Are you looking for a fabulous day trip from Barcelona? Would you like to find a quaint little Catalan town to stay in for a few days or forever? I want to tell you about Girona, an exquisitely beautiful little walled city with a history that dates back to 79 B.C

Girona is incredibly lovely. Situated 99km northeast of Barcelona in the heart of Catalunya, Girona is the perfect place to escape to for a day trip, but also would make a gorgeous home-base for your entire Catalan vacation. While I was walking around soaking up the beauty of this darling town I kept thinking I would like to run away here for a couple of weeks, or even longer.

10 Things You Must Do In Girona

1. Game of Thrones Tour

Girona Game of Thrones

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Parts of season 6 were filmed in Girona. I haven’t seen season 6 but apparently it was a big deal. Game of Thrones fans can take a walking tour of the filming locations.

Girona Game of Thrones

Apparently the guides even have iPads to show you clips from the show to help you identify the places you are seeing. I haven’t taken the tour but have been told that Viator runs them.

2. Cross the Eiffel Bridge

Eiffel Bridge Girona

 

Two years before he built his famous tower Gustav Eiffel built a bridge in Girona. In December it was covered in yellow ribbons.

Eiffel Bridge Girona Spain

Just seeing the Eiffel Bridge juxtaposed against the prettily colored buildings across the Onyar river is a little surreal, but fittingly magnificent.

Eiffel Bridge Girona Spain

3. Climb the Cathedral Steps

I couldn’t figure out why the cathedral seemed off kilter until I realized it only has one tower! The steps of the Girona cathedral are not only never ending, but also very popular. (If you want a good photo you need to get there first thing in the morning, otherwise you will have stair-climbers in your pictures.)

Girona Cathedral

For those of you who enjoy burning quads and lungs and do make it up to the top, see if you can spot the witch. Legend has it that a witch used to hide up there and throw stones. As punishment she was turned into a gargoyle and now spits rainwater instead of curses. Look for her amongst the gargoyles – she really is up there!

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4. Visit the Arab Baths

I was so disappointed that by the time I actually found the Arab Baths they had closed for the day. I was there in December when they closed at 2 pm. Built in the 12th century in the Romanesque style with Saracen accents, the baths were in use until the end of the 14th century, and then were restored in the 20th century. Famous for their beauty and for the play of light and dark these baths are a must see on your trip to Girona. Just don’t be like me and miss them – go early!

5. Walk the Medieval Walls

Passeig de la Muralla Girona

The Passieg de la Muralla, or the walkway that spans the length of the wall on the eastern border of the old town of Girona give you the advantage of being up high to take in the sweeping views of this beautiful city. The walls don’t circle the city anymore, but you can still have an extended walk. I was advised to go up in the late afternoon after the sun has peaked and is beginning to soften. It made for really beautiful views but not such great photos for an entirely novice photographer. It was however one of my favorite activities while I was there!

Medieval Wall Girona Spain

Of course I got lost and went up from the direction they advise you to go down, but we spent a good hour just exploring the ramparts and soaking up the history before eventually getting to the wall. Along the way we met other people who were equally lost, so I did feel somewhat vindicated!

Girona Spain

View of Girona from the Passeig de la Muralla

 

Medieval wall Girona

I wonder how many arrows were fired through here by soldiers up on the wall, protecting Girona?

Medieval Wall Girona

However you get there and whichever end you start at, go walk the medieval wall.

6. Wander The Jewish Quarter

Girona Spain

The Jewish Quarter, known as El Call, is one of the best preserved in Europe. In the 12th century Girona was home to one of the most important Kabbalistic schools in all of Europe. The Jewish community flourished here from the late 10th century until 1492 when the Catholic Church outlawed Judaism, forcing everyone to either convert or go into exile.

More than 500 years later the maze-like winding alleyways and cobblestoned lanes of El Call are still intact, and wonderful to explore.

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7. Look Along The Onyar

Girona Spain

From any of the many bridges crossing the Onyar the views are just so incredibly pretty. At first glance it reminds me of Florence, but once that semblance passes, this view is the heart of Girona.

 

8. Enjoy A Long, Slow Lunch on La Rambla de la Llibertat

La Rambla Girona

 

We walked all over the old town before stopping for lunch at La Tasca on La Rambla de la Llibertat. La Rambla de la Llibertat was originally a wide market street but now is lined with restaurants and cafes all with tables outside on the pavement under an arbor of trees. It is gorgeous.

Lunch in Girona Spain

It may have been that it was low tourist season, but everywhere we looked it was mostly locals at all the restaurants, which is always a good sign! All were enjoying a long, slow, Catalan lunch, so we did the same.

We were there on my birthday, so in it’s own way it was extra special. To me anyway.

Corinna B in Girona

Catalan food

We had Iberian ham and cheeses, local bread from the bakery across the street, Catalan escargots and a spicy bowl of patates bravas, along with a really incredible local wine and some coffee.

