All posts filed under: Girona

Ice cream with frozen berries

Where does ice cream come from?

The temperatures are rising and so is our appetite for some tasty ice cream. But have you ever wondered where it does come from? We did some research. You won’t believe what have found out.

Once upon a time in China

Ice cream as we know it today has its origins in China and Greece, not in Italy, as you may think. 3000 years ago, they used snow and mixed it with spices and honey.
The Italian trader Marco Polo finally brought the recipe to Europe, where it soon turned into a delicious speciality. Thanks also to the cooling effect of saltpetre, which was discovered later.
Soon afterwards, various recipes with rose water, cinnamon, chocolate were spread.
In the 18th century, the first real ice cream parlour opened. Its breakthrough however came with the invention of Carl von Lindes refrigerating machine, the predecessor from today’s fridge.

Fruit ice cream

The ice cold refreshment has its origin in China, really surprising!

Ice cream burger

In Girona, for example, you can try some real extravagant variations in the famous ice cream parlour of the Roca brothers, owners of one of the best restaurants in the world (currently no. 3 on the list) El Celler de Can Roca. There, you can order an ice cream burger consisting of two brioche rolls, filled with your preferred ice cream and topping, and heated up in an waffle iron. Try it!

Ice cream in a roll

It may sounds strange to eat ice cream with bread, but the panet is really tasty.

If you rather prefer to make your own ice cream, here is an easy recipe and the best thing is: you don’t need an ice cream machine!

For example with quark:

Recipe for home-made ice cream

The preparation is super fast and easy and the self-made ice cream is low-fat, rich in protein and each portion only has 88 calories.
Just purée 150 g of low-fat quark, a tsp of honey and 150 g of frozen fruits like strawberries or other wild berries with a hand blender. Afterwards, garnish with fresh fruits and serve immediately! If you want to prepare frozen yogurt, use Greek yogurt instead of quark. If you don’t count calories, use some whipped cream. Simply delicious!

Frozen wild berries

The best thing about this recipe, you don’t need an ice cream machine to make your own delicious ice cream.

Finished ice cream

Decorate the ice cream with some fresh fruits and enjoy! Bon appetit!

Houses at the river

Girona – love at first sight

For a lot of people Girona is only a stop along the way to the Costa Brava or Barcelona, but Girona has more than a few things to offer and is definitely worth a visit. Already during my first visit I fell in love with this delightful, vivid and colourful town.


Bottom kissing

We start our tour at the bridge named Pont de San Feliu. From here you have the best view over the colourfully painted houses at the river Onyar. Orange, yellow, red…reflected in the small waves of the river, a lovely photo motif. We continue our walk, past the lion statue La LLeona at the Plaça de Sant Feliu and head towards old town. It is said that you can’t be a proper citizen of Girona without having kissed the bottom of the lion at least once. For visitors, the kiss promises a soon return to Girona. I forgo this custom, because l am certain of coming back anyway.

Lion statue

There is always a big crowd in front of the lion statue, waiting for their turn to kiss the lion’s backside.

Historic Baths dating back to 1194

Walking on the Carrer dels Calderers, we get to a small street called Pujada de Sant Feliu, which leads upwards. Here you can find a nice place for having a coffee or something to eat. Fortified, we pass by the Basílica Sant Feliu and go to the Arabic Baths. The entrance only costs 2 € (students only pay the half), so indeed a true bargain.

Ancient Baths

Inside the Arabic Baths, we are impressed by the unique architecture.

Witch hunting

Later, we follow the stairs up to the part behind the Cathedral of Girona. The view from there over the city is fascinating. We stroll along the small alleys up to the Jardins de la Francesa, a small garden, where you can find beautiful blue benches inviting you to have a seat and just relax. At the façade, there is an interesting detail to observe: a gargoyle shaped like a woman, called the witch. According to the legend, there was a woman throwing stones against the processions, until she herself got fossilized. In the garden you can also start the city wall-tour, which we postpone until later.

Having a break

Let’s have a short break in the shade.

Game of Thrones in Girona

Now it’s time to leave the garden and go to the place in front of the Cathedral. The Cathedral of Girona was built in various phases during the 14th, 15th and 17th century and has the widest Gothic nave in the world. From the Cathedral there are 90 stairs going downwards. This outside staircase is the biggest baroque staircase and even was the scene for the famous TV series Game of  Thrones. They even offer GOT tours around the city with stops at the various scenes.

