Early this week, I found myself in one of my favorite cities in Spain, Girona, to witness the annual flower festival in is full glory. From 7 to 15 May 2011, the city of Girona will be splashed in rainbow colors as flowers take over its streets and plazas. Temps de Flors started decades ago as a flower display competition, but today it has blossomed into one of the most important festivals of the city. There are over 110 flower displays scattered all over the city: in the main monuments, small squares and even private homes opened to the public for visits.
Sant Marti Church
Earlier that day, our tour started at the Sant Marti Church,perched on the higher grounds of the historical centre. On the steps leading to the church were a stack of brick-game blocks made out of flowers – an interesting play of colors and theme against the grey backdrop of the religious building. Inside the church, the use of fragrant lilies and silk created quite a dreamy wedding atmosphere.
As we weaved through the cobblestoned alleys of the historical centre, we would often drop in to private houses that wowed us away with the artistic displays of flowers. In a particular house, there were fiber-lit lamps hanging from the ceiling in one room and a twirling flower bed that dazzled visitors with its kaleidoscopic colors.
We wound our way to the heart of the city: the Catedral de Girona. Along the steps of the Santa Maria Catedral, a broken piano stood mid-way between a patch of green grass and another patch of colorful flowers. Our guide, long-term Girona resident Carlos Pongiluppi shared with us, “It’s in relation to the requiem. The flowers represent life, while the broken piano signifies death. Beyond the piano, there are no more flowers, meaning the loss of life.”
The main highlight of the flower festival for me was the Arabic Bath – within the dome-shaped interior, wispy vines and crawling flowers weave together creating a rather Eden-like atmosphere. In its backyard, I found bright orange butterflies (fans used to give the impression of butterflies) and beautiful orchids on display.
If you’re in Girona during this time of the year, be sure to catch the flower festival. For more information, check out the Temps de Flors website where you can download the program and itinerary.
This experience was made possible by Costa Brava Tourism Board and Tourism Spain but all opinions are my own. Read more about my travels in Costa Brava here or follow me on Twitter with the #InCostaBrava hashtag.