Archive for November, 2005

Jess’ Highlights

Wednesday, November 9th, 2005

It is so nice of Jules to set me up a log-in for his blog, I guess I better act a bit more grateful and actually utilise it. We have had precious little time to actually upload photos and write anything but on holidays that is a good thing. So, from my perspective the following things are worth mentioning:


Gaudi of course lived up to my expectations and thoroughly delighted me. See pictures in the gallery. For those of you who don’t know the work of Gaudi, he designed the gingerbread looking houses that you can see in our photos.

Mardi in Barcelona. My effervescent friend Mardi came with us to Barcelona and it was wonderful to spend time with her there. The experience would have been completely different with out her. She befriended Oscar the local that Jules mentioned earlier and he spent a couple of days with us as our personal tour guide.


Thank god for the Moto GP! I can’t believe that I am saying that but if it weren’t for the Motor Bike race in Valencia (Jules’ write up here) we would not have gone to Valencia or possibly even Spain! I loved Valencia it was so charming and a little more sophisticated than Barcelona. No tourists at all (except for Europeans on motor bikes). Definitely no annoying Brits or Americans milling around.

Gatos(say “gah toss”) is the Spanish word for “cats”. Incredibly the Botanical Gardens have dozens of resident gatos that are encouraged to stay there. In fact the entry fee of 0.60€ is donated entirely to the welfare of the cats. It was so much fun to keep an eye out for cats at every corner. They are so friendly and come running to rub up against your leg or sit on your lap if you are that way inclined.


I have left this to last which means that I won’t have enough energy to do it justice. Last night we went out for dinner with all of Jules’ family for his grandfather’s 88th birthday at Rules in Covent Garden. Rules is reputedly the oldest restarant in London and is full of amazing memorabilia from all the famous politicians, playwrights, artists etc that have frequented the place over 200 years. We had a private room with our own personal waiter for the 7 of us and it was just wonderful. The food was divine and very English.

Ok, I’ve had enough. I look forward to boring you all silly with a personal commentary on all our photos when we get back.



Friday, November 4th, 2005

Finally uploaded a small selection of photos from Barcelona & Valencia..
See them here.

Got my MotoGP tickets so it’s all on ;-)

Quick Update

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

Been in Barcelona for 4 days-ish and they’ve been the kind of ideal culture surprise that we look for when travelling.

I thoroughly love the fact that just about no-one we encounter speaks English. I mean, when I wander up to a tourist info desk or similar, I’m just wasting both their and my time by trying to struggle through various scenarios in Spanish given that they speak perfect English.

But when forced to do so, I constantly surprise myself with how much I’m capable of communicating in the language. The 6 months or so that I spent studying Spanish were absolutely worthwhile, I’m now so glad that I did. It’s a totally different experience.

This not-so-EasyInternetCafe won’t let me upload any photos unfortunately. Might have to wait till we get back to England. At the risk of talking about the weather, we’ve had sunny and 24 degrees every single day here. And it looks set to continue a little further south in Valencia with 24-26 every day. We’ll definitely go for a swim in the pond (er, Mediterreanean).


Is so important here that it deserves its own subheading. My body clock is in all sorts of confusion on account of lunch at 4pm, dinner at 11pm, drinking until 3am schedule. But it’ll deal with it ;-) They do a coffee that agrees with me here, which is interestingly not the case in Italy.

The people are mostly great. We’ve spent time with a nice Catalan fellow (Catalonia is not Spain, so they keep saying!) and more recently with a couple of Mexicans living here. People are generally happy to help and are not nearly in as much of an eyes-down hurry as Londoners. Mind you, you need to keep your eyes down here what with all the piss/vomit/dogshit on the tiny streets.

The streets of Barcelona are W I D E. Strange for an old city. Traffic moves quite briskly and you don’t get easily lost because they’re dead straight. Lot like Melbourne. Did manage to get lost on the bicycle today, though.

Something I probably wouldn’t have noticed had I not studied the language is that most signs in Barcelona are in Catalan and not Spanish. However most conversations I (attempt to) eavesdrop on are in Spanish, not Catalan. They have a strange relationship with languages here. Catalan is closer to French than Spanish. I struggle to read it and cannot understand a spoken word of it.

Moving on from my language obsession…. Overall this is a briliant city and I could potentially live here, though I’m certain I could not keep up with the hectic, exuberant state these people live in. Very, very glad that we’re not here in summer; it’s plenty warm enough and still thoroughly teaming with tourists. Me gusta mucho!