Cathedral of Girona

Not only from outside, but also from inside the cathedral looks impressive.

Travelling through time

Downstairs, we walk on the Carrer de la Força (street of force) towards the old city and the Jewish quarter. Narrow, dark alleys are waiting for us and we now realize why Girona was serving as a medieval film set. We ourselves feel like back in time. The street of force was between 889 and 1492, so 600 (!!!) years, part of the Jewish quarter, also called Call.

Narrow alley in Girona

Walking through the dark and narrow alleys in the old town, we feel like back in the Middle Ages.

Time for shopping

Always straight ahead, passing tapas bars and restaurants, we arrive at the Plaça del Vi, turn right and go over the the bridge Pont de Pedra to the other side of the town. We turn right again into the Carrer de Santa Clara, following the street until we arrive at the next bridge. Of course, we can’t go past the shops without taking a look inside. In Girona there are so many small and adorable shops and boutiques, a paradise for all who love to shop.

Small supermarket

What we love most about Girona are the small and lovely shops.

Eiffel bridge

Passing trees with gorgeous pink blossoms, we walk over the Pont de les Peixeteries and return to the other city side. Girona has a large number of bridges, connecting both sides of the town, which are separated by the river Onyar. The Pont de les Peixeteries is a special highlight as it was constructed by Gustave Eiffel. The impressive metal structure leads us to the Rambla de la Llibertat. There is a lot going on here.

La Rambla de Girona

The Rambla de la Llibertad is an avenue with huge trees providing enough shade from the warm spring sun.

The most gorgeous bridge

Walking down the Rambla, we come to the Pont de Sant Agustí and to the Plaça de la Independència. Under the round arches, it’s finally time to enjoy a café con leche while watching the busy life at the square, one of my favourite things to do. After our short coffee break, we walk past the Plaça de la Independència and over the Pont d’en Gómez, in my opinion the most beautiful bridge of Girona.

Most beautiful bridge in Girona

At the Pont d’en Gómez you have some wonderful views to the colourful houses at the river Onyar.

Above the rooftops of Girona

Back at our starting point, we are now going to explore part of the old city wall. From there you have a stunning view over the rest of the popular sights, like for example the Basílica Sant Feliu, the Església de Sant Nicolau, the monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants and the small gardens and parks between.                                                                                                                                      There are so many different possibilities to discover this unique town. The best thing to do is to follow your hunch. Countless stairs promise secret surprises, for sure.

High above the rooftops of Girona

Climbing up the many stairs was totally worth it. What a view!

What you definitely have to try:

Tapas at Zanpanzar

Ice cream at Rocambolesc

Flower festival Girona 2017

Temps de Flors – Girona spring scented

Sometimes carnival like, other times tastefully and minimalist, every now and then poetically or just hopelessly romantic – there’s such a diversity in the installations of “Temps de Flors“ 2017.

Rebellion against Franco

There are many myths around the history of the flower festival. According to some sources, the festival was a symbol of resistance against the Franco dictatorship. However, the flower show was officially opened in 1954 for the first time, that’s a fact.

Decorated stairs with flowers

The stairs in front of the Sant Feliu church are lovely decorated with arches and flowers in bright colours.

Kitsch and art

This year, the colourful festival takes place for the 62nd time in the old town of Girona. You can argue about the artistic value, but not about the entertaining quality. The lines between kitsch and art become blurred. Year after year in May, the Temps de Flors festival is a major attraction and works perfectly as marketing element for the city.

Bags filled with water

Bags filled with water hanging down from a tree, interesting decoration, we think.

Everyone is participating

The spring festival is also proof for the sense of community the locals of Girona have. Everyone does his bit, whether it is a small bouquet of flowers at the entrance, opulent tendrils at the front of a window, or hundreds of flowerpots in an old bathtub in a historic patio – everybody wants to be part of it.

Huge onion

While walking through the old town, we suddenly find this huge onion consisting of loads of small onions.

Food with flowers and a cappella music

In cafés you can try flower cakes, boutiques present flower dresses, a flowerbed decorates a furniture shop’s window, restaurants serve flower menus and the A Capella Festival provides the perfect music to all of this.
Every year, we stroll curiously along the alleys and let the city cast its spell over us. Girona shows how beautiful community and province life can be.

