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Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona March 23rd 2019

Although we were exhausted, both Alex and I found ourselves awake at 1 am sweating and unable to sleep. After a bit of flailing about the room in the dark with a phone flashlight we found the thermostat and put the air on. It did such a good job of cooling down the room neither of us wanted to get out from under the covers. Finally around 9:45 we drug our butts out and down to breakfast. Hilton offered a fantastic blend of local and US type breakfast foods. We both had huge plates of fruit. I rounded out my course with two churros and chocolate. While Alex went a more health conscious route. Energized, we snagged our stuff from the room and headed out. First stop off the day, Segrada Familia was a couple metro ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona February 15th 2019

One of the hardest times in my life you found me. Emotional and vulnerable you gently, slowly and tenderly got to know me. You never pushed too hard or made me feel like I wasn’t being enough. I knew that even if all we had was those few weeks, you had come into my life for a reason. It’s been more than a few weeks now we are easily slipping into a few months, we are effortlessly making plans for the future and when I look at you, like really look at you, I can feel myself falling in love. One of the things I have to do is let go of the others, to finally release the pain. I have to consciously make sure that I am not allowing them to effect us, that I ... read more
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The road ahead

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona November 23rd 2018

Talk about zero dark thirty – my flights out of McCarran started at 12:35am to make connections in Minneapolis and New York – things were going well until my first connection at MSP – everyone had boarded for JFK and we are ready for takeoff, when our captain tells us that a snow storm, ice pellets and a blizzard just hit the New York City area and we are delayed. So we sat at the gate in Minnesota for over an hour (I promptly went to sleep), and finally we leave. Arriving at Kennedy some 90 minutes late, the place is virtually a “whiteout” – snowing like crazy, bitterly cold and flights delayed and/or cancelled in every direction – the place was a zoo! I made my way to the Delta Sky Lounge in terminal 4 ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona October 7th 2018

10/7/18 - Final day in Barcelona, unfortunately the rain prevented us from going back to La Segrada Familia were we attempting to stand in line to be among the first 500 lucky people to get inside and hear Sunday Mass at 11 am. Sunday is a slow and lazy day in Barcelona. People tend to sleep in late. The streets were quiet, taxis and uber were hard to find. Finally, after a half an hour of wait we were able to get a taxi and headed to the port and boarded our cruise ship. Symphony of the Sea, a big awesome ship. We were excited to get on board, once inside, it felt like you were in another city. This ship is magnificent, we felt like, okay, if we want to get lost this is the ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona September 30th 2018

Toulon pictures were attached this morning, while we were docked in Barcelona. I don’t know why it takes so long to upload in the evenings, but it is much faster in the mornings. Hello from Barcelona. GOOD NEWS – Janet is feeling considerably better. A combination of the medicines, smooth sailing, and extra rest has gotten her back to feeling more like a passenger rather than a patient. However we had decided previously that it would not be a good idea to take our excursion to the La Sagrada Familia Basilica so we cancelled those tickets. Instead we had a fairly restful day in port but still on the ship. It would have been interesting to see what new progress they have made in the past 2 ½ years, but we knew how much walking it ... read more

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona August 25th 2018

Whenever any of my friends go to Spain, I try to warn them about pickpockets. It turns out, according to Trip Advisor, that Barcelona is ranked at the top of cities for pickpockets. Madrid comes in fourth. Rounding out the five are Rome, Prague, and Paris. Europe makes up eight of the top ten! Hanoi and Buenos Aires are the only cities outside of Europe on the Pick Ten. Where might you be safest? Trip Advisor says Iceland! Most cities in Japan are safe, with Kyoto the safest. I agree! Less than an hour from many U.S. cities, Montreal is a safe place for travelers, especially the solo traveler. Ireland, just a hop, skip, and jump from eastern cities, is another safe haven for travelers of al kinds. Here at home, the obvious city to avoid ... read more
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Anywhere!

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona August 13th 2018

Highs and lows Scotland: H: party in Peebles with the family; WHW day 1 of walk, as Rach was there; day 3 scenery was just awesome, albeit in the clouds for some of it L: Rach not being able to do WHW days 2&3 Berlin: H: Berliner Dom with dad, and time with Mum and dad generally L: picking up wrong suitcase at airport; first experience of European smokers. Prague: H: that awe inspiring, ‘oh shit’ moment getting out of the cab in the heart of the city at our air bnb at night; mum’s enjoyment and comments during the night cruise on the river; feeling like walking through a fairy tale land (a wonderfully preserved old city) L: Bloody tourists were everywhere (I now understand where the collective noun for tourists comes from: a glaze); ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona June 17th 2018

More pictures. Noticed that I missnamed the Evangelists. Me BAD. Sorry. Not Peter and not Paul. Ten Hail Mary’s and one Our Father.... read more
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Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona April 6th 2018

Off to an early start again to once more beat the crowds to Casa Batllo one of Gaudi's most famous moderniste houses. It is a wonder that he was permitted to build such a place in the early 1900's with everything else being so stayed. I won't deliver a treatise on Gaudi and the moderniste movement, suffice it so say that the craftmanship was excellent, a lot of the features very inventive with the whole thing feeling almost like it cocoons you. After a couple of hours at Casa Batllo we ventured out to Parc Guell where Gaudi lived for a time creating an otherwordly park that he envisioned as forming part of a housing estate. The park is well worth a visit for the views over Barcelona alone. The crazy architecture lifts it to another ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona March 24th 2018

Not another beautiful day in Barcelona today - raining, raining, raining!! Forgot to mention that when we went to dinner last night, we discovered the lift in the building was not working, so this meant traipsing down & then back up 5 flights of stairs! Yep, you can imagine how happy I was about that!! So no lift, and raining - time for a quiet day. We did venture out to La Boqueria market, which is just across the road from where we are staying, and mostly undercover. Was very crowded, Lots of amazing food stalls, couldn't understand why one part was particularly crowded, till we got closer and realised they were filming Spanish Masterchef!! Managed to find something for lunch (pretty hard to choose) and then spent the rest of the afternoon watching the rain ... read more
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