Saturday at Parc Guell

April 17th, 2010

houses to covet, apr2010

We wandered through a neighborhood nearby, approaching the park from a direction neither of us knew.

parc guell, apr2010

We brought a picnic lunch, ate it in the sun at a table just above the big crowds. Then we wandered up through the park, climbing higher and higher, looking back at the views and finding our neighborhood in the distance.

us with barcelona behind, apr2010

parc guell, apr2010

parc guell, apr2010

On the way back from the park, we went and got chocolate fondue with fresh fruit (pineapple, strawberries and bananas) at my favorite Xocolateria in the centro, and then walked home. A perfect Saturday afternoon.

Construction’s done!

March 14th, 2010

avenida de roma construction, dec2010

Earlier this year we talked about how the street in front of our house was a construction site. We knew this when we rented it, but didn’t mind because our actual apartment faces an interior patio and we couldn’t hear the noise. We got used to having to use a different route ever time we drove out of the garage for a while, and hearing drilling and the gears of tractors as we left the house. But a couple weeks ago they finished! And now Avenida de Roma, a wide avenue by Barcelona standards, is filled with spaces for children to play, and park benches, and space to wander. They’re still finishing planting grass and trees, but otherwise it’s done. We’re definitely glad they finished in time for us to enjoy our last couple months here a little more.

avenida de roma post construction, mar2010

avenida de roma post-construction, mar2010

By the way, for our American readers, notice the paving stones Juanjo’s standing on here. They are laid by hand, each one. And wherever there are irregular corners or lightposts or anything else, they are sawed by hand right there at the construction site. There were days in December when every time we left the house we heard the sound of a saw on stone, and saw the workers cutting and laying the street, one stone by one stone. Very different from the asphalt laid on our streets back home!

And then more snow!

March 8th, 2010

goofy guy, mar82010

bicings in the snow, mar82010 stuck in the snow, mar82010

view from our window, mar82010

No one believed the snow would stick, because it never does here, but it did, for several hours, right during Monday rush hour traffic. The city busses were stopped, the metros packed with lines snaking down the tunnels, and the downtown streets virtually empty of cars. People had hours of traffic out of the city and many train lines were late or canceled for the evening. Snowball fights on every corner, fierce umbrellas against the wind. And everywhere a feeling of amazement, to see so much snow, here, in this city by the sea where simply seeing a few flakes fall is an event.

snowy stairs, mar82010 snowy bench, mar82010

We went for a walk and got dinner out with friends visiting, and by the time we got home it had started to rain and melted most of the snow on the streets near our house. But the breathless expectation was still in the air. I think people will be talking about this for a while!

our street at night, mar82010

Snow in Barcelona!

March 8th, 2010

snowy monday, mar2010

This is the second time it snows here this winter, and the first snow we see (we were gone for the weekend when it snowed last month). Here I am on the way to the metro after a school visit this morning. After raining all night, and this morning, I came out of the school to find big flakes drifting down and melting as they hit the ground. Considering how warm it was Saturday it is amazing it’s cold enough to snow. It won’t stick, but it sure is pretty to see it falling!

Spring Tease

March 7th, 2010

spring view from montjuic, mar2010

biking in barcelona, mar2010 biking in barcelona, mar2010

Yesterday, a beautiful day. Blue sky, warm sun, spring flowers starting to bloom. We went for a run to Montjuic, our usual route, and then biked back. Glad we got out, because today the rain and dark stormclouds are back!