It was like a scavenger hunt as we discovered a new creation in a park, a church, on river Onyar, in Placas, on streets and alleys, on the hundred steps leading to a church, in the University compound, in the courtyard of a house, in a museum, hanging from the balconies, in the medieval porticos, along the ancient walls of the city. Passieg de la Muralla is the medieval wall that still surrounds much of the city.The entire town was buzzing with mostly tourists who were excitedly moving on from one arrangement to another. Every creation was unique, imaginative and beautiful. It was a delight to see flowers everywhere amongst the grey walls of a very ancient city where history is taken seriously here in the north east of Catalonia.Like so many other cities in Europe, this city has had its share of invaders, conquerors and rulers. It has survived some 25 sieges from Romans to French. Hence, you get to witness an impressive pile of cultural collisions.
Also visited the grand 18th century Cathedral de Santa Maria. It has a stairway with 90 steps leading to it against a gray facade that dominates the Girona skyline. Inside the church is an equally imposing single nave that is 72 feet wide, second only to that of St. Peter's in Rome. This place tells the story of Saint Narcis (Narcissm), the patron saint of Girona. The story goes that when the French invaders broke open his tomb they were swarmed and attacked by monster flies. That's why chocolate flies can be found in several traditional confectionery shops and Narcis as a name is quiet popular.
Outside on the street a chorus group sang some prayers. In a Placa a jazz group was performing to a cheering audience. A joie de viver prevailing in the atmosphere.
The Jewish quarters have a museum encasing their history, housed in an elegant building with a stunning sunny patio, the museum is designed to show what a jewish home might have looked like. There are few remaining signs of Jewish culture. After the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, Christians moved in and either destroyed the Jewish homes or built new houses on top of them. (This explains why many of the houses are three stories high, startlingly tall for medieval dwellings.) There's a tiny oil lamp, a mezuza and photographs of mikvahs, and Jewish baths.
Amongst all the traditional buildings and ancient history that Girona is crisscrossed with, a red crisscrossed bridge designed by Gustav Eiffel as a prelude to his Eiffel Tower in Paris nods at modernism here. It stands out on the river Onyar that Girona is situated on.Walking along the Barri Vell, Old Town you can't skip noticing eye-popping colorful houses mirrored and reflected on the surface of River Onyar.
I was lucky to be here at the time when this city celebrates the festival of flowers. Our reward at the end of the day was a camera full of pretty memories.