The 55 th Temps de Flors has begun and if today's crowds are any indication, this will be the best attended yet.
This week Girona is the centre of the Flower Festival universe with concerts (mainly outdoors) and art exhibitions as well as most shops having some flowers in their displays which makes it a fun place to walk around for a few hours.
The Cathedral steps are pretty good this year as are the gardens around the Arab Baths and through the patios of the old Jewish quarter (the Call).
The Rambla and even the Onyar river get flower displays but Placa de Independencia is a safe spot to have a cold drink and a "menu" (fixed price lunch) while relaxing before joining the quest for more floral attractions later.
Well, another flower festival is here, or better said another "Temps de Flors." Girona looks splendid at this time of year and, excepting the crowds, is a truly delightful place to wander around taking in the small patios, chapels, street installation art and public buildings.
It is the best way to see some of the nicest private gardens and courtyards which are normally out of bounds to the average visitor.
The first weekend is always very busy but after that things calm down and it is easier to get in to the main sights like the Cathedral cloisters and Arab Baths.
For those that want less crowded spots the Cathedral Gardens, Old City walls and the Devesa Park are all good and shady alternatives.
To compensate for all the hard sightseeing there are plenty of open air cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlours to tempt the needy.
This is when Girona is truly at it’s most beautiful but at the price of being crowded. This Flower Festival has been run for over 50 years and has developed a big following from all over Catalonia and the world. The weather is usually lovely and warm without being the oppressive heat of the summer months and since the whole Old Town is strictly pedestrianized some exercise is involved in following the signs to all the patios, churches, gardens and houses open to the public. The best time to look around is early morning before the crowds or from 2-4pm when many people are having lunch or a siesta or both. Everything is free with the only restriction being the queues that form outside the main sites such as the Cathedral, Arab Baths and some of the smaller Churches. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants with tables outside where you can take a break and absorb the atmosphere.