Girona, Spain — Monday May 22, 2017

Today is my only full day in Girona, but I have visited this city several times before. I skipped some of the sites I have seen  and remember well such as the old wall around the city and the cathedral one previous trips and basically walked where my nose led me.

I have to show you one of the purchases I made last night. I have a whole closet full of cycling jerseys, but I couldn’t resist purchasing yet one more. My credit card company must be overjoyed at the big bill I am running up.

Of course, after I wear the jersey once on a ride, the novelty will have worn off, and the jersey will spend the next 20 years hanging in the closet with all of the other cycling jerseys that I seldom wear. Nevertheless, if you are a cyclist yourself, you know that one can never have too many jerseys.

If I lived and cycled here in Girona, I would certainly not buy Cliff Bars. The cycling shop wanted 2.50 euros or $2.80 each! I seem to remember that they are less than a dollar each at Walmart when bought in a 12-pack and even cheaper in a 24-bar pack at Costco.

I spent much of yesterday evening and this morning at breakfast discussing international politics. Yesterday evening I discussed it in Spanish with an Argentinean who has immigrated to Spain and in English with an Italian who speaks no Spanish. This morning  it was with a local who works at the hostel and whom I had previously met several years ago. When the newspapers arrived, he gave them to me to read, but all three of them were in Catalán. I thanked him cordially, but unless I move here to live, Catalán will never be high on my list of languages to learn.

Incidentally, I have not met a single European or international traveler who does not have a negative opinion of our exalted president.

I photographed the staircase shown below, because an adjacent plaque in Catalán said they were built in the sixteenth century. There was some additional information about them on the plaque, but my ability to read Catalán is very minimal, and I didn’t understand the rest.

After photographing the staircase, I continued walking uphill on the narrow streets of the Old City when a young woman and a young man passed me. One reason I photographed them, besides the interesting view of the narrow old street, is because both were rolling bike shipping containers.

Girona is a Mecca for cyclists. Some of the professionals make this city there winter home and train in the surrounding mountains, and I suppose that fact attracts amateur cyclists from all over the world. There are a lot of people cycling around Girona. Watching  them today, I became envious. I wish I had my bike, helmet, and cycling shoes here with me. Well, at least now I do have a jersey.

After walking the narrow streets of the Old City, I decided to walk to the railway station to buy a ticket to the French border for my departure tomorrow. I could have bought a single ticket from Girona to tomorrow’s destination in Arles, France, but that would have been more expensive than buying separate tickets from the Spanish and French national railway companies, but I had to buy the Spanish ticket for the regional train at the station instead of online. The ticket to the border cost me 3.60 euros or $4.04 in US currency.

As I mentioned above, tomorrow I am taking the train, actually three trains, to Arles, France. I will arrive in the late afternoon, so I will probably have little to blog about. I have never been to Arles , so I am staying three nights. Here’s hoping that I can make the mental switch from Spanish back to my basic French.