, but a weird mascot.
Then we went to the “Banys Arabs,” or the Arab Baths. The building was built in 1194, and it was modelled off the Muslim baths which were sort of hip at the time. In 1283 the building was damaged from a siege, so it was repaired a year later. It was closed in the 15th century and then privatized later on, until the government reopened it in the 1920s. It included five rooms (a dressing room, a cold water room, a warm water room, a hot room, and the oven/boiler).
Then we stopped by an old monastery on our way to the big cathedral. We couldn’t take pictures, but it was huge — and, more impressively, it’s the only medieval cathedral that still stands that had such a big chapel but without columns going down the middle to support the roof. Instead, the walls were made very well as to provide enough force to push the stones together. The garden in the cathedral complex is really pretty, and because a lot of people couldn’t read back then, they made columns with Bible stories on them.
Then we got lunch, which isn’t exciting enough to retell.
After lunch, we climbed a bunch of stairs to get on top of the fortification walls and towers that overlooked the city. The view was really something — except you could tell it was pretty smoggy. Lots of mountains and trees.
Then it was off to the Jewish part of the city, which was sort of unimpressive because it had all been destroyed. By that time, too, I was so tired that I couldn’t really pay attention to our tour guide, who was speaking in Spanish the whole time.
And today we went to Montjuic. We saw the old castle from the 1700s, the Olympic stadium and parks, and the old buildings from the 1929 Exhibitions. It was hot and much of the day was outside, so I’m pretty tired now. More pictures and stories to come, though!
Full photo albums here:
Girona (pt 1)
Girona (pt 2)
Click below for samples: