Just enjoying a siesta at my centrally-located hotel. Woken from my slumbers by Mr Chas on tour latest – a plain man’s guide to European travel. Will keep for next person who says it’s all too difficult.

The temperature here is 34 in the shade this afternoon. No wonder there are defibrilators in the streets.

This morning I left the hotel just after 8, thinking I would have a leisurely breakfast on my way to the centro touristico (or whatever that is in spanish). Stupido. Apparently, nothing happens before 10am in this country (in contrast to France, where patisseries and cafes are open at the crack of dawn). So I wandered about taking the odd photo, saying “buenos dias” to baffled looking Germans and generally passing the time till I finally found a little bakery that sold me a chocolate croissant and a delicious cup of coffee at about 9.30. Nothing like walking to find your way about, though, is there?

At the witching hour, a transformation took place. Doors sprang open, tables appeared, tourists emerged from their hotels and business was under way. I went first to the museum of jewish history, then the arab baths (sadly no longer operating as such), then a quick in and out of the cathedral before finishing up at the Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants (sadly no longer, etc). A good three hours’ worth of anyone’s time, covering all aspects of local culture – well, some at least. Followed by lunch at a riverside bar and back here for a couple of hours.

And I learned how to pronounce Girona. In spanish – hard h; in catalan – soft g. Almost everyone around here uses the latter.

Later this afternoon/evening (tardes), I’m going for a walk along the medieval wall. Probably a defibrilator-free area, so I hope the temperature drops a bit. How on earth do you play tennis in this climate?

Hasta pronto,

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