My Girona

Spanish towns looking for some economic revival could have worse things happen than for Ryan Air to starting calling you ‘Barcelona’.

Off his tweets

Off his tweets

For example, Spanair could also take you under its wing –  in which case your town might experience a brief moment of lift-off before suffering a devastating and well-publicised crash.

I was heading to a villa in Girona’s bushy outskirts; keen to not only see the 20 friends who were staying there, but also whether the Catalan town was more than just a poor man’s Barcelona.

While not as geographically close to Barcelona as Ryan Air pretends (only more than one hour away), Girona is close to its southern big sister in other ways. For example, the locals still don’t necessarily speak Spanish; and the abundance of cheap alcohol is matched only by the over supply of southern French tourists.

As the plane in Spain fell gently on the lane that passes for Girona’s runway, one thing was clear – and I’m not talking about the aisle, which was already filled with fat English people. They were eagerly removing items like they’d just discovered packet crisps on discount at Tesco’s.

Rather, with an outside temperature of 36 degrees it was clear I wouldn’t be needing the jeans, jumpers and leather shoes that had seemed such essentials when leaving Paris.

Girona was hot. How hot was it? “So hot I’m going to get my psoriasis out,” said an Australian waiting outside with his friends. He unbuttoned his short-sleeved striped shirt and ripped it open at his chest. Seeing someone so eager to reveal an unsightly skin condition, I concluded that it must be hot.

We sauntered in to the baggage hall. ‘Wanted,’ said the poster on the wall, above six profile photos of ETA terrorists that looked to have been downloaded from their Facebook pages.

With no inbound passport control, the authorities obviously didn’t give weight to the possibility the Basque freedom fighters had been camping out in Paris at the weekend. Either that, or they were in their office waiting for the terrorists to update their status on Facebook.

Exiting the airport, I realised that Girona was cheap. A return shuttle bus ticket to town cost the same as an orange juice in Paris, and also lasted considerably longer.

My friend was due to pick me up in town, but he’d sent an early morning texto which suggested not only that I take a cab, but also that he had not yet slept and was probably in no state to drive.

I replied to ask if he needed anything from town. After discovering a party goods store next to the taxi rank, I was now only carrying things he couldn’t possibly need. These included an inflated blow-up parrot, cowboy hat and a hobo-dress up costume.

For its part, the hobo costume was destined to be a future birthday present for a friend. Essentially, the kit contained a hat and cigar. While the hat was a neat touch, I thought it would be more authentic if it didn’t contain a cigar, and instead the hat-clad reveller should be forced to ask others if they could spare a smoke.

Incidentally, one thing I did actually need to come with was a 40-year-old bass player from a Spanish hard rock band, namely because he was driving the taxi.

Arriving at the magnificent villa, I discovered it to be a 1550s building that had been suitably Australia-fied with swimming pool and barbeque.

My friend greeted me. His eyes were the colour of cooked prawns, while the scars on his legs bore witness to an early morning impromptu mountain climb.

Looking at him in his sorry state I realised another point in common between Girona and Barcelona. Both rhyme with hangover.

Girona...So hungover

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One Response to “My Girona”

  1. clem Says:

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ah ah ah !!!!! hilllllllllarrrrrrrious!!!!

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