Temps de Flors- an enchanting festival where an old Romanesque Catalonian town (featured in Season 6 of Game of Thrones!) turns into a wonderland of colors with flowers around every turn, decorating every balcony, and livening through every patio.
This week is Temps de Flors in Girona, a town about a 30 minutes train ride from Barcelona. Before I studied abroad in Barcelona, I had a friend tell me about this weekend in Girona, where the city turned into a magical escape in the countryside. When the weekend came around, I wanted to do something fun and just get out of Barcelona. As much as I loved my city, I also loved exploring the rest of Catalunya.
And just like that, I bought some train tickets and headed out to a new city for a day trip. It was also one of the more recent spontaneous trips that I’ve had, and I’m forever grateful for my slush fund that made this trip possible.
Every time I take a spontaneous trip, I discover another cool, small town that I wouldn’t normally get to see unless I was already here in Barcelona. I know have this internal conflict of wanting to explore everywhere and wanting to cherish every single moment I have in the actual city of Barcelona!
– May 2015
To get to Girona, I took a train from Sants Estacio in Barcelona to the Girona train station- a super easy commute for anyone trying to get there this weekend as well!
As I gazed out the window and watched trees and fields speed by, I realized how similar the countryside here resembles that of California, with the mountains and rolling hills and greenery.
After a little over half an hour, we were transported into another absolutely beautiful town in Catalunya. When I got off the train, volunteers passed out maps of the city and over 100 different flower arrangements, decorated patios and main tourist sites. However, I got lost in the winding streets after about ten minutes and just decided to wander around the older part of the city until I hit everything.
It’s also really important to realize that the city of Girona is so stunning in and of itself, without the flowers adorning the streets. Of course the city was more beautiful with the decorations, but it was just so charming and I felt like I stepped into Tuscany or an ancient Roman city.The buildings were all different colors and looked so beautiful reflecting in the river that ran through the center of the city, dividing the older and newer part.
But oh my goodness all of the arrangements were so beautiful! There were all different types of flowers in so many arrangements- in bouquets, arranged to make larger flowers, a nuclei and DNA set, abstract art, umbrellas, boats, in suitcases, in clouds inside of a church.. literally any arrangement you could think of, they had in some way or another.
Below are some of my favorite pictures-it was so hard to just pick a few! I’ve added some titles because I feel like they need them…
1) Just another part of the crowd
2) Two faced vase
3) Whoops, there go my pants
4) We’re soaring, flying, over this blanket of flowers, can’t you see?
5) Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
Since we didn’t follow the map, we were able to come across some small less touristy streets and got some really cool rooftop views without many people around. We even got to see the Pyranees in the distance!
For lunch, I went to a supermarket and bought baguettes, cheese and avocado (I know- such a splurge!) and made our sandwiches overlooking the city.
To end this perfect day, I stopped by Rocambolsec, one of the best gelaterias in the world to cool off from the heat. Oh that lovely pistachio and chocolate gelato, may you forever rest in mis memorias.
While this first trip to Girona only lasted a day, I definitely returned to visit on more day trips and relish in this beautiful city.
What were some of your favorite weekend trips? Were they spontaneous trips as well?