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Girona, Spain

Almost 7 days to spend in Girona. 

A lovely little city. I feel this is a real Catalonian city, winding streets, great food, amazing architecture. Why can’t Dublin be as beautiful? Ireland is so grey and doesn’t restore old buildings but ruin them and rebuild to look modern and American. Tacky. There is rare beauty in Ireland. Here there is always beauty. 

  

I walked the town walls and baked in the open sun. I loved them. They’re about a metre wide with long narrow windows looking outside of the town. It leads to the impressive cathedral (old towns always have impressive churches and the like). 

   
 

7 days is a bit long to explore Girona if you can’t take the heat. But there is bus and train links to explore the surrounding areas. 

Girona has a great park; La Devesa. It’s fab. It’s odd having parks with little grass but they are loaded with facilities; football pitches, basketball courts, pétanque. Dublin and Ireland can learn so much from this place. 

   

   

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Monserrat, Spain

One of the most incredible places I’ve been. That sentence really hyped Monserrat up, I know. Any description of the place just does not do it justice. 

I spend an afternoon here last Sunday. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, a small church in the mountains maybe? I wasn’t annoyed I was so wrong. It was incredible. 

The views are spectacular. It takes a good hour to get there from Barcelona (Plaça Espanya) but it’s so worth it. It’s not just a church, it’s more like a village high in the mountains. Don’t ask me how the people living in the monastery dealt with this. 

When I arrived, there were local traditional dancing groups (of some kind, I really don’t know sorry!) performing on the square. It was fun to watch, especially the traditional outfits. 

  
I then took the funicular up to Sant Joan (not for those afraid of heights). From here, the view is amazing. There are small buildings at other peaks that you can walk to. You can see far all around. Im disappointed I didn’t hike up (reviews didn’t encourage it). I hiked down though, and now I can’t wait to go back. 

  
Bring water, sun cream, good shoes. And explore. Monserrat is well known but for new, it is a hidden gem; no one recommended it to me at all before I came. Most people stick to the small village but there were abundant hikers and cyclists that braved the peaks. I’ll be back to hike. Do. Not. Miss.