Girona: A Love Story
I’ve written only one other love story on this blog, and that was about Pete and I.
Thus the weight of that post should highlight the importance of what I am about to write about a simple urban center in the Catalonia region of Spain. Luminous and colorful, perched on a hillside with medieval walls, small but chock-full of amenities – Girona appears the perfect city for people who don’t like cities.
So right away, the two of us got off to a great start.
And not necessarily the kind of romance that inspires corny love, with cartoon birds leading two people together, or slurping noodles (or in this case, a slice of jamon) until lips meet under the glow of candlelight. Not to say that Girona couldn’t be that. It is a place that requires long leisurely meals fuelled by local cava, has several bridges over the Onyar river for strolling and smooching on, and so much more. It is an ideal spot for lovers to discover or bolster their feelings for one another.
But I was there under different circumstances, and at first glance, I labeled those circumstances as unfortunate. After a brief stay for a few days, Pete then took off on a trip through Pyrenees, leaving me for six nights on my own. That is a rare occurrence – in the last several years Pete and I have only ever been apart for a handful of nights. Six in a row would be a test. And I immediately kinda failed when I asked my friend Katie to come and stay with me for a few of those nights in order to spend some quality time with her, but also, I admit, to placate my own loneliness.
But once she left and I was on my own in Girona, instead of feeling lost I found myself swept up in a romantic notion. Of being independent, of finding inspiration, of finding myself.
(WAIT. That IS terribly corny. But true.)
I know you don’t want to hear me whine about not being with Pete (I’ve done that before. And then again.) And this time, I didn’t even feel compelled to do so. I felt comprehensively happy. Proud of myself. Adventurous. I went for walks on my own, I ate dinner out alone, I had offers to meet up with other friends in the area but actually preferred the silence.
Maybe, after these several years of being a part of a rigid twosome, maybe I was due for some serious introspective time. I expect part of it was that, but I also firmly believe that Girona brought the best out of me. What Pete expected of me may have been correct in other places – refusing to go out on my own, having only toast and peanut butter every night for dinner, lamenting constantly about the sad state of my loneliness – but I felt at complete ease in this small Catalonian city. I was in the comfort of an amazing apartment right on the river and had a choice of superb restaurants within meters. The very best gelato in the world was a couple of minutes away. I walked anywhere and everywhere without a care in the world and a ridiculous perma-grin plastered on my face.
Flowers even decorated the streets and river in advance of the famed Flower Festival. (Although I liked to think I was just apart of Girona’s seductive plan for me.)
I found myself writing more than I have in awhile, being more productive than I have been in awhile. And even though I was in deep with a client that had me fuming at times, nothing could kill my optimism about my time in beautiful Girona.
So much so that I believe Pete began to get worried about my independence and newfound love of a city without him. (But he also made sure I wouldn’t forget about him by planting a few messages before he left.)
where i stayed
Don’t forget that if you sign-up with Airbnb using this link, you get $25 off your first stay (and it gives us a little extra credit too)!