Spring in Spain – – Friday, May 11, 2012

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!  Join us on a summer tour in Provence or our featured (and expanded!) 2012 Amsterdam/Belgium tour!

From medieval Girona to Dali’s Figueres birthplace, we’re exploring today. A relaxing bus ride gets us to Girona, northeast of Barcelona, and the town’s all a-bustle when we enter, crossing the Onyar River lined with colorful houses. 

The annual Temps de Flors (Flower Time) begins tomorrow and set- up’s in full swing.

 Our guide shares Girona’s  long history as we stand by the town’s totem statue, where schoolkids take turns kissing the climbing lion’s rear, ensuring a return. We abstain.

Each stairway we pass is decorated for the festival – what a fun way to view this ancient city!

We walk through the beautifully restored medieval heart of Girona, up to the imposing cathedral, 

then down  through a labyrinth of vaulted and stepped streets of the Call, the ancient Jewish district,

peeking into flowery courtyards as we stroll.

 Ready for a surreal contrast? 

Back on the bus, next stop  Figueres, where Dali’s theater-museum, its Galatea Tower wearing a garland of eggs,  holds many of the artist’s iconic works. 


One ceiling portrays Dali and his wife, Gala rocketing to the heavens,


and in the courtyard is Dali’s black cadillac. One of the men on the day trip with us grew up in New York City,  and remembers his parents pointing out Dali and Gala as they drove by in the car. 


We walk through a few rooms, but quickly tire of the masses of people – this is the most crowded museum we’ve ever been in!
We escape to a quiet plaza and enjoy a chat with Bruce and Ginny before returning to Barcelona.

After that long bus ride, we enjoy the walk back to Hotel Montcada, passing the sunset-lit cathedral on our way.

Dinner tonight’s an adventure – in the Cuines Santa Caterina right beside the eponymous market a few streets from our hotel. The specials of the day flash by in red above the open kitchen,  

and our placemats are spreadsheets of menu choices..  there’s an Asian column (including sushi)


a vegetarian column, a local specials column – from which I chose a mouth- watering suckling pig


and a wide variety of desserts, such as this chocolate cannoli. It’s unusual to find a place with such a range of cuisine that is ALL delicious – here’s another don’t miss in Barcelona!