Mah-mah-my Girona!

After spending a couple of early December days in Figueres, hometown of Salvador Dalí, we moved on to the nearby Catalan city of Girona.

Girona’s old town is beautifully preserved, and best seen while walking along the old walls.

Thanks to new friends Pere, Irene, and Bert for showing us around their town!

Old and new.
On the steps of the cathedral.

Girona’s old town includes El Call, an old Jewish quarter. A famous Jewish scholar named Nachmanides (aka Ramban) was born here. We visited the old Synagogue to understand this history better.

Ketubah (a Jewish marriage document) from 1377.

Drawing of a bris (circumcision).
Oil menorah.
14th-century Hagaddah (used for Passover) from Sarajevo.
Wooden torah case.
Cases for tefillin (prayer scrolls).
Commemorative gravestone placed in the Synagogue.
Translation of the above gravestone.

Sackcloth known as a sanbenito, worn by someone condemned by the inquisition.
We have no comment on the facial features being emphasized in this drawing.
Christian vs. Jewish last names of those forced to convert during the inquisition.
14th-century Haggadah from Barcelona.
First illustrated translation of the Hebrew Bible to Spanish.
Monument to Jews in science.

But back to modern-day Christian traditions. While this city didn’t have a Christmas market as cute as the one in Figueres, we did spy a Tío de Nadal in the local market. Notice its little snack, left to ensure the log poops out some good gifts (seriously).

And another one by another door. Same feeding situation, though one must perhaps wonder based on the food provided if it was placed at the correct end.
Even the wine-sellers at the Christmas market found a way to work in our favorite present-crapping log.

All in all, we’d say our holiday shopping experience in Girona was:

(that’s Catalan for “very good”)

Dreamer even found a store for her own tastes.

Because Girona is a sizeable Catalan city, it has its share of modernist architecture. We saw some fine examples at Casa Masó, an old modernist house open to the public.


World’s fanciest bedpan.
Gotta love that bedside lightswitch! This was one of the first houses in the city to have electricity.

We had a great time walking the streets of the town at night, but it was hard to ignore the Catalan separatist sentiments. As we write this, it has been exactly one year since Catalunya’s vote to secede from the rest of Spain and there are notable protests in Girona.

So many Senyeras.

Above all else, we have (and continue to have) such great travels in all of Catalunya. We continue to meet outgoing and friendly people that even today we are proud to still call friends. That’s to say nothing of the food. Girona’s food game is strong, led by many Michelin-starred restaurants.

Some seriously fancy dessert.

While we could not afford to eat at El Celler de Can Roca this time around, this was our first dairy indulgence at Rocambolesc, a gelato shop started by brother Jordi. Gotta love that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory thing they have going on with the décor. Even more dangerous: they just opened an outpost by our place here in Madrid.

We know it’s still warm out as we write this, but can you feel Christmas approaching? As we live in the retail district, it seems to have started now, at the beginning of October. Appropriately enough, we’re going to tell you how we spent Christmas 2017 in our next post.

Bon Nadal, everyone!

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