Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Our First Guests

Our good friends from France, Mike and Nicci came down to visit us and see our new place for a few days.  It's their first time down to this area, they have never been to Girona or Barcelona.  They stayed 4 days and we had a great time.

The first day was beautiful (well actually all the days were beautiful).  We took the dogs to the beach for a long run.  Mike and Nicci brought their dog Skipi, who gets along really well with all our dogs. It was so great to be running on the beach in December/January.

We then headed to the ruins of Empúries.  Empúries, formerly known by its Spanish name Ampurias, was a town on the Mediterranean coast of the Catalan comarca of Alt Empordà in Catalonia, Spain. It was founded in 575 BC by Greek colonists from Phocaea with the name of Ἐμπόριον (Emporion, meaning "trading place", cf. emporion). It was later occupied by the Romans (Latin: Emporiæ), but in the Early Middle Ages, when its exposed coastal position left it open to marauders, the town was abandoned.

It's hard to get excited about an excavated site, but the location was beautiful and we tried to imagine what the buildings looked like and how they lived their lives.

Then we came back and took a long siesta as we were going into Girona to celebrate New Years Eve. We had a great dinner of fresh llobado (a spanish white fish), grilled calamari, potatoes and asparagus.  We have decided to start eating more fish since moving here, it's so fresh.

Our night in Girona was so much fun.  We arrived about 10:30 and went to an Irish pub (there weren't many things open).  The pub was packed and really fun.  Then at 11:45 we headed over to the steps of the church to await the stroke of midnight.  Catalan tradition is that each time the bell rings you must eat a grape - 12 grapes total.  You have to finish the first grape before the 2nd bell rings and so on.  If you can do it, you get good luck all year.  We all did it!

Nicci and I

Heading up the steps

Mike and I - Happy New Year

A bit dark....but celebrating the New Year
  There were so many people there and a band with live music.  Everyone was singing and dancing.  We had a fantastic time.  Actually our best New Years ever...normally we stay home and are in bed before the clock strikes midnight.

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