30km: Esponellà – Girona.
I fought with the idea of having a “rest day”. We only had two weeks to explore, but Girona was only 30km away, and we had brought our regular shoes.
It could also be nice to spend the day in loose-fitting clothes.
It could be nice to climb a lot of stairs… on our rest day.
We started with our bike-free tour of Girona with a walk along the city walls which weren’t just walls, but walkways with a vast number of steps.
As the last few days had shown us, the harder the climb, the more rewarding the view:
Internet wasn’t needed to find the city walls of Girona as there were real signs around the city leading us to them; however, we relied on the internet to find a decent restaurant.
BionBo was recommended to us because of its proximity from where we were staying, and its star rating. We still weren’t familiar with the European star rating. A two-star hotel got us two separate single bed and a particleboard table, while at four-star ranked Camping Esponellá, we had the opportunity to play volleyball in cat shit.
A big difference between North American restaurants and restaurants in Western Europe, I’ve found, is Europe’s lack of commitment to their menu items. In Canada, if an item is on the menu, barring an act of God, it is available. In Europe, they like to set you up for disappointment. A European menu is no more than a list of food you’re missing out on. By the time diners are seated and ready to order, they’re unlikely to get up and leave because what they wanted isn’t available. “Fine, I’ll have the hot dog.”
At BionBo, they didn’t bother with a menu: we had two choices for the starter, and two choices for the entrée. The server had to go over the four options repeatedly as there was a language barrier now that we were in Spain.
So, instead of being on our bikes, we were sitting at the bar of a hipster restaurant in Spain, next to an American boomer couple. The man was dressed just like Trump on his golfing days, only without the MAGA hat. Yann discovered during their conversation with the chef that they were Anti-Trump Bostonians. I couldn’t listen in on the conversation, so I just did what I always do: invent a dialogue.
“This food is so good. I tell you that. You have the best food. Just tremendous. Come to America. Open a restaurant. You’re not from a shithole country, it will be ok.”
“Thanks, but fuck Trump.”
“Yeah, fuck him.”
As it turns out, the American man had a bad look, but the right attitude.
Judge not lest you be judged. It was time for us to visit the Cathedral of Girona to repent our sins and browse their gift shop.
Since I can’t hear the Lord’s voice, I was given a reduced admission to the cathedral. Yann got to get in for free since he’s my personal shepherd.
It is worth noting that this church was anti-baguette.
I know, I’m doing this church touring thing all wrong. For the most part, I prefer the exterior of churches than their innards. Monster pipe organs don’t impress me the same way they do most people. I usually just think, “Wow, I cannot hear even that.”
Here is the best photo I have of the cathedral:
I like to spice up other tourists’ photos by striking strange poses as I pass historical buildings or monuments. I like thinking I’m going to be the talk of somebody else’s vacation slideshow.
We stayed at another two-star rated hotel, Hotel Margarit. Our room was large, and they had a really nice shower in the washroom. I suspect they had been docked a star when it was discovered that the Wifi rarely worked inside the rooms.
From our room, we had a view of what looked to be an impressive building. Sitting in the hotel hallway where there was Wifi, Yann and I determined it to be Torre d’alfons XII. We walked up the hill after dinner to have a closer look, but at that point, it was too dark to see where the castle stood. The bats were out, which meant we had to be close, right?
We were not. Back at the hotel, we retraced our route on Google saw that we had ended up nowhere near the castle.
I didn’t mind much.
I’m glad we ended up in Girona.