Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

A señorita in Girona

Laid-back culinary capital of northeast Spain.

The Pyrenees and hills of la Garrotxa above the chapel terrace in San Bartomeo de Torres, near Girona.
The Pyrenees and hills of la Garrotxa above the chapel terrace in San Bartomeo de Torres, near Girona.

It wasn’t long ago that we visited Girona. After a six-hour drive from Nice, France, and just a few drops of fuel left, we arrived in the northeast conurbation of Catalonia.

Café in the center of town.

It was impossible to disassociate past from present. We walked the town’s pedestrian cobblestone streets while marveling at its architecture, medieval walls and cornucopia of gastronomic delights. We salivated over some of Catalonia’s most famous dishes such as cap-i-pota de vedella (cow’s head and feet) and bacallà amb samfaina (salt cod with ratatouille). This was a place to be hungry. After all, what lies in heart of Girona is the best restaurant in world, El Celler de Can Roca.

One of the fascinating things to witness here is the eclectic mix of faiths. Catholics takes pride in the 18th century cathedral of Santa Maria of Girona, while the Jews have their Jewish Ghetto – one of the biggest and best preserved in Europe. As for the Moorish, their claim to fame is the Arab Baños (baths) that date back to 1194. Local legend has it that if you kiss the bottom of the Leona de Girona statue, you'll return to Girona one day.

The Garforth's restored 15th-century stone villa in San Bartomeo de Torres.

Our dear friends Steve and Bea Garforth were right; Girona reflects life in the surrounding countryside and has a distinctly laid-back vibe to it. This was instantly apparent when they opened their doors of their stone villa to welcomed guests and travelers in the rustic village of San Bartomeo de Torres.

“It was Guillem de Torres, a crusader, who founded this place after his return from the Holy Land, carrying with him a thorn from Jesus’ crown at the crucifixion,” Steve cheerfully narrated. “After his death in 1253, the Benedictine monks constructed the chapel, where the thorn was kept until the 15th century, then later was moved to a nearby church.”

“It was all in ruins before it became our home for 10 years,” Bea added, as we all gazed at sweeping vistas of the snow-capped Pyrenees and la Garrotxa's volcanic hills in the distance.

The Garforths have transformed a piece of history into a lovely nook to linger in. I kept on dreaming about it, sitting on the terrace like a señorita. It surely won’t take a legend like kissing the lion’s butt to convince us to go back.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Brackett and Wilder go to Hollywood

The pair collaborated on 14 pictures together
Next Article

Will a $46,000 federally funded COVID-19 drone fly in El Cajon?

Justice Department money for aerial spy cams rejected in South Carolina
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

The Pyrenees and hills of la Garrotxa above the chapel terrace in San Bartomeo de Torres, near Girona.
The Pyrenees and hills of la Garrotxa above the chapel terrace in San Bartomeo de Torres, near Girona.

It wasn’t long ago that we visited Girona. After a six-hour drive from Nice, France, and just a few drops of fuel left, we arrived in the northeast conurbation of Catalonia.

Café in the center of town.

It was impossible to disassociate past from present. We walked the town’s pedestrian cobblestone streets while marveling at its architecture, medieval walls and cornucopia of gastronomic delights. We salivated over some of Catalonia’s most famous dishes such as cap-i-pota de vedella (cow’s head and feet) and bacallà amb samfaina (salt cod with ratatouille). This was a place to be hungry. After all, what lies in heart of Girona is the best restaurant in world, El Celler de Can Roca.

One of the fascinating things to witness here is the eclectic mix of faiths. Catholics takes pride in the 18th century cathedral of Santa Maria of Girona, while the Jews have their Jewish Ghetto – one of the biggest and best preserved in Europe. As for the Moorish, their claim to fame is the Arab Baños (baths) that date back to 1194. Local legend has it that if you kiss the bottom of the Leona de Girona statue, you'll return to Girona one day.

The Garforth's restored 15th-century stone villa in San Bartomeo de Torres.

Our dear friends Steve and Bea Garforth were right; Girona reflects life in the surrounding countryside and has a distinctly laid-back vibe to it. This was instantly apparent when they opened their doors of their stone villa to welcomed guests and travelers in the rustic village of San Bartomeo de Torres.

“It was Guillem de Torres, a crusader, who founded this place after his return from the Holy Land, carrying with him a thorn from Jesus’ crown at the crucifixion,” Steve cheerfully narrated. “After his death in 1253, the Benedictine monks constructed the chapel, where the thorn was kept until the 15th century, then later was moved to a nearby church.”

“It was all in ruins before it became our home for 10 years,” Bea added, as we all gazed at sweeping vistas of the snow-capped Pyrenees and la Garrotxa's volcanic hills in the distance.

The Garforths have transformed a piece of history into a lovely nook to linger in. I kept on dreaming about it, sitting on the terrace like a señorita. It surely won’t take a legend like kissing the lion’s butt to convince us to go back.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

South by Southwest Cinema, Achieving your Zero Waste Potential

Events May 31-June 3, 2020
Next Article

Larry Johnson: poet and author of Veins and Alloy

A past contributor to the San Diego Reader
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close