Riding in Girona, Spain
Girona, Spain. I could grow old in Girona. Not only is it a mere hour and 20 minutes by train from Barcelona (and therefore a large international airport), it is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Unlike the rest of Spain that I have visited, Catalonia is lush, especially at this time of year. There are creeks and streams coursing through thickly vegetated woodlands and perfectly groomed fields of shockingly yellow rapeseed and verdant grass crops. The topography isn’t all eery and flat either. The bluish Pre-Pyrenees provide a welcome depth of focus to the otherwise yellow and green expanses. It reminds me of the Piedmont of Virginia but with more intensified colors and without all the wooden fences.
The seamless progression from farm to farm is convenient considering that “Fireball” and I are here on a riding trip with the Spanish outfitter Equinatur. Since the majority of their clients are Spanish, the directors of Equinatur have not yet felt the pressures of litigious American riding tourism, which necessitates lengthy waivers and an overly protective program of walking and trotting. There is no such pussyfooting around here. Within a half hour of arriving on our first day we were already jumping in the ring as a warm up for our 5 hour long trail ride through the Catalan countryside, full of The Man From Snowy River style vertical descents (well, that might be an exaggeration, but you get the picture) and flat out gallops through the cultivated planes.
Practical Info: We found Equinatur Hipica through the English website Equestrian Escapes. Different types of accommodation are available including an amazing B&B/old manor house called Cans Solanas in nearby Serinya. For more info check out Equestrian escapes site, or Equinatur Hipica’s facebook page.