Peonies in a cupcake store

We can’t walk by this lovely decorated shop window of an even lovelier cupcakes store. They have arranged peonies, my favourite flowers!

Girona Temps de flors 2015

A city in full bloom

Once a year the city Girona is covered with a blanket of sweet scented flowers. The exhibition Temps de Flors is held in the historic centre of Girona in the lovely springtime when everything is flourishing and turning to green. Flowers are in full bloom and the charming city glows in the sunlight. Many attractive highlights are awaiting the visitors. During the festival in May, the city offers creative flower arrangements, culinary highlights, concerts, opera productions , competitions and theater performances. The festival celebrates 60th anniversary. Like in the years before it is dedicated again to the beauty of flowers.


What started out as a private event has now grown and become a colourful city festival. Floral artworks with a seductive fragrance enthuse the flower loving ones and indulge the senses. It is the unique combination of art, architecture and nature, what makes this festival so special.

Girona-Blumenschau-5

For those who wish to take it a little easier, Girona offers some quiet places apart from the artistic displays. The city is ike a picture of artists, where various flower series meet historical heritage and impressive architecture. The private city palaces and patios are opened for the public during the festival.

Supported by professionals, the residents of Girona partcipate in the decoration of the streets and alleys. Fascinated by the relaxed and familiar atmosphere, locals and vistors celebrate togehter. The restaurants treat the participants with culinary delights such as exotic dishes refined with flowers and blossoms. The openness and hospitality makes the event to a unique, unforgettable experience that attracts more and more visitors year after year. The best moments of 2015 – exclusively for you!

Girona-Blumenschau-16

Girona-Blumenschau-2Girona-Blumenschau-3

Girona – Following the senses

After getting in touch with the airport of Girona while arriving three weeks ago from now, the marvellous downtown should be today’s destination. The way there immediately presented a beautiful panorama of colorful houses to us, lined up in a harmonic row, which seemed to frame the historic center. Along the Onyar extends a wall of warmly coloured facades with a widely flowing river at its feet.

We chose one of the many small bridges and only a few steps and a few streets later, we found ourselves in the midst of one of those busy shopping streets of Girona.

Girona-gasse-Innenstadt-Costa-Brava

It were the mysterious narrow streets, winding alleys with its small boutiques and restaurants, as well as the spacious courts which gathered our full attention. Like a labyrinth the city offers countless different ways towards the first sight we were up to visit: The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Girona is one of the most famous churches in town.

Girona-Kathedrale-von-oben-totale

We just had to look skywards to know which of those endless streets would carry us there. A wide, bright shining front, with countless statues accompanied by all those impressive embellishments lay in front of us. All in all, it was an artful blend of different architectural styles.

Girona-Taube-Costa-Brava

Standing in front of this huge and gorgeous sight, we could barely understand why the construction of this magnificent monument took over 400 years and combines several epochs in itself. A 90-step staircase took us to the beautifully designed facade with all ist details.

We continued our way through the picturesque old town of Girona, while this first impression should not be the last one for today: We were passing the majestic garden of the Cathedral, then visiting the “Basilica Parish de Sant Feliu” as another remarkable church of the city, strolling through the streets of the district Call, one of the most extensive and best preserved former Jewish quarters in Europe.

Girona-Gasse-Couple

There were high-pitched stairs, extending in every imaginable directions, surrounded by fully planted walls, combined with heavy doors, which were suggesting a remarkable garden. Stunned by the beauty and authenticity of this area, which seemed like a small village to us, we walked up and down and easily found our way back to the “Rambla de la Libertad”, which definitely makes its name fully justified as one of the main shopping streets of the old town. From here, the probably best known crossing of the city – a bridge, designed and completed by the famous Mr. Eiffel before conceiving his masterpiece in Paris – flattened the path to the other side.

At the end of the day we cheerfully explored a new place, having another memory card filled with stunning images as well as another memorable experience during our precious time at the Spanish Costa Brava.

