Our second weekend in Barcelona, the CIEE business program arranged a trip for us to Girona and Tossa de Mar. All of my girl friends jumped at the opportunity because most of us felt that we had spent the entire first week adjusting to the time change, spending hours trying to find good food/eating, going out, and recovering from the going out. It was about time to actually see some sights and do other touristy things.
Our first stop (via 9 am..easily the earliest any of us had woken up on this trip to date) was Girona. It is located about an hour and a half drive outside of Barca and was a nice change of pace after being in the city for a week. We took tours of the San Felix Church, the Cathedral of Girona, the ancient Girona Wall, and the Jewish Quarters with our tour guide Carlos, a cute little Spanish man who has lived in Girona all of his life. I wish I was that lucky to live in a quaint, beautiful town with so much history and breath-taking architecture.
Girona basically looks like Florence. Or at least the Ancient portion of the city. This river divides the city into two portions: the Ancient half, and the modern half. Only 5,000 people live in the Ancient half. It’s extremely well preserved and beautiful.
This church is gorgeous. Just ask the hundreds of people on the three-year long waiting list for weddings.
After being touristy and artsy in Girona, we drove an hour through the mountains to make it to our last destination: Tossa de Mar, a very popular beachy town in Catalonia. Here we spent our three hours grabbing lunch and making friends on a boat cruise of the caves.
So, we signed up for what we thought was a glass bottom boat cruise of the caves off the coast of the beach. Upon entering the boat, we realized that by “glass” what they really meant was we could observed the bottom of the boat through 2 1ft x 3ft pieces of glass. Maybe thats what glass boats are, but we were all imaging an boat without a top and a bottom completely made of glass. Aka tanning and entertainment.
We were disappointed when we realized this, but being abroad, we made the best of our situation. And by this I mean, we became friends with the two guys running the boat cruise. This resulted in 11 girls tanning themselves on the back deck (boat terminology? I’m not sure). And the more confident we got…the more lee way we had. Meaning, there was at least one pint 9 of us sitting on the roof of the boat, and one of us driving the boat. I feel bad for all of the innocent other boat riders. They must have thought we were insane.
Side note: we didn’t sign consent forms and were allowed to do this? Maybe allowed is a strong word…regardless, we are definitely not in the States anymore.
All in all, we made friends who invited us back to the boat and saw beautiful areas in Catalonia. I can’t wait to do more exploring.
Additional side note: I have never been that girl who takes a lot of pictures. I thought I could become this person while traveling abroad, but I don’t think so. So thank you in advance to all of the pictures I steal for my blog from my friends. Don’t know how I would document this trip without ya.