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Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona November 16th 2020

NOVEMBER 3, 2019 All good things must come to an end. It was finally time to say “goodbye Barcelona”. Goodbye to everything Gaudi, the Barri Gotic, Sobremeso (sit and relax, order some Pipas (sunflower seeds) with a nice glass of Rioja and watch the world go by). Farewell to my favorite Boquerones (White Anchovies cured in OVO & vinegar), and the amazing Crema Catalonia. Muchas Gracias! It was wonderful to walk in the footsteps of Fermin and Daniel (from The Shadow of the Wind) in the historic areas, including the wonderful Cathedral of the Sea, and to revisit this city, now transformed from its smokey and dirty caterpillar stage into the beautiful butterfly it is today, competing with Paris for Europe’s best city. Port Vell, with its harbor full of yachts and tourists, has become a ... read more
Dave climbing the stairs at the Palau de Musica
Porter's Lodge and entrance to Park Guell
Barri Gotic, Cathedral of the Sea

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona November 12th 2020

NOVEMBER, 2, 2019 Sadly, we came to our last full day in Barcelona. We were no longer living in the charming neighborhood of Barri Gotic and since there was nothing of interest to keep us where we were, we had breakfast at the hotel (of far less quality than anywhere else in Spain) and quickly left to begin our day. We walked down to the Metro stop to find the Red Route Tour Bus for the Hop On Hop Off City Tour run by the Barcelona Transport Company - TMB. Not an easy task. We were approached by a few other confused tourists looking for the same bus and since we had scoped it out the night before, we were able to help. We wanted to cover more ground in Barcelona before we left, and since ... read more
Charm found on Avenue Diagonal
Columbus points the way
Dave dwarfed by the Royal Gallery, Maritime Museum, Barcelona

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona November 5th 2020

OCTOBER 29, 2019 Our Gate 1 tour was over and we needed to check out of our the NH Collection Constanza hotel to get to our new digs by 9am. Before we left for our trip to Spain, I had made reservations for us to stay in a charming 3 bedroom apartment through Bcngotic on 6 Carrer de l’Argenteria, Ciutat Vella (Old City) in historic Barri Gotic. We had a quick breakfast at our hotel, said our goodbyes to Vera and our new friends then grabbed a cab to the other side of the city to check into our apartment. We quickly got our key, settled our bags, then ran to make our 11am tour of the Palau de la Musica (about 10 a minute walk from our apartment). We were panting but grateful we had ... read more
Lluis Millet Hall
Palau de Musica balcony, Lluis Millet Hall
Balcony view of the concert hall

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona November 4th 2020

OCTOBER 28, 2019 Gate 1 announced that this last day of our tour would be a “free day” so I had booked the Barcelona in a Day tour (in advance) from Viator. Dave and I took a cab to our meeting place from our hotel. Kathleen from our Gate 1 troupe had decided to join us for the day. We met our first Viator guide Oliver who is an art historian, most appropriate for what we were planning to see: the Sagrada Familia. Crowds had already formed at 9am so Oliver scrambled to get our tickets. Oliver began outside the church by explaining the three doors to the church which represent the Nativity (Birth), Passion (Crucifixion), and the Glory (Resurrection). Currently there are only 8 towers completed but when fully built there will be a total ... read more
Intricate skeleton-like structures support the vaulted arches inside the Sagrada Familia
Casa Mila from the street
Casa Mila window

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona » Barcelona November 2nd 2020

BARCELONA, Oct 27, 2019 We turned our clocks back one hour (Franco decided to change the time one hour forward) and we left Valencia at 8:30AM. I feel more rested, thank you Franco. Vera told us that after the civil war most people had to have two jobs in order to put food on the table. It was not easy to both eat and get to work. As a result, the time change gave them more time to eat later, yet, Vera told us, most people in Spain don’t know about the time difference in Catalonia. She said some of the locals want to change back to Spanish time but others think it culturally unique and special. As we knew from our travels before that Spain has a law that makes it mandatory that drivers of ... read more
Olive orchards viewed from the bus
Las Arenas, Barcelona
Dave enjoys the view on top of Las Arenas

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
Moon child
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




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