Saturday, December 31, 2005
Barcelona seems like a great place to usher in a new year. The streets are filled with people enjoying themselves. Above is a photo of the Placa de Catalunya -- something of the heart of the city. This photo may make it seem like fewer people are out and about than really are.
One nice benefit of keeping this blog is all of the year's highlights (and some lowlights) are carefully catalogued in the archives and are easily searchable.
December once again brought a record number of visitors to my blog -- more than 650! Thanks to everyone who stopped by. I love looking to see what key words bring people to this blog. Sure are a lot of people interested in Shirley MacLaine. Whatever makes the meter spin is fine by me.
Here's hoping that Mother Nature has a more placid 2006. Happy New Year everyone!
There are two Hilton Hotels in Barcelona. Earlier this week I stayed at the Barcelona Hilton, which is located in the heart of Barcelona's business district.
Now I'm staying at the Hilton Diagonal Mar -- which is in a newer part of town near the ocean, the Convention Center and the Edifici Forum. There's not much to see immediately around this hotel, but there's a Metro stop very nearby so it's easy to go wherever I want.
I love this hotel. Very modern and comfortable. And one of the nicest Executive Lounges I've ever seen.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Had a very vacation-like day today and took it easy. Slept in, went to visit a local museum that it turns out is closed this week, walked along the beach, had lunch, etc.
I even cracked open a book -- something I rarely do.
Please note: I read A LOT. I monitor over 75 blogs -- you can "monitor" my blog by using the Bloglines Button to the left. I read three newspapers daily and over 50 magazines a month. (Is this coming off defensive?) I just don't often make time for books.
But I brought a biography of Truman Capote by Gerald Clarke with me and started reading it today. GeezBob lent me this book so long ago he had to remind me recently that he'd lent it to me when I told him I found it on my shelf after seeing the movie "Capote."
I'm really enjoying it -- only 493 pages to go. (Maybe that's why I don't read books -- what a commitment!)
Tomorrow it's back to Barcelona for the weekend.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Arrived in beautiful Sitges this afternoon after an easy 30-minute train ride from Barcelona.
What a charming little town. It's primarily a summer beach resort, so it's very quiet here right now.
But I'm enjoying the opportunity to explore it away from the maddening crowds.
Thanks to Jackie for suggesting I come here even though it's off-season.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Spent today on a major walkabout through Central Barcelona. I'm stunned by how beautiful and fascinating Barcelona is. I had to be careful not to walk around with my mouth hanging open.
It was cold today, but with a beautiful blue sky and lots of sunshine.
A lot of the time I was admiring the architecture of famed Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. The photo above is of his Cathedral de Segrada Familia (Church of the Sacred Family). It remains under construction even though he left no plans for it's completion when he died.
I got a lot of sleep last night and finally feel like I've turned the corner on my jetlag. Now I just have to get used to Barcelona's hours.
At 1:30 this afternoon a restaurant caught my eye as a potential place for lunch. When I came back at 2:00 there was a line out the door of people waiting for a table. When I left at 3:30 a tiny line was still there.
Tonight at 9:00 p.m. I went for dinner at a restaurant that was about 1/3 full. Over the next hour it filled up and at 10:15 a group of 21 people showed up for dinner just like it was another Wednesday night.
I'd read that Bacelona was a late-to-eat kind of place, but I guess I had to see it for myself to believe it.
Tomorrow I'm off on a 45 minute train ride to the seaside town of Sitges for two nights -- then it's back to Barcelona for New Year's weekend.