Archive for February 23, 2007

Moving to the Raval

We are moving to the Raval this weekend. Our rental contract is up on March 1st and since it’s not worth renewing it for another two months, which would have cost us another month of rent just to sign the paperwork, we’ll be moving in with our friends Jackie & Sebastian. I should be interesting to live in the old city for a while… Besides, I really like the diversity and energy of the Raval. It reminds me a bit of Kensington market in Toronto.

We’ve mailed a couple boxes to Canada this week but I think we’ll have to mail a few more before we leave on May 2nd. It’s amazing how much stuff one can accumulate in 11 months!!

February 23, 2007 at 5:12 pm 1 comment

Lunch on top of a mountain

Map of CatalunyaAs some of you know from Alan’s blog, last Sunday Sebastian, Alan and I took the train up to Vic for a bit of hiking.

What a day! We left Barcelona on the 9:22 train to Vic and our friends Pau & Mireia met us at the train station. We first met Pau & Mireia at Jackie & Sebastian’s place. Mireia is a PhD student who worked with Jackie at the research lab in Barcelona. Pau works as a contractor (sort of – they call it a “technical engineer” here) and, as a member of a hiking club up in Vic, he helps preserve the regions’ trails. They are a wonderful couple and some of the nicests & warmest people we have met here and the reason I get very deffensive when anyone says the Catalan are cold and unfriendly.

But I digress. Back to our hike. Pau had made reservations at a restaurant – Sanctuari de Cabrera – at a centuries’ old house on top of a mountain outside of Vic. It seems to be quite a local institution and families make a big outing out of hiking to the restaurant on the weekends. We drove part of the way and then hiked the last two hours to the restaurant. You can read all about it here. The path up there was wonderful and the building itself was…. well, you’ll see it on the slideshow below:

Click here to start slideshow

The place was obviously known only to locals. The owner freaked when Pau told her that we were from Canada & Brazil. It was the best trip we have done here. That’s what travelling is all about for me – going off the beaten track and connecting with the locals. And this weekend we got a taste of the real Catalunya…

Needless to say we had a wonderful time and will be going out with Pau and Mireia on another excursion soon… The question is: will it be the sleepy towns around the Pyrenees or the Costa Brava?

February 23, 2007 at 12:42 am 4 comments


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