Thursday, January 15, 2015

Girona perfect place to celebrate special birthday

The restaurant we had booked for Seamus' birthday had to close for some sudden repairs. With only a few days notice this caused a bit of a dilemma. Since we are going on a trip for Seamus' 60th, he didn't really mind what we did. But since we had talked of spending a day in Girona, I took a chance and emailed Cellar Can Roca, ranked number two in the world by Michelin, to see if we could get in. Normally you have to book months in advance but as luck would have it there had been a cancellation and we were in. Since dinner wasn't until nine, quite normal in Spain, we decided to stay overnight in Girona.

We have visited Girona only twice before. It is quite lovely along the river and in the narrow streets of the old town. The one hour drive on a sunny winter’s day was most pleasant, right up until we got into the city centre and tried to locate our hotel. Our Google map lady led us a merry chase with us always ending up in a small street with bollards blocking our way. Finally, we went old-school and pulled out a map. This got us within sight of the hotel but once again we were blocked by these infernal bollards. We abandoned the car and went to the front desk where we found out that there was a secret button to push, and our road to the hotel was cleared.

We spent much of the afternoon strolling through the lovely old town. We weren't even tempted by all the sales that were on. By four we had reached our out of the way destination, Cinema Trouffaut, an English-language cinema. Right outside a very old font with the Virgin Mary greeted us. We still don't know what the building was originally used for. After watching Birdman, we once again strolled through little passageways and along cobbled streets stopping to buy some homemade pasta from a little store we discovered on a previous visit. It cooks in only three minutes and is some of the best pasta we've ever tasted. The lady makes it in several flavours, including spinach, and mushroom, which we had to try.

Finally we arrived at Can Roca and toasted Seamus' birthday with some cava in the most exquisite champagne flutes. There were two tasting menus on offer. We opted for the smaller, which was still a lot of food, all beautifully presented. At the end we were given a personalized copy of our menu. You can see from the pictures just how elaborate some of the food was.

On Thursday morning we returned to the old town, this time climbing lots of steps and cobblestone braes to reach the old Roman Wall. It is in excellent condition. The two-kilometre walk overlooking Girona's rooftops was lovely. There were several guard towers to climb and if you were in need there was even an old Roman toilet.

Girona is a beautiful, old town with much to offer, history, dining and shopping. Next time we will take the train from our nearby town, which will be an easier journey.

1 comment:

Country Girl said...

Oh, how lucky you were able to score a table. Very interesting-looking plates here. I hope it was as delicious as you had hoped. Happy 60th to Seamus. It's wonderful you get to spend time doing the things you really enjoy doing. Bravo!