Temps de Flors signThis year they’re separated by only a week. They both began as small celebrations of flowers. Nowadays, one carpets the city with parades and carnivals. The other just carpets the city with flowers.

Photo of Portland Rose FestivalOver the course of a hundred and six years, the Portland Rose Festival in our home town has become an orgy of carnivals and parades. A casual walk downtown during the festival rarely reveals a single rose. The Temps de Flors (“Time of Flowers”) in Girona, on the other hand, honors its 58-year-old roots with a literal blanket of flowers, smothering every public space (and most private ones as well) with a plethora of petals. Wandering the streets of Girona’s old town, I can’t help but imagine what the Portland Rose Festival could have been if it would have grown up honoring the flower instead of the fest.

The Temps de Flors got underway this morning. Although there are no parades or carnivals, there is quite a party. Here, a city of 90,000 is overrun by 200,000 visitors. The place is an avalanche of humanity and horticulture. A camera hangs around every neck, including ours:

(Photo credit for Rose Festival image: Andrew Hall, PortlandBridges.com)