Girona, Spain, Europe
AC Hotel Palau de Bellavista
This trip started out with something that had never happened to me before, ever. After all the travelling I’ve done, it’s actually amazing that it’s not happened before, but there’s a first time for everything.
We woke up at 5am, got a taxi at 5:45am, and we were at the airport by 6:15am. Perfect timing for our 7:45am flight. We had to go to the Jet2.com desk for Melissa to get her visa checked, and they asked for our passports so they could reprint our boarding passes. Right as the agent said the word passport, I knew that I didn’t have it. I had packed last night, made sure I had all our travel vouchers and everything ready to go, and never once thought about taking my passport out of the safe and putting it in my bag. Even this morning when Melissa took her passport and visa out of the safe, it never dawned on me that I should grab mine as well. So stupid…
I knew we had to act quickly because there wasn’t much time to get back to the house and get the passport. I left my bags with Melissa at the airport and ran out to the taxi rank. I grabbed the first taxi available and the driver knew that I had forgotten something. I told Tom that I had forgotten my passport at home and I needed to be back at the airport for 7am as the gate was closing at 7:15am. I got so lucky having Tom for a driver because he drove like a bat out of hell and got be back to the flat by 6:40am. 22 minutes from the airport to the flat must be a new record. I ran into the flat, grabbed the passport, and back out to the taxi where Tom had turned the car around and was waiting for me. We bombed it down Princes Street and Corstorphine Road and managed to get back to the airport by 7:05am. That was amazing to get from the airport to the flat and back in 47 minutes. The fare came to £39 so I just threw £50 at Tom, thanked him, and ran to security.
I got to security, where Melissa had smartly taken my bags through security so when I got there I just had to go through with nothing but my phone. Of course I got into second queue which seemed to take forever, breezed through security and had to run all the way down to gate 21, which is the farthest gate at Edinburgh Airport. I managed to get there by 7:16am, and we were the last two people to board the plane to Girona. It was an absolutely exhausting way to start the trip, but I was so happy to see Melissa the gate when I got there. What a way to start Melissa’s birthday trip, but at least we made it!
This was the first time I’d ever flown with Jet2.com, and I was very impressed. They let you take two bags on the plane, and there was definitely more leg room than on a Ryanair flight. We managed to sleep for part of the flight, and 2.5 hours we arrived in Girona. We picked up our hire car from Firefly (where Martina was particularly helpful), and headed over to our hotel. We are staying at the AC Hotel by Marriot and it is really nice. There is a beautiful terrace with chairs and beds laid out, and a very nice bar as well. We got showered and before we went out to get some lunch I gave Melissa her birthday card that I had found online. It had a paper butterfly inside that was wound up so when she opened it the butterfly flew out and scared her. It didn’t work as well as it did online, but it was still good.
We went out for lunch at a little local place called La Llosa where we had the Plate of the Day. For a starter I got a massive plate of pasta that would have been a full plate in any other restaurant. For the main dish I had a hamburger that came without a bun, and a size of avocado and fries. It was pretty good. Not a bad meal for €10.50. We went for a short walk down by the river and noticed that Girona is not a very nice looking city. Melissa spotted the old city wall and a staircase to get up on top, so we decided to go for a walk up there. Good thing she spotted it because this is where we could see how nice this city really is. It turns out our hotel is on top of the hill overlooking the new town, but the old town is really the nice part of Girona. We walked around the old town on top of the wall checking out the viewing platforms and enjoying the comfortably warm weather (25°C, 77°F). We came down from the wall at the Jardins d’Alemanys (German Gardens), which is just behind the cathedral. This is a really pretty part of the city that reminded us a lot of Malta and a bit like Croatia.
We went for a drink at Patisseria Francesa and watched the people walking through the town. We walked down the Ramblas, crossed the river over the Eiffel Bridge, and checked out a local bakery. We bought a Xuixo from Girona which is like a croissant filled with crème and covered in sugar. We headed over to Plaça de la Independencia and enjoyed our treat on a bench. We walked down the river, which is really pretty on this side of town, and headed over to Plaça de Catalunya. There wasn’t much to see there so we headed back up the hill to the hotel and chilled on the terrace for a couple hours. It was a really nice relaxing way to finish off the busy day that we’d had, and we also got to enjoy some beers and even a little sangria.
We went for Melissa’s birthday dinner at a restaurant called L’Alqueria, and it was phenomenal! It started out with a small drink of orange vermouth and an amuse bouche of breadsticks with a tuna dip, then we had some blended avocado served in a small ice cream code. For the main meal I had a paella Valenciana (rice with chicken and rabbit), and Melissa had the veal steak. Both meals were amazing! They brought a little birthday cake out for Melissa that was called Ruse cake. It was a really nice creamy cake made of hazelnut wheat and almond butter that was the perfect size for us to share. The most surprising thing about the meal was that it only came to €60. For this kind of meal in Edinburgh I would be expecting to pay at least £150, so this was an amazing value.
We walked back up to the hotel at about 11:30pm and headed to bed after a very tiring and successful day in Girona. And tomorrow, we are off to country #64 on my list, Andorra!