Saturday, January 24, 2015

January 24, 2015 -- Gerona, Spain

I spent all of yesterday afternoon traveling from Avignon, France here to Girona, Spain. I arrived after dark and used the GPS from my bicycle to get me on foot from the train station to the hostel. I'm glad I brought the GPS along. It's not ideal for navigating on foot, but it has gotten me to several locations when it was a bit dark to read street signs and attempt to navigate with a map. It had me worried for a time, because it had me walking up a narrow alley and displayed the message "Equity Point Hostel on left." I didn't see anything that vaguely resembled a hostel in that alley, but when I reached the end, the alley opened onto a large plaza, and sure enough, I had been walking along one of the hostel's walls.

According to my train ticket, when I reached the French side of the border, I had ten minutes to catch the train that would take me through the tunnel to the Spanish side. However, my train was more than 10 minutes late, so I thought I'd missed it. Then with some help from the French train conductors, I figured out the the train I was supposed to catch was actually the front section of the train I was already on. All I had to do was get off the train, walk forward on the same platform, and get back on the same train. On the Spanish side, I had an hour's wait for the train to Girona.

Incidentally,when I arrived yesterday evening,, the temperature was warm by European standards for January, in the mid 50s Fahrenheit or about 13 Celsius.

The picture below shows the hostel from the front. The alley I emerged from can be partially seen at the left edge of the picture. The hostel fronts on the Plaça Cataluyna (plaça is the Catanlán spelling for plaza).

Equity Point Hostel, Girona, Spain
I took the following photo from just in front of the hostel. Everywhere one looks in this central part of town, there are beautiful buildings, so it's not difficult to take an attractive picture. As you can see, the sky is blue and the sun is shining brightly this morning. The weather is a welcome change from the dreary drizzle in Belgium and France.

View from the Plaça Cataluyna
Because I am the son of a railroader and remember coal-fired steam engines pulling trains when I was a child, I always take an interest in anything involving old trains. The old locomotive in the picture below was installed in its present location to celebrate 150 years since the railroad arrived at Girona.

Old steam locomotive commemorates 150 years of rail transport to Girona
Finally, I decided I should take a selfie with one of the local residents. This guy, whom I met in the street, didn't appear too happy to have me standing next to him with my arm around his shoulders. Notice how he is disdainfully looking away from me.

Your blog author with disdainful friend

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