Girona-Tijana-Kamera-4

Now we unterstand very well why this specific city was chosen to become one of the mysterious locations for the filming of Patrick Süskind’s well-known novel and why it inspired the central character Grenouille while producing of the specific fragrance…

Girona-Hausfassade

 

 

Blumenschau in Girona

Temps de Flor: Girona 2014

Vom 24. Juni bis zum 7. Juli 1995 erregte Christo gemeinsam mit seiner Frau Jeanne-Claude mit der Verhüllung des Berliner Reichstags weltweit große Aufmerksamkeit. Spektakulär waren auch die Verhüllung der berühmten Brücke Pont-Neuf im Herzen von Paris 1985, der Vorhang durch ein ganzes Felstal 1972 in Colorado und Tausende von gelben sowie blauen Schirmen, die 1991 alle am gleichen Tag geöffnet wurden. Und 1999 ließ Christo im Oberhausener Gasometer 13 000 smartiebunte Fässer zu „The Wall“ aufstapeln.

Temps-de-flors-girona-puente
Ganz so spektakulär geht es in Girona nicht zur Sache. Trotzdem war ich ein wenig an die Philosophie des weltberühmten Künstlers erinnert. Denn auch in Girona wird jedes Jahr um Pfingsten verhüllt, installiert und der Frühling mit einem bunten Blütenfest gefeiert.
temps-de-flors
Genau wie bei Christo geht es den Anwohnern und Künstlern in Girona nicht um das Verstecken sondern um das Hervorheben.
Christo erwartet von seiner Kunst eine „aufregende Ablenkung von den trivialen Sorgen des Alltags“ und einen neuen Blick auf die Dinge, die uns umgeben. Seine Projekte, die nur für kurze Zeit bestehen, sind alle fröhlich und erzeugen eine gute Stimmung.
Dieses Motto gilt auch eine Woche lang jedes Jahr von Neuem im Mai in Girona: In den Gassen schweben weißer Bänder, florale Teppiche durchbrechen klassische Architektur und ein Park hängt voller Wäschestücke aus Moos. Weiße Stoffbahnen umhüllen Stufen und Wege, zur Kathedrale führt ein Blütenteppich. Bunte Ballons brechen strenge Steinarchitektur auf. Nicht jede Installation hat künstlerischen Anspruch, manches ist Kitsch, aber insgesamt wirkt das gesamte Stadtbild sehr fröhlich und überraschend anders als im Alltag sonst.
Temps-de-flors-girona-2014-reflejo

Nach einer Woche bleibt nichts davon als die Erinnerung – die Eindrücke in den Seelen, im Gedächtnis der Besucher. Genau wie Christo.

Temps de Flors ist ein temporäres Erlebnis von Form und Farbe im öffentlichen Raum. Verfremdetes Stadtbild voller Optimismus und Bewegung. Wer sich aufmerksam durch den Trubel treiben lässt, entdeckt ganz besondere Blickwinkel und abstrakte neue Bilder. Einige haben wir mit der Kamera eingefangen. Denn bei Temps de Flor ist Fotografieren erlaubt. Christo hingegen besitzt für seine Installationen das alleinige Copyright für Bild und Ton.

instalacion-temps-de-flors-girona-2014

girona-temps-de-flor-2014-

http://www.gironatempsdeflors.net

In the Barri Vell find interesting flower installations

Girona – Temps de Flors 2011

Girona – Flower Power N° 56 on the Costa Brava

Girona welcomes the spring at the beginning of May with a festival of flowers – and has been doing so for 56 years. Each May, the whole town wallows in a bacchanal of colours and fragrances, both intoxicating the senses in a delightful way. Parks, gardens and historical buildings shine resplendent in the flowers’ bright colours. In the shadow of archways, back­yards, alleys and the places of Barri Vell one walks from one beautiful arrangement of flowers to the next, drifting with the crowd.

Even private doors, terraces, balconies, gardens and palaces are all a-fringed with flowers in this “Time of Flowers” and invite the guests to stay longer.

There are blossoms and buds, leaves and calyxes everywhere; the town is enchanted. It is a fiesta of fantasy and dreams, and we devote ourselves to it every year. Again and again, we realize that Girona becomes more beautiful and interesting every year. In the Old Town quarter you casually find small shops, fashion boutiques, galleries and coffee houses. Another street has been fully restored, the old details remained. Facades are aglitter with new splendidness. The Middle-Ages and the modern time, side by side, fascinate us as well as many other visitors.” Temps de Flors” is a good opportunity to get to know the many little alleyways of Barri Vell, and to take a long stroll along the Rambla de la Llibertat.

Installations in the private "Patios" of the city

www.gironatempsdeflors.net