TBEX Girona, the Pyrenees and Beaches of Costa Brava

TBEX Europe ended for most of the travel bloggers on Saturday.

Girona, Catalunya, Spain was a welcoming environment for bloggers and photographers. I had camera envy as I watched so many bloggers with fancy lenses and DSLR cameras shooting photographs around the city. I did the best I could with my point and shoot camera.

Girona, Spain with the Eiffel Bridge

The iron bridge in Girona was built by the same Gustave Eiffel as in the Paris Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Bridge is a good location for photographs of old Girona.

Eiffel Bridge, Girona, Spain

The colorful mosaic of old buildings by the river are one of the primary photographs for Girona. 


The old quarter of the city had many places loaded with tourists and bloggers and some places where even in a city of travelers there was solitude to be found.

Walking the medieval wall in Girona.

Of course there were places in Girona loaded with people too; especially at night by The River.

TBEX 2012 Girona, Costa Brava, Catalonia, Spain

I booked four days of post conference tours courtesy of the Costa Brava tourism board.

The post-TBEX events really started on the steps of the cathedral in a late night post-conference party around Sunday midnight, September 23, Bruce Springsteen’s birthday. 

A re-enactment of Napoleon’s invasion of Girona performed in the city on Saturday night was followed by making new travel blogger friends before everyone went their own ways.

Like most battles there was a confusing situation surrounding the TBEX closing party held just inside the old city walls. Most of the TBEX attendees lost their way in the heat of battle following the soldiers into the old quarter of Girona and never found their way back to the small beer party. Quite a few bloggers found their way to The River to continue battling for drinks at the bar late into the night.
Nuria Valley, The Pyrenees
Sunday was a day excursion for me to the Nuria Valley of the Pyrenees, near the border of France. A two hour bus ride followed by a 40 minute train to ride from 900 meters to 2,000 meters made for a long day to spend 5 hours walking around the mountains.

The Nuria Valley of the Pyrenees is quite a sight to see at about 6,500 to 7,000 feet in elevation. Unfortunately the skies clouded over just after we arrived and cleared just after we left Nuria. The imagery was beautiful to the eye; not so much for the camera.

Horse grazing in Nuria Valley of Pyrenees Mountains, Catalunya.

Today was an incredible day at the beaches of Tossa de Mar, Giverola and Blanes.

Hard to choose which location is best.

Tossa de Mar has history with a 1000 year old walled city on the cliffs of Costa Brava.

Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava, Spain

Tossa de Mar has the most complete medieval wall along the Costa Brava coastline.

Big Sur, California is known as one of the most beautiful drives of the world. I think the Costa Brava road we traveled today rivals the beauty of Big Sur, California. The road is far more winding with true hairpin turns along the Costa Brava.

Andy Garcia and Sharon Stone were supposedly in town for a film shoot. Part of the old city was taped off for the film. I didn’t see the superstars, but I did photograph a pretty red car that I assume will be in the film.

Movie car in Tossa de Mar

After checking my photos I guess this is actress Marielle Jaffe filming a scene in Tossa de Mar.

Marielle Jaffe filming scene for "What About Love?" in Tossa de Mar today.

Giverola offered a gorgeous cove and probably the best seafood meal I have ever eaten with shrimp, calamari, clams, mussels and sea bass at Club-Hotel Giverola. They were all separate courses over a three hour lunch with wine at the hotel resort.

Club-Hotel Giverola, Costa Brava, Spain shellfish lunch

Full Giverola resort and lunch review to come.

Giverola, Costa Brava

And I am writing this from Blanes on my hotel patio overlooking the blue Mediterranean Sea across the street.

Blanes, Costa Brava view from Hotel Horitzo

Life is rough.

Loving European living in Catalunya, Spain.

Terrible internet and an incredibly loaded schedule has kept me off the computer most of the past few days. And I just wanted readers to know that while my blog writing has been absent lately, my collection of stories and photos will provide many detailed posts to come on hotels and locations around Costa Brava, north of Barcelona, Spain in the weeks ahead.

Loyalty Traveler Disclosure: Costa Brava tourism provided transportation to the Pyrenees and Costa Brava beach resorts with meals and accommodations for the post-TBEX12 Europe travel blog exchange conference.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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  1. I was one of the bloggers that got lost in the battle and missed the party at the cathedral. Looks like I missed a good one then. Your post TBEX trip looks fantastic. Next time will make sure I will leave time to make sure I can go on one. Look forward to following your future posts.

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