Saturday, June 12, 2010


After Barcelona we headed out into the Catalan countryside, to the little town of St. Julia de Llor. Lots of sun, swimming, grilling and reading.

And lots of pork. As much Jamón Ibérico as I could get my hands on.

St. Julia is near the Catalan city of Girona. Girona was first Gerunda, the main city of the pre-Roman Ausetani people. The area was conquered first by the Romans, and then the Visigoths and then the Moors, and then by Charlemagne, by the Moors again for a brief time, eventually becoming part of the countship (then duchy) of Barcelona... one of the Christian kingdoms of northern Spain. Girona was an important center of medieval Judaism until the Inquisition drove them out in 1492. The old center of town is one of the best preserved medieval Jewish ghettos of Europe, and contains some of the better examples of Spanish Gothic architecture on the continent.

All that history hasn't stopped a bit of modern architecture from popping up. Here is an interesting door to an architecture firm's offices in the center of the old part of town.

A rented 17th Century farmhouse.

We also took a day trip to the Costa Brava. Here is the town of Begur, another Roman then medieval town that is now a major tourist attraction.

One of the quiet little bays near Begur where we swam and had a picnic lunch.

We had lunch one day at Restaurant de la Riera in the little village of Saint Marti Vell. The food was slightly better than average, but the presentation was beautiful (see below) and the scenery and drive to the village was pure Spanish fantasy. I actually saw an old broke-down windmill surrounded by fields of wheat. Must go back to Spain.

The restaurant's patio.

And the meal:

Image of River Ter, Girona via skyscraper city forum

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