All posts tagged: 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!

Christmas shopping in Catalonia – Barcelona.Girona.Figueres .

Christmas is just around the corner and the weeks until December 24th put retailing in a state of emergency. Therefore time for us to start some tours through the shopping arcades of Catalonia.

decorated shop windows

Christmas decoration in the shop windows

 

Barcelona

Not that much reminds of Christmas in early December. The Passeig de Gràcia is enlighted by sunlight, cafés are pretty well attended. Only a few shop windows are already decorated festively.

Shop decoration for Christmas

Shop details

Merely an inconsiderable Christmas tree seems to be a popular eye-catcher for the numerous tourists. Only the well-known department store chain El Corte Inglés conjures a little Christmas charm. The facade is adorned with pretty luminous star. In the inside you walk through some kind of a tinsel rain – surrounded by poinsettias and Christmas trees.

First bargains can be found very well. The neighbouring streets are also preparing to the Advent season. The El Corte Inglés is an all-rounder for Christmas gifts and bargains. From jewelry to clothes, perfume, accessories and decoration you may espy easily the perfect gift for your loved ones. The small streets around La Rambla also offer original treasures outside of mass consumption. Get ready for the shopping adventure!

Girona 

The provincial capital offers a variety of options to tune into high days and holidays. Small alleys of the old town are lovingly decorated for Christmas and the numerous little shops woo passersby with goodies from the region.

Rocambolesc ice

The fantastic ice-cream of Rocambolesc is always worth a taste

Shop windows are a sign of pre-Christmas period. Cosy strolling along the colorful houses, which extend to both sides of the river Onyar, and a walk along the stands of the Christmas market which offers unique pieces of arts can be perfectly combined with a bit of culture: the Cathedral of Santa María as the largest gothic arch in the world is always worth to visit. A selfie for some Christmas greeting would be a good idea, right?

Figueres 

Streets of Figueres

Streets of Figueres are already decorated for Christmas

The birthplace of the famous surrealist Salvador Dalí is a real attraction for visitors, not only due to the Salvador Dalí Museum. During the festive season, the small town near the French border also attracts with comfortable shopping. The alleys around Plaça Ajuntament illuminate in festive Christmas decoration. Shop windows are glittering seductively while Christmas market stands offer delicacy and crafts. The smell of marron glacé sweetens the air. Perfect requirements to enjoy the surrounding and shop a little surprise for family and friends.

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