3 nights in Girona - From Munich to Spain to France - CycleBlaze

May 17, 2024 to May 19, 2024

3 nights in Girona

Chores and no Riding

We had scheduled 3 nights in Girona off the bikes to do chores before we meet our friends Jim and Diana and commence one of those swanky Trek Travel trips in the Costa Brava for 6 days. Dave and Jim go way back to their days working for Microsoft in the 1990s. Jim has lived on the east coast for years and they now reside in South Carolina so there has been limited opportunities to get together.

The first morning after a quiet breakfast Dave went down and spent 3 hours cleaning up our bikes which were a disaster from the mud from the puddle action the day before. The good news was that the Doubeltree had a “bike bathtub” so that he could rinse the bikes. It was a challenge because the grit and mud was everywhere including in the brake pads. He also degreased and lubed the chains.  (Dave often raves about lucky he is that I do all the trip planning, but honestly I get a great return on my investment with all the bike maintenance he does, because I am clueless on that front). 

What a mess.
Heart 3 Comment 0

After that unpleasant task was completed we walked down to the Trek store to purchase a few bike items and stopped later for tapas to serve as an early dinner. The Trek Travel store was great - it made you want to buy a bike!  I hate shopping but bike stores and book stores still get me excited. The tapas were indifferent, and of dubious nutritional value,  but the event was adventurous due to a mid-tapa rain storm where we all dashed for cover.

People really decorated for the flower festival.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Taking refuge from the sudden downpour.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0

I’m not sure we have ever seen such a charming velo-oriented city. Cycling is everywhere, mostly roads bikes, tons of stores and a great selection of just about everything bike-oriented. We even had a casual conversation about moving our bike base from Munich to Girona. (Jill is always full of ideas). Of course we won’t. Girona doesn’t even have an airport and you have to take a train 101  km from Barcelona.  There are also many English speaking tourists here- a change of pace, good and bad. It feels well-tended and it’s one of more affluent areas of Spain -kind of like San Sebastián.

The Doubletree is a good choice; clearly bike-oriented and they get lots of cyclists staying here; it’s not fancy but perfectly pleasant and has everything we need, including a tub- and not just for the bikes. It’s kind of on the edge of downtown but walkable there. My only “complaint,” such as it is, is there are no tea pots at breakfast! Ahh, a first world problem. 

The other hotel that cyclists often check in to is Hotel Ultonia, which is swankier and right downtown - but  it is quite a bit more expensive and they couldn’t guarantee a tub!

This morning Dave is off doing laundry; it wasn’t really in the plan but our ride through the mud puddles two days ago pretty much trashed everything that we had on so laundry seemed in order. I suspect we will look like the bedraggled couple on the Trek Travel trip in any event. No trendy sun dresses at dinner or cool riding kits. It’s just a good thing we no long aspire to being cool.

Boys only at the laundromat.
Heart 1 Comment 0

I got to revel in a quiet morning doing the journal at breakfast. One nice thing about multiple night stays; you sort of figure out the breakfast buffet ins and outs so by the second day there is less fumbling at the coffee machine and where to find the yogurt etc! And by the third day - things go smooth as silk- unless the second coffee/tea machine is broken so there’s a big line up……

The Trek Travel people picked up our bikes and luggage at 1 pm so we had to have everything packed and ready to go. This was actually pretty complicated because we had to give over our panniers and bikes but keep a change of clothes for tonight/tomorrow, our pjs, and a set of cycling clothes. It forced a total repacking project- always challenging for us.  Our guides showed up right on time, 3 very nice men from the US,  Bulgaria and Spain.

After the successful pick up Dave and I walked downtown to La Fabrica, which is kind of a cult cycling cafe. On a Saturday afternoon it was filled with a lot more people than just cyclists and we were favorably impressed. We had coffee and a cookie and then both bought a La Fabrica cycling jersey! 250 euros later….. I’m sure you’ll see us in them later in the journal. Girona was hopping again. We learned that the flower festival was going on and the town was jammed for it. 

An interesting town to walk in.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Overflow crowd at Cafe Fabrica where e you can wait for a table or they will serve your order on the steps.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Inside the cafe.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 1
Mike AylingWho got the smaller one?
Reply to this comment
3 weeks ago
The town was so busy from the festival that they imposed one way directions on the crowded bridges.
Heart 4 Comment 0

We met our friends that evening. They had made it in from South Carolina after only a mild delay in Chicago and we walked downtown and had a really fun evening having laughably inexpensive tapas and wine which was great. They supposedly keep track of your tapa order by your toothpick count but we are skeptical of that based on the bill which was significantly less than we expected.

Our friends, Jim & Diana from South Carolina.
Heart 1 Comment 0

We meet the Trek Travel group in the morning. A new stage of our adventure.

You may not hear from us until the end of the week as we will be swimming in the luxury of someone else doing the planning for the next 5 nights.  Stay tuned.

Rate this entry's writing Heart 7
Comment on this entry Comment 0