Good Times in Girona Part 1
Part 1 Good Times in Girona
Girona is not alike your typical destination for a bike holiday or general holiday. There is no place like Girona, that is probably what many people have written about this unique city, it’s just true. This lively city is anything but sleepy. Sitting between the mountain step of the Pyrenees and the vivid coast of Costa Brava, we find ourselves in a place that is beyond anything we experienced biking through Europe, so far. Climbing up the city wall one can not only see but feel the breeze of a joint venture of crystal clear mountain air and soft sea breeze.
Not only is the scenery of the Barri Veill – the renown Old Town of the city – a magnet for locals as well as tourist from Catalunya, Spain or any other country in the world. Walking through the narrow alleys of Girona is like a walk through the Middle Ages. Big yellow sand stones build their way up to the Cathedral, a truly magical place. About 100 stairs guide our way up to the stunning main entrance of this 1733 finished cathedral. That is by the way part of the season V shoot of Game of Thrones, just a little gimmick besides all the other fantasies this place awakes in us.
In other words, we truly feel the spirits of Girona to its very grounds. The most interesting time to visit the city is probably in April/May when temperatures climb faster and the soft mornings are heated up by strong sunlight. Busy semana santa, the national holiday during the most important festive times of the catholic church, is a true experience. Parades marching their way from the city center towards the Cathedral in Old Town, filling the air with a remarkable set of sounds that complete the mystic picture in front of our eyes. Even more interesting, for the eye, is temps de flors, the spring Flower Festival, that let’s Girona look even more magical. As you understand from our words it’s definitely worth a visit.
Being lucky enough to have come to this place for the first time in early 2017, when things were still warming up, Girona has become more important for pros and amateurs since. Genuinely, everyone who enjoys Catalan Lifestyle and a very decent set of routes to cycle will feel comfortable here. Strengthening your endurance and pushing yourself to more powerful climbs – Girona is the place.
Being convinced already we see another very positive upside, this place manages to become further and further rooted in the training plans of world class cyclists and triathletes. Initially the main reason why we made our way to Northern Catalonia – the routes, the climbs, nature. Just a solid five minute ride we find ourselves on the first climb, called Els Angels, the first kilometers of the renown Hinkapie Course.
Lance Armstrong and his supporting squad realized in the earls 2000s what most mainstream cyclists only know now – Girona is the for cycling. Needless to say the amount of routes is suitable for any kind of cyclists from coach-potato to pro-cyclist. It’s all about setting goals and expectations to manage your cadence, watts and heart rate. Back to business as we pedal just outside the city, leaving two roundabouts behind us, the beautiful scenery of subtropical forest opens up in front of our surring wheels. Taking in these moments if what we came for.
Launching Pippo is still exciting for us and our journey certainly just has begun. Making our way to Girona with the whole team is even more thrilling as we are going to meet Oriol Batista, a top-notch photographer and ultra-runner, (Oriol) who is supporting us with quality footage from his sensitive eyes using his Nikon - making our products look even brighter.
So it shall happen. A sunny Friday morning we meet Oriol, being the most relaxed person you can imagine at our favorite coffee shop ( Espresso Mafia ) to talk about the photo-shoot and obviously getting to know each other. Getting to know such a professional and focused as him was not really on our list. We were really thankful getting to know a local person supporting our spirit for life and sports.
Turning out to be one of us, Oriol agreed on the suggested route. Our plans took us from LLagostera to Tossa de Mar, being composed of a scenic climb and descend towards Sant Grau, a renown challenge among cyclists from the area.....
Big thanks to the Pippo team in person of Jenny, Nina, Jannik, Johannes, Marcel, Oriol and Hendrik without them Pippo wouldn't be were it is today.
Stay tuned for Part 2!
Make cycling great again.
Jannik from PIPPO