We had a mid-week break in Girona last week. Because I needed the dentist.
Despite the general all-round good quality of the French health system (though it’s not what it was), dentistry does not on the whole measure up. Ask anybody round here to recommend a dentist, and they’ll either say ‘not mine, definitely not mine’, or suggest someone miles and miles away with a weeks long waiting list.
So when my daughter over in Barcelona recommended her dentist in nearby Girona, it seemed too good a chance to miss. A quick holiday in a town on the ‘to-visit’ list, a chance to see Emily, and a pain-free set of teeth.
The dentist there sorted things out, but said he’d need to see me again. So we realised we didn’t need to dash round on some frenzied must-see-everything-double-quick self-imposed tour. We took our time. We wandered up and down the narrow stairways that make up the ancient Jewish quarter, walked the old city walls, and spent time in the cool shaded Jardins d’Alemanys. There was time for an early morning coffee, a relaxed meal, a cool beer in shady squares among the narrow back streets.
In its day Girona has been invaded by Romans, Muslims, Franks, enduring over 30 sieges in 800 years. As Robin Gauldie, travel writer says: ‘It’s like Barcelona in miniature, with all the history, heritage and great food but without the insane traffic’. We don’t need the excuse of a toothache to go back. There are churches to visit, museums to explore, gardens to relax in, meals to enjoy. There are riverside walks, and the countryside beyond. So much to do and see, but all within walking distance of the ancient city centre. Roll on my next dental appointment.
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