Again, coming back from a long break, the German lifestyle has caught onto me. I have been waiting to write about my Spanish backpacking trip for a while now. Back in school, I had a tiny lesson on the European civilization, and my Indian history book didn’t cover it quite well, but it did tell me that Mr. Columbus was supposed to reach the Indian shores and he couldn’t, because he didn’t have a TomTom, however, he did manage to reach the Bahamas. Though an Italian, he spent most of his time under the Monarchs of Spain, and establishing their plans to discover the new world. That’s where Spain caught my attention. Now talking about Spain, my first impressions about Spain were always “Bull Fighting and Penélope Cruz”, one couldn’t except much from a 12 year old kid. I had waited a long time to discover the beautiful country, Espana. The time had come and the cheap Ryan Air tickets were booked. Equipped with two words from the Spanish vocabulary, Hola and Gracias, I had set upon to discover, a land which was already discovered.
I landed in Girona, the heartthrob of Catalunya, I hadn’t planned anything and now I was searching for some Couchsurfing hosts and luckily I got a couch just outside Girona, in a small village. I was hosted by this wonderful lady, Luisa, who even picked me up from the airport. She drove me around Girona and even cooked me some authentic Catalan dinner. This tiny village, where I was Couchsurfing consisted of around 500 people and 2 bars. The first bar didn’t have a TV, and the second one closes at 10pm. My LA LIGA match (Valencia CF vs Malaga) started at 10pm. So on request the bar which had a T.V, kept the bar open until the end of the match as I was the first Indian visiting their village. Good start to my Spanish adventure. The next day I was dropped back to Girona, and through my entire journey I hadn’t come across such strong Catalan feeling among the locals. Banners of freedom hanging across balconies, however, I focused on the Tapas and the beautiful Spanish women. Old narrow alleys with a flavour of fresh Jamon (Ham) busking through the small meat shops, tiny sangria bars and of course the Asian tourists. Girona is a splendid city, what a shame that people mostly visit it because Ryan Air lands at a the Girona Airport.
I was later hosted by two Turkish girls doing their Erasmus semester in Girona. Their hospitality was unmatched, one of the girls gave me her room and kept city maps and other important information ready at my disposal. One of the best things I love about Couchsurfing, is the different varieties of food you get to taste, and as I love cooking myself (sometimes), observing other people cook just adds to my own arsenal of cuisines. So many things observed, learnt and admired. Girona was an appetizer to my Spanish adventure, the main course was waiting for me in Barcelona. I had to move on, though I made a promise to myself that I’ll be visiting Girona again.