Tuesday, 25 July 2017

2017 Spanish Food Adventure - Day 2

The city walls of Girona and moving onto Calella.

We were up and out of the hotel fairly early this morning, we had a lot to look at in just five hours before leaving Girona. We went in search of somewhere to have some breakfast, my wife bought some tomatoes on the way to add to a sandwich.

We found a small cafe overlooking a bridge which looked really nice. I ordered a simple manchego cheese bocadillo and a coffee, both came to about €4 which seemed really reasonable.

The fresh bread was spread with sofrito (a tomato paste) and filled with my favourite cheese, manchego. On the menu it was described as a mini bocadillo so I initially thought I'd end up ordering a couple at least, one was just right though.

This toy shop was filled to the rafters with traditional toys. Whilst my wife looked at everything on display I spotted a window at the back which overlooked the river below.

The view from the toy shop window was quite breathtaking.

We made our way to tourist information to find out the location of the city wall. Nearby we spotted at least a dozen tree houses close to the river.

This antiaircraft shelter was built in 1938 and would have accomodated 600 people during the Spanish Cival War. Just in front of it were steps leading up to the restored Roman walls.

Originally a defense system meant to keep the town safe, now only parts still exist. Yet as you walk from tower to tower, you gain a completely new perspective of the town, with its mix of old and new. To start with there's not much to see but keep walking and your perseverance is paid off.

The views across the city are stunning! If you're feeling energetic and want even better views then be sure to climb one of the many towers along the way.

We walked almost the entire length of the wall but by the time we reached the area surrounding Bascila de Sant Feliu we couldn't find the final section. With only a couple of hours left in Girona we decided to admit defeat and go in search of somewhere to have some lunch instead.

This restaurant looked ideal, we sat outside in the courtyard and waited for a menu to arrive.

I do love a menu del dia, they're usually available at lunchtime and offer excellent value for money. We had a train to catch in just over an hours time though so time was tight, we ordered the €10 offer hoping it would all arrive in time.

We ordered a jug of sangria and with it came the bread. I'm not sure if anyone else does this or not but bread dipped into the sangria is delicious!

When ordering a menu del dia it's important to not get too carried away with eating the bread before the rest of the food arrives. On many occasions I've struggled with the second course due to being so full up on bread. It's difficult to resist when it's just sitting there in front of you though.

The first courses arrived and food envy struck.

My wife's Catalan spinach was so good! The pine nuts and raisins complemented the spinach beautifully, my wife kindly shared it with me.

My green salad with ham had to be sent back as there was no ham on it to start with. The ham and tomatoes were excellent but the lettuce was really bitter so not such a great choice.

My wife had made an excellent choice with her second course, vegetable terrine with a hazelnut sauce. 

My second course was really nice, thinly sliced roast beef served with a mushroom sauce. The bread came in handy at this point to mop the sauce up on the plate. We now had just half an hour before we needed to be at the train station, my wife rushed inside to ask for desert and the bill.

My wife ordered fresh fruit salad for dessert and I ordered the flan, a bit like crema catalana but without the crispy coating on top. We were really pushing it for time at this point though so with desserts finished and the bill paid we rushed to the train station, we had a music festival to get to in Pineda de mar.

Although the music festival was in Pineda de mar we were going to be staying in the neighbouring resort of Calella as it had more shops and restaurants. A direct train costing €4.50 would get us there in just over an hour.

As we passed Blanes we got our first glimpse of the sea, the beaches along this stretch of coastline are really beautiful.

Our home for the next four nights was Hostal Bonavista in Calella, a double room cost €53 per night. It had wifi, an en suite bathroom but no air conditioning. I can't bear being too hot when I'm trying to sleep so I'd been quite apprehensive about staying here. With all the other nearby hotels being so much more expensive though I'd decided to stay here anyway.

Thankfully there was a balcony overlooking the street below, I'd be spending a lot of time here. If you look into the distance you can even spot the sea, not the greatest sea view though!

We made our way to the beach for a quick dip in the sea, we couldn't relax for too long though as we wanted to get to the festival by 8.30pm to catch the Graveyard Johnnys.

I always really enjoy the crisps in Spain, these pepper flavour crisps were delicious. We had a quick San Miguel on the balcony and headed out towards the festival site.

We stopped off at a bar on the way for a vodka and lemon, as always the vodka was a very generous size.

A bocadillo seemed like an excellent idea before consuming more alcohol at the festival. I choose ham and cheese and my wife requested sliced tomato. It's can be really difficult to get sliced tomato in a bocadillo in Spain as usually the bread arrives spread in sofrito, my wife was delighted!

The first band we saw were Graveyard Johnnys from Wales, despite their early stage time plenty of people turned up to support them and they played an excellent set.

After the Graveyard Johnnys had played it was time to get even more drunk outside on the terrace. Lots of friends from Norwich were here this year, it was great to catch up.

As darkness fell more people arrived and the drinks kept flowing.

It was good to finally see Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers. My sister used to play their LP's all the time when I was much younger, because of this I knew their entire set. The bass player Joe from Graveyard Johnnys is Cavan's son, he joined them on stage which was a really memorable moment.  I must confess that after this I can't remember anything else about the night, too much alcohol I'm afraid! We did manage to get safely back to the hotel but I had a vague recollection of it taking us a very long time as we got quite lost.

Click here for
Day 3 - Recovery day in Calella


  1. Crazy Cavan and The Rhythm Rockers are another Welsh band from Newport. My best mate in school was their bass players son!

  2. Man, everyone has better trains than us!!! My mrs is in Athens and she sent me some pics of the modern trams they have!

    1. I can't wait to ride the bullet trains in Japan again in a couple of weeks time.