During their rule, the Romans settled many places. Spain has at least twenty or so towns with some Roman origins. Of these towns, Barcelona and Girona are only two. Since Girona is more of a day-trip distance than a twenty minute train ride, we all hopped in the car yesterday morning to go. (One thing I’m learning about Spanish time is that “Let’s go at 9:30” means “We’ll leave at 10:00.”) For most people in Spain, you can walk or take the metro to school, work, and anywhere else you need to go. There’s no need for large cars. Needless to say, fitting five of us into the family car was very tight.
Girona today is a city somewhere between the sizes of Barcelona and Sant Cugat. We arrived in the newer part of the town to park and made our way up to the old part. When I say up, I mean rising a large vertical distance through very steep, very long staircases. However, the hike up was worth it to see the cathedral. The place where it is built was originally the Roman forum built in the second century though it has been built upon over the last two thousand years to become what we see today. For perspective, people have lived in Girona for 1200 years before Columbus reached the Americas. If a generation is considered to be twenty-five years, there have been eighty generations of people in Girona. That may not sound like a lot, but I doubt you can count back eighty generations in your own family tree.
Anyway, the cathedral looks more like a castle than what we think of as a cathedral. The gardens are probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Inside of course, it has more of a traditional high-ceilinged, elaborately-carved cathedral feel. They also have a small museum of relics and The Tapestry of Creation that you can look at though not take pictures of. There’s a link here in English to learn more and see some pictures with captions.
After exploring in Girona, we made our way to Aiguablava, a very pretty Mediterranean beach with unbelievably clear water. It was also rather cold until you swam for about ten minutes to warm up. Still, it was a very photogenic beach with only tiny fish and some sea grass in the water. It was impressive to tread water where it was nearly twenty feet deep, but still see the bottom with perfect clarity. It got deeper further out, though I suspect the water was still mostly clear; however, swimmers were not allowed past the yellow buoys.
By the time we returned to the house, it was about eight thirty though we were all exhausted. After quickly typing up some French homework and eating dinner, I, and everyone else, went to bed on another hot Spanish night.