Lunch Girona Spain

It was a Sunday afternoon and a local band was playing Catalan folk music at the far end of La Rambla with the town’s old folks all dancing. It actually felt as though we were extras in a movie. Definitely block off time to enjoy a long lunch in Girona!

9. Kiss The Lion’s Bum

Much like rubbing the Cinghiale’s nose guarantees you will come back to Florence, Girona has its own statue that promises you a return trip. This time instead of a nose rub you need to do some butt kissing.

Girona Lion

“Qui besa el cul de la lleona retorna a Girona”

“Whoever kisses the ass of the lion will return to Girona”

Lion Girona

First you have to find the statue of the lioness in the Placa de Sant Feliu. It could be argued that she is scampering up the pole to get away from tourist lips, but legend has it that if you climb the specially placed steps and plant a big smooch on her derriere you are guaranteed to come back to Girona.

Lions Butt Girona

This town is so completely lovely I just had to kiss the lion’s bum!

The original Romanesque pole and lion were erected in the 12th century. As time passed and legend was created the lion became a lioness. The original statue is in Girona’s Museum of Art, the current statue being erected in 1986.

10. Drink Cava in Plaça Indepencia

My original plan had been to stay at least one night in Girona, but I had to cut the trip short, so ended up just making a day trip. In my overnight plan I was going to end the day in Plaça Indepencia, sipping cava as the sun went down, and maybe starting the next day back there for coffee.

Placa Independencia Girona

This plaça is so pretty with a slightly shabby old world charm. We did manage to end the day in Girona sitting at an outdoor café (next to a heat lamp – it was freezing out!) with a crisp, bubbly glass of local cava. It was one of those glorious travel experiences that becomes a defining travel memory. The view was so lovely, the atmosphere was perfect.

Placa Independencia Girona

It was December so the center of the Plaça was full of Christmas market stalls and local families wandering and stopping for a late afternoon coffee or glass of wine.

Placa Independencia Girona

I really hope that you will take the time to visit Girona, if not for a few days then at least for a day trip from Barcelona.

You can get to Girona by train from the Barcelona Sants station. The regular train takes 54 minutes and the fast train takes 38 minutes. There are 24 trains per day from Barcelona to Girona.

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Allianz Travel Insurance

Milk Blur Stick

Have you tried the Milk Makeup Blur Sticks? Do you want to create a smooth, matte finish to your makeup while minimizing your pores? I think that is pretty much all of us, right? I’m pretty excited about these products and you to know about them too.

Last week I was honored to be one of 10 bloggers invited to a Bubbly and Brunch business event that was sponsored by Sephora. I love mimosas, I love getting to meet other bloggers and I love getting a big gift bag from Sephora!

The event itself gives brands a chance to meet one on one with bloggers, make some connections, and see if you might be a good fit for some business collaborations. I love getting to meet people face to face, and frankly I just love chatting with everyone!

Anyway, this is not a sponsored post, but I wanted to tell you about these Milk Makeup Blur Sticks that were in my gift bag from Sephora.

I hadn’t actually tried these prior to last week, but I think they are pretty fabulous. Blur sticks can either be used as a pre makeup mattifier, to prep the skin and get it ready for makeup, or you can wear it alone on bare skin.

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What Is A Blur Stick?

I received both the original Blur Stick and the Luminous Blur Stick.

Milk Blur Sticks

The Original Blur Stick acts like the best selfie filter you have ever used. It minimizes the appearance of pores, fine lines and imperfections with its blurring microsphere technology. When used to prep the skin under makeup the Blur Stick makes foundation glide on smoothly and leaves you with a matte finish.

Milk Blur Stick

If you tend to get shiny, or if your forehead seems to look shiny in photos (mine always does!) you will love this. Blurring technology diffuses light and stops it from bouncing off your face, giving you that lovely filtered look. Unlike other mattifiers it gives your skin a soft finish rather than a dried out, dead matte look. You skin still looks alive.

I like it under makeup but I also like it on its own. I have good skin, but without makeup on it often looks shiny. Today I am wearing the Blur Stick by itself and it not only makes my skin look nice (and not shiny) but it also doesn’t feel like there is anything on my skin. I love it!

The other Blur Stick I received was the Luminous Blur Stick.

Milk Luminous Blur Stick

The Luminous Blur Stick works like the original to filter your skin, minimize fine lines and pores, but it has a golden pearl infusion that makes the skin glow. As the warmer months approach and we start seeing more skin again the Luminous Blur Stick is a lovely way to highlight your shoulders and collar bones and make the skin look radiant.

If you have a combination skin you can mattify your T zone with the original Blur Stick and add some glow to your cheeks with the Luminous Blur Stick.

If you are getting married the original Blur Stick is a fantastic pre makeup product to keep your skin looking soft filtered!

How Do You Use A Blur Stick?

