Day 71 - Gorgeous Girona

Girona is a town about an hour north of Barcelona.  It is a beautiful town, and I think the Cathedral and the famous Eiffel Bridge (constructed by Gustave Eiffel just before the construction of the Eiffel Tower in Paris) over the Onyar River are the main attractions that draw tourists to this town.  The colorful buildings along the river, the lovely atmosphere in the narrow streets, and the warm people are all added bonuses.

We had a quick lunch at one of the restaurants on Rambla de la Llibertat, and headed to a phone store to get a new SIM card for our phone. 

Travel Tip: We have found that buying a prepaid SIM card in cities (away from touristy areas) generally gets you a very good deal.  In France, we were able to get an entire month of free voice calls in France + free incoming calls from the US + data service (for our unlocked iPhone) for just 30 Euros (we did not end up using up all the data).  In Spain, we had even better luck.  We have a better data plan and faster speed + free voice calls + free incoming calls from the US for just 20 Euros. When possible, avoid buying a SIM card from airports or even online.  It is much better to understand the terms and conditions in person.  Even with a slight language barrier, we have not been scammed :) 


We ended up at a Phone House in Girona, and the salesperson who spoke very fluent English told us we needed a Happy Movil SIM card.  However, they had to send us to Salt (a nearby town), since they unfortunately had no more in stock in Girona.  Off to Salt we went, which less than a 10 minute drive away.  The store was in a very large and nice shopping mall called Centre Comercial Espai Gironès, which was coincidentally right next to the hotel we had stayed at the night before.  We had seen the mall and considered going in earlier, but decided against it.  It seems fate brought us back.  

Anyone from NJ would feel at home in this mall; it looks like something you would find in Paramus, and most of the music was even in English.  We were a little worried the mall might close in the afternoon, as it was getting close to siesta time, but this mall means business, and the stores stay open all day.  

Once at the Phone House, we found the nicest sales people.  There were a series of issues at first, but they did not give up and they did not give us an attitude.  The woman, who was the primary person who was helping us, was genuinely nice, and when we got stuck trying to communicate, Google Translate helped us out :)  Overall, although it took much longer than anticipated, it all turned out just fine, and the at the end the sales woman, via Google Translate, said to me: "you deserve an award for your patience!".  Honestly though, she was working on it the entire time, so I couldn't be upset.  Meanwhile, the rest of the family didn't mind the delay, as they were just playing around in the Gamestop across the hall; Kian with a Nintendo DS and Hannah just making up stories with random video game plush toys.

With a phone in hand, we were able to let our hosts in Barcelona know that we were running late.  Once we arrived at the apartment, we were greeted by our host, who helped us bring all our stuff inside :)  The apartment is small, but it is the perfect size for our family (at least for a month).  We took a very quick walk around to check out the neighborhood and buy a few groceries.  We love the location, as we are literally near a bunch of supermarkets and bakeries and fruit stores.  I think we could go to a different one each time we need something!  I think we are going to like it here.