Girona took me by surprise. Blame that on a busy month which did not really give me a chance to research in detail about Girona before the travel. So I guess in a way I wasn’t expecting its beautiful, well preserved medieval town. What I didn’t realise at the time of my visit (again blame it on the busy times) was that the town served as the location for Game of Thrones’ city of Braavos and also a bit of Westeros (Remember Great Sept of Baelor from Season 6?).

Girona is one of the most important cities of Spain’s Catalonian region. The city was originally founded by Romans, and some of the walls of the two thousand years old fortress still stand. The city later expanded under different rules and many of the structures built during medieval times still stand today. The best way to explore the city is by walking and eventually losing yourself in the myriad of alleys and cobbled streets.

Spend a day in Girona
We had made a two day side visit to Girona from Barcelona. One day was spent at Dali’s museum in Figueres and Palafrugell, the other in the city. Like always I really wish I had more time so I could walk those streets once again. But alas, a day job offers only that much escape. Nonetheless, a day was quite sufficient to experience the old town’s charm. Here’s how I spent the day in Girona.

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Start with Eiffel bridge. Constructed by the same man who built the Eiffel Tower, the bridge leads to the inner town and gives off views of Girona’s houses by river Onyar
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Houses painted in Catalonia’s colors stand by river Onyar
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The bridge ends in the main pedestrian street of Girona – Rambla de la Llibertat. Lots of places along the street for a quick bite and chilling in the shade of trees lining the street
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Rambla continues on – more shops, more houses
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Endless stone steps lead up to alleys lined with designer shops
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More steps, and another alley to explore

 

 

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Walk along to reach Catedral de Girona, a most magnificent building. Set higher up from the city, one needs to climb 91 steps to reach the doors. Sure is a test for the pilgrims. As the Cathedral was built over 8 centuries, there are elements of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture. It also served as the location for Great Sept of Baelor in Game of Thrones Season 6. Think of Jamie riding up those massive steps on horseback to confront the High Sparrow.
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View down from the top of steps
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Want a bird’s eye view of the city? Climb up to the fortifications which once surrounded and defended the old city. A lot of the wall was damaged or removed, and the part that stands today is mostly due to extensive restoration work. A walk up here shows the Roman as well as medieval structures of the old town. By far it was my favorite part of the day with incredible views stretching across Girona. 
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The other part of the city fortifications
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Girona’s cathedral towering above the city. The old walls from Roman times is also visible here
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Labyrinth
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The best thing you will do in Girona is wander around and take in the beauty at every step. Or if you are like me, also imagine how Braavos came to life (unfortunately, in retrospect) in the city’s walls, worn down stone stairs and narrow alleys. 
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