Blur Sticks are really easy to use. Once your skin care has soaked in you literally just draw the blur stick across your forehead, cheeks, nose and chin and then buff it out with a duo fiber brush, a makeup sponge, or your fingers! This product is designed to be like a veil over your skin, so keep your application sheer.

Milk Blur Stick

If you have dry skin make sure you moisturize well before using your Blur Stick. If you make dry skin look more matte it can end up making it look even drier. If you are well moisturized before using your Blur Stick you will achieve that gorgeous soft focus finish.

If your skin has a rough surface be sure to exfoliate it first.

RELATED POST: MY PERSONAL SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

Some other interesting things about the Milk Blur Sticks:

Both types of Blur Stick are oil free and silicone free. I actually use silicone based foundations, so cosmetic silicones don’t bother me, but I know that they do bother some people.

The Luminous Blur Stick is also Vegan, Cruelty free and Gluten free.

The Original Blur Stick is also Vegan, Cruelty free, and Gluten free, but is Talc free, Soy free and non comedogenic too.

You can find Milk Blur Sticks online here at Sephora.com (affiliate links)

Here are some tutorial videos for Blur Stick and for Luminous Blur Stick.

 

Hi Everyone!

I was on NBC this morning doing a Fifty Shades Freed inspired Valentines Day makeup look.

Are you going to see the new Fifty Shades Freed movie? It will be in theaters on February 9th, but if you are in Arizona and would like to go to a private pre-screening of the movie Universal Pictures has given me 5 pairs of VIP Passes to give away here on the blog! You can see the details at the bottom of this post.

But let’s talk about Valentine’s makeup.

I’m going to let you in on a secret. Most men really don’t like a face full of makeup. If you spend forever perfecting your contour, whipping out the absolute most perfect winged liner ever, or blowing out the greatest smoky eye in the history of the world, your guy just won’t care! Men seldom go crazy over a big makeup. If nothing else it looks somewhat scary. The best way to super woo your man with your makeup is to scale it back. Choose glowing skin, keeping foundation to a minimum. Softly enhance your cheeks with a cream blush, gently accent your brows and keep eye makeup a little more neutral.

Valentine’s Day is the festival of smooching, so you should draw all the attention to your mouth. Make your lips the focus with a bold, sexy shade such as a red, cerise or fuchsia. Reds make you look a little wild, a little femme fatale. Just make sure you use a formula that isn’t glossy and doesn’t wind up all over your glass.  Men don’t want that all over them so a big glossy lip tends to be the anti-kiss formula! Choose a hydrated matte or longer wear satin so that you don’t have to worry about it getting all over your teeth and you don’t have to keep checking in the mirror to make sure its still on.

As promised in the TV spot, here is a list of the products I used today along with affiliate links:

To Prep The Skin

Sonia Roselli Water Balm available here on Amazon.com This is my new favorite product. It is the perfect pre-makeup prep balm, keeping the skin gorgeously hydrated but not slippery, so makeup glides on but stays in place. The most important thing that you can do to keep your makeup looking beautiful is to get the hydration situation perfect before you put makeup on.

The Foundation

My favorite foundation is Makeup Forever HD Ultra Foundation. It is really concentrated, so you can get a flawless finish to the skin using only a tiny amount. This means that you don’t have a thick, caked on foundation, yet you can still get a lovely coverage. Makeup Forever HD Foundation is available here at Sephora

Glowing Cheeks

I created a soft cheek by first applying a little Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light, just enough to create a glow and make the complexion look radiant. My favorite blushes are cream blushes, soI added color with Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Moon Beach.

Brows and Lashes

My model Angelina has fabulous brows, so I just added a little Anastasia Brow Definer to enhance them. I love the slanted angle of this pencil, and the colors are fabulous. You can get them here at Sephora.

I mixed a few different eye shadows together from my kit but I gave Angelina layers of Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes  mascara topped off with some demi wispie lashes.

The Lips

If you are going to wear a matte lip it must be a hydrating matte, otherwise the lip will start to look dead. I love Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipsticks because they are super hydrating and keep the lip looking kissable, yet are also matte. The absolute perfect shades for Valentine’s Day are Matte Revolution, The Queen which is a cerise that reads like a pinky red and is madly sexy, or the ultimate red lip, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Red Carpet Red. Red Carpet Red is an old Hollywood glamour red, and is just timeless.

In the Fifty Shades Freed movie Anastasia Grey wears a beautiful glowing skin, barely there makeup and a bold neutral lip. I prefer a little pop of color on the lip for Valentine’s.

If you would like to see a screening of Fifty Shades Freed before it opens to the public nationwide on February 9th, Universal Pictures has given me 5 pairs of VIP passes to giveaway. You can see details here, or just enter in the Rafflecopter widget below.

 

Enter to win a pair of VIP passes to a private screening of Fifty Shades Freed here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post contains affiliate links. See Disclosure Page to learn how this blog uses affiliate links