I recently had the chance to spend four days in the ancient city of Girona. Nestled in the Northern region of Catalonia about an hour away from Barcelona, Girona represents an alternative to the rapid and modernised face of Spain.
The stunning 9th century AD walled fortification illustrates an independent lineage which runs through the people and the place, something which is alive today in the latest political fractures like the Catalan independence movement. The air is filled with a quietened revolutionary tension, as almost all of the beautiful facades in the old town brandish yellow ribbons and flags in solidarity with the Catalan people.
Despite this backdrop, I am keen to impress on anyone just how welcome I felt during our visit. We were four good friends who met together from afar. Madison, no stranger to this blog, had flown in from the States. Laura had journeyed from Switzerland and Celia had come from England. Celia sadly had to leave on my first day. As we stumbled along through broken Spanish in our interactions, we were greeted by nothing but patience and kindness.
We spent our days laughing, drinking far too much wine, eating some of the greatest pastries on planet earth and admiring the creativity on display around the city in the world renowned Girona Flower Festival.
In all, it was a joyous first experience of a country that I can see myself visiting again and again. Gracias España!
All photos were shot on Kodak Ektar 100 35mm.
Winter this year has been a dreary affair, having not found much time to play or explore. Working a regular job for a while has led me to appreciate the times when you are free to go wherever you want.
There have been one or two adventures, and certainly the best of them was when my lovely companion Hope and me went out to a place called Birling Gap.
We started the day by visiting a favourite spot in Brighton for coffee and a nibble to eat. Following a nose around in a couple of shops, we departed. Winding our way along the grassy Sussex coastline we came to Birling Gap, where we climbed down and spent time on the beach. There were white cliffs towering over us, as a warm midwinter sun set on the horizon, tinting everything orange.
It was the best day out, as we laughed and played music. Made all the better by the company.
Here are some photos from Hope and myself that day.
As our respective terms at university reach completion, a close group of friends and I celebrated by having a picnic in the fields.
All of us lived together in our first year in hall’s, and this place in a field was our secret gathering spot then, so it seemed fitting to come here once more. We were blessed with such a sunny, clear afternoon. Laughing with Nat, Phyl, Axl and Madi (who you may remember from a previous blog post) was such a pleasure. We had a blast telling stories, filling in the gaps since we were last together.
We brought Axl’s head dressed Penguin along too, which is… a long story. You should really ask Axl about that!