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panorama of Girona

Those of you who read last year’s April in France blog will remember that Tom is a four-year-old in spirit. For example, every time a train goes by our Girona apartment, he points at it and yells “TRAIN!” If he’s really lucky it will be a “CAR TRAIN!” saddled with Seats.

But he has another great passion, and that is radio. Some of you remember that he was once “Major Tom,” KUGN’s low-flying traffic-reporter/pilot in Eugene, Oregon. He also was once a classical music DJ and knows how to say Tchaikovsky and even Handel.

He also loves ancient ruins, so when he lured me way uphill on our first major hike the other day, I was sure he was eager to visit that ancient fort, the Torre de Alfonso XII, which we can see from our balcony. What a romantic sense of history the man has!

towers seen from our balcony

The two towers as seen from our balcony. The Torre de Alfonso is at the left, hardly a tower at all compared to the radio tower at right. Click or tap to enlarge (all photos).

Soon enough, we were gasping atop Girona’s highest hill, jaws dropped from both the panting and the view (panorama at the top of this post). The old fort now houses the city’s drinking water facility and was all fenced and untouchable, and worse yet, not even old. It dates back to the 19th century, though built on a spot that saw its first fort in 1675.

photo of Torre de Alfonso XII

The Torre de Alfonso XII.

The morning was still young. I should not have been surprised that what Tom really wanted out of that hike was to walk another half mile south to the magnificent Jetsons-style radio tower (as tall as the Washington Monument, built for the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics), connected to cables and dishes and all manner of electronic hardware. He’d been gazing at it for ten days from our terrace.

photo of radio tower

Tromping past rustic farms with vicious roosters and mysterious weeds, we finally reached a gorgeous old ruined house with a teeny guard house punctuated with arrow slits.

photo of ruins

Mysterious ruins.

Tom turned his back on this glorious ancient pile and took a million photos of the radio tower, also surrounded by fences, electric gates, barbed wire, and warning signs. Unfortunately tours were not being offered. “There’s a lot of POWER here!” he said, sounding almost woo-woo, but not.

second photo of radio tower

Finally I dragged him away and found him another favorite thing — a beer. Sitting in the plaza, we watched tourists kiss the bottom of the ancient Girona lioness to ensure that they’d come back to town. Of course Tom kissed it too. There’s no such thing as a four-year-old germophobe.

tom kissing the Girona lion

Tom kisses the Leona de Girona