Anne & Kirk Woodyard – Music and Markets Tours
We’re brushing up on the intriguing town of Girona, a 30 minute (fast) train ride from Barcelona, today. It’s the first time we’ve traveled on one of Spain’s fast trains, called AVE (bird), and yes, they speed us to Girona MUCH faster than we could drive there – like in a third of the time! All of us Slow Travel Tours members like to keep current with what’s going on in the places we take our travelers, and that was the reason for this springtime quick visit as we prepare for a private tour.
Here’s a toss-up for my favorite view in the town – which would you choose, between the mountain-and-countryside vista from the cathedral, snow-capped Pyrenees in the distance, and the lazily curving river with its colorful overhanging houses? I think the river wins – spanned by several bridges, even one designed by Eiffel! Crossing the stone bridge on our way into the historic center from the train station (an easy ten minute walk) a Palm Sunday market’s spread out along the river, with elaborately fashioned palms bearing little resemblance to their simple origins. Families are eagerly checking out the stalls, choosing just the right palms for each one to carry to church tomorrow.
We have just a few hours here before returning to Barcelona, and quickly walk through the town, enjoying the charming architecture, strolling the robust medieval wall and the Call, the ancient Jewish quarter, peeking in the shops under the arches – and finding, right under those arches, the best churros we’ve ever tasted! We know our Music and Markets guests will love these!
Returning to Barcelona, we’re drawn inside a palm-frond-filled church by quiet singing – as the fronds sway, gently waved, the melodies recall the millenias – old Hosannas of the first Palm Sunday….the celebrations have already started!
|The best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive.|
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
Since 2003 we’ve hosted Music and Markets tours in France, Italy, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, England and Spain, and in 2019 added Wonder Tours with a more intentional concentration on art and architecture, local culture, food and wine, and less time dedicated to concert-going.We also design and host custom private tours – previous locations include many French, Spanish, British and Italian regions.
Between our music-related travels, we enjoy our home in the south of France. While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups, Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over forty years of teaching and performance experience.
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.