I was lucky to attend the Girona Flower Festival 2017, known as Temps de Flors. This was my first visit to the beautiful region of Catalonia in Spain. The Temps de Flors started in 1954. This year it was held from 13 to 21 May. The beautiful city of Girona gets decked in floral arrangements every year in May. The event attracts large crowds of both locals and tourists. I was invited to Visit Catalonia by the Catalonia Tourism Board.
The River Onyar divides the town of Girona into two parts, the old and the new. The flower festival happens in the old part. One of the bridges on the river, the Palanques Vermelles bridge (1827) was built by the Eiffel company of the Eiffel Tower fame.
We were given a map of the floral route in the city of Girona. But paper maps are the ultimate mystery to me, the only maps I can figure out is Google Maps. And that too because the dot moves away from the path if I start walking in the wrong direction! There were 62 exhibits this year, that should give you some idea about the scope of the festival.
The floral displays happen inside the monuments, town squares, open courtyards, gardens, and more of the Barri Vell neighborhood.
This predominantly white floral display was designed by a group of bankers, now who said bankers were the most boring people?
The designs are created by local designers and organizations. Not only floral genius is on display, but technology is used to enhance the experience.
Thanks to technology I could see this scene as day and night within a few seconds! I preferred the night scene to the day one. The themes have interpretations, our guide gave us to them. But she also said that as the famous Catalonian artist Salvador Dali believed that the best interpretation is the one, that you define!
At Temps de Flors staircases become canvas for artists. I am going to continue in the tradition of Dali and give you my interpretation of this scene. I thought the artist tried to create the colors of Catalonia! This was one of the popular displays!
Our wonderful guide, Anna Aliu, told us that artists often pick up regional themes. Apples grow in plenty around Girona and they were present in many displays.
The best way to enjoy the Flower Festival would be to take it slow. It is spread over the old town and it takes a while to walk through it, even partially. If you were a local you could always come the next day! I spent around three hours here. Our schedule said two hours but we didn’t get out before three, that too reluctantly with me often bringing up the rear!
We went there on a week day and the place was still crowded. Allow yourself time because the popular displays have a queue. When I say of a queue don’t think of an Indian queue though, here you will get a well ordered queue with people who are patient and polite. Still, keep this in mind when you allocate time to the festival!
If you are staying in Barcelona and you wish to hop over to Girona for the flower festival, it is entirely possible. We took the Renfe Fast Train from Barcelona to Girona, it takes just 40 minutes to reach. However, if possible stay at Girona and enjoy the festival leisurely.
Girona Flower festival is a treat to the senses. From bright to sublime, they say it in different hues. Many old houses that are closed to public otherwise, open up their doors for the flower festival.
Girona is a charming place on is own, but with with the flowers it was irresistible!