After the full immersion into Salvator Dalì world, we choose not to follow the coast and instead to visit Girona. Not a must see, according to most travel guides, but a relaxed and very nice city according to us! We will stay three days and get a good chance to understand what to expect from Spanish supermarkets.
As we enter the city, we stop in a very large parking lot [41.98271,2.80919] next to which are located three big supermarkets: Aldi, Lidl and Mercadona. A perfect occasion to compare prices and products available. First observation: hard times for vegetarians in Spain, even worst if you prefer to buy bio products. The cheese’s stand is tiny and the meat’s one huge. Prices are very cheap for some categories like wine and alcohol and close to the rest of Europe on other things, but always on the cheap side.
Best offers and prices are found in Mercadona. Aldi is the only shop that has a small range of biological products, including a very good wine (Jumilla) sold at only 2.50€. Lidl has the usual products at the usual prices, nothing exciting.
We take a tour of the city with the van, looking for a parking closer to the city center, which is at about 1500 meters, but we can’t find any suitable. So we go back to our starting point and take a walk to town.
The city is very nice. Not many tourists around and with a very relaxed and happy atmosphere. A lot of students and a couple of things to see. We learn that the day after, saturday, there is the big weekly market that takes place in Devesa park, very close to where we left the van. So we decide to stay there for the night, the parking is well illuminated and secured by a lot of control cameras. We spent a very quiet night, but we where woken up early, when the supplies trucks started to come and go from the supermarkets.
The open market is indeed huge, hundreds of meters of stands selling everything you can imagine. Prices are sometimes incredibly low. For example, avocados 1.60/kg, cauliflower 3 for one euro, Jerusalem artichokes at 0.80/Kg, incredible… the strange thing is that most of the stands don’t have prices exposed, you can always ask, but it is quite annoying.
After the market, we had another good walk around the old city and so we found a perfect spot for moving the van and stay over night [41.98544,2.82926]. It is close to the university, just outside the old walls of the city, the road to get there is a bit narrow and uphill, but it is worth it!
We don’t feel very attracted by the museums, after the Dalì storm in the previous days and we prefer to enjoy the city narrow streets and beautiful buildings. The only exception we make is for the museum of Jewish history, that seemed to be interesting also from an architectural point of view.
The walk around the city walls is very rewaring. Beautiful views over the city and surroundings, even if you discover some “monsters” not far away.
And then there is the legend of the lioness and Girona’s slogan “besame el culo” (kiss my ass), according to which whoever wants to be a good citizen in Girona and never leave town, or has to leave and come back again, must kiss the lioness butt