Tag Archives: Spain

Girona, City of Gardens (and Stairs)

Girona Collegiate Church of Sant Feliu Spire

It’s easy to see why the Catalonian city of Girona has endured 25 sieges and fallen to enemy forces on seven different occasions. It’s a place you really do want all for yourself. And on our first night in town, we had exactly that.

The day-trippers had all gone for the day. Girona is just an hour’s train ride from Barcelona, making it a quick-hit destination for many. They were mostly leaving just as we arrived. 

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More Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Espana, Seville, Spain

Seville, Spain

Because we really can’t get enough.

The Hordes of Toledo

Zombie Hordes or Just a Tour Group

Holy moly, I’d wager about 75% of the people in Toledo, Spain, were on a tour of some kind. We’re totally cool with tours, but when you get thirty or forty people following the directions of a single guide they do tend to exhibit a kind of hive mentality. All individual thought (and most notions of common courtesy) goes out the window. Get three or four of these hives together in the narrow streets of a medieval city, and it’s a little like being swarmed by a zombie horde; except that none of them has tried to eat us. Yet.

Should you Visit Segovia or Toledo in Spain?

Toledo Spain

Of course the answer to the title question is “Yes.” If you have time, you should visit both. But when researching our own Spanish itinerary we saw so many people asking the question on various message boards that we thought we’d wade in with our own take.

Both Segovia and Toledo are medieval, walled cities that are within a 30-minute high-speed train ride away from Madrid. Which one you choose really comes down to what you’re looking for, how long you have to visit, and, if you’re on a very tight budget, how much you have to spend.

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Grinning Like Idiots in Segovia

Segovia Cathedral, Spain

Segovia’s Gothic Cathedral towers over much of the town

Some people might tell you that Spanish and Greek are two totally different languages. But to us they’re nearly identical in one important respect: we understand very little of either.

On a bus, somewhere in Segovia, Spain, we managed to decipher enough Spanish to know that the driver wasn’t letting us off where we wanted. We wouldn’t figure out why until a bit later. And although we couldn’t make heads or tails of his precise directions, we did understand the universal sign for “that way.”

So with a shrug we hefted our bags and set off in the direction of the bus driver’s outstretched finger. A light rain fell as we made our way in this new and unfamiliar city. It wasn’t long until we saw the crowds. And then the barricades blocking our way.

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