Archive for May, 2008

Thursday, May 29th

Well, today Alex and I made plans to meet for lunch. She was working at the archives and when we lived here I would often go there to meet her for lunch. Typically, we would go to this bakery on the other side of the bridge and today, planned the same.

I walked down Ramblas de Raval, where the famous bronze Gato de Raval is …………..

It’s huge

Just past there I picked up a bicycle at a bicing stand. You have to read about bicing in Alex’s blog, it’s an amazing system in Barcelona and a similar system has just recently been installed in Paris. Anyhow, I cycled over to the archives and sat outside waiting for Alex to come out. The sun was hot and the wait was nice.

Alex comes out and says that a blog friend of hers, Bruna, was helping out in a restaurant near there so we decided to go there instead. The restaurant is called Vonblum and it’s on C Casp 75. The website is www.vonblum.com (designed by Bruna of course).

Bruna is brasilian, like Alex. She’s originally from Sao Paulo but lived in England and Paris before moving to Barcelona with her French husband. She went to university in Paris and has a degree in Computer Science and Fine Art, only the French………….

Anyhow, we get there and she introduces us to Jessica who together with her boyfriend, built up VonBlum. (I had incorrectly said that Jessica’s bf built it up)  Jessica met Bruna though Alex’s blog. It’s a cool story so go read, yeah you know, Alex’s blog. She’ll go into more detail.

Bruna’s sister, Barbara, is the cook there…..

The food was great and filling and the place is really comfortable, well decorated and bright

It has neat little artsy decorations all over the place……..

I didn’t get photos of Bruna or Jessica but (yeah, you know)……..

Got home on a bicing and started writing this. We’ll try and meet Bruna for a coffee later on.

Here’s a picture of a face on a fountain…….

By the way, even though it’s been raining every day, there’s a drought here and all the fountains are empty of water.

Have a great day

May 29, 2008 at 11:43 am 5 comments

Wednesday, May 28th

Not much going on here until today, when I talked Alex into taking off the afternoon and walking up to Gracia, our old neighbourhood. We walked along Psg de Gracia and found they had placed enormous bronzes along the way. It made the walk up there quite pleasant.

Lot’s of work going on up around Diagonal and there were the marked trails for metro users to connect to different trains. I remembered those from when we lived here.

It’s quite the walk up and at some point we decided to stop for a cortado.

We were actually making our way towards the Gelateria in one of the plaças in Gracia and walking along the narrow streets brought a lot of memories back…….

Well, we got to the Plaça but decided to have chocolate instead. This place was frequented often when we lived here and has absolutely amazing chocolate…….

Once finished, we started making our way back down towards Raval. Alex wanted to go throught the plaça with the clock tower. These plaças are gathering places for families and their children and Alex loves taking photos of the kids playing. Needless to say, Alex made more friends there and took lot’s of photos too. Check out her blog for more on the day.

We found a Bycing stand and rode bikes back home. Once home, Sebastien made an amazing dinner for us. It was a good day………

May 29, 2008 at 11:22 am Leave a comment

The First Week

This first week in Barcelona was spent catching up with friends and setting up meeting times.

On Friday we met Joy for lunch out near Glories, To get there we took the metro to Marina and the tram from there to Glories. I love this tram, it’s so modern and efficient, too bad Toronto needs to spend so much time on analysis instead of doing, we could have a public transit system like Barcelona. No, it’s NOT perfect but leagues ahead of Toronto.

The stop at Marina………

Inside the tram………..

After lunch we walked back to Marina and on the way passed the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya. It is quite impressive and these photos do not do it justice.

On Sunday, we had to go out and get some items for dinner so we went out around 2:00 PM. Once on the street, Alex wanted to go and see the “Dancing Egg” so we walked over to the old archive building near Placa del Rei. It’s a beautiful building and the wooden roof above the staircase is from the 16th Century. It’s stunning. See Alex’s blog for more detail on this practice.

Alex taking some photos of the egg ……

Inside the cloister of the old archive building

There is a huge bronze door in the archives that depicts many of the Catalin artist Subirach. This is a small detail on the door…….

After leaving the archives we wandered over to the parc before surprising Sylvie at her place.

Alex sitting in Sylvie’s kitchen. She owns an amazing apartment in Bari Gotic (the old town) that she is remodeling and doing an amazing job of it too.

Looking out from her terrace…………

From there we headed back to Sebastien’s and Jackies for a great meal.

May 26, 2008 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

New Beginings ???? Maybe ……….

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve made any entries here. Hopefully, that will change starting with today’s entry.
I’ve spent most of the last year in Toronto playing online in Second Life as a photographer there. I also got back into playing guitar and fooling around with synthesizers. Needless to say, I wasn’t too inspired to continue blogging. Here’s some examples of stuff I did in SL.

On May 19th, we left Toronto and flew to Paris arriving in the morning of May 20th. After making our way to the hotel near the Bastille, we headed over to a restaurant near Places des Voges. Since it was a gorgeous day, we ate out on the terrace and took in the entire atmosphere that Paris always generates.

Needless to say, once dinner was over we were feeling a bit sleepy so back to the hotel for a short nap.

After our regen, we headed over towards Place d’italie to check out Butte aux Cailles.

A very different neighborhood and we spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around and stopping in at various shops, cafes and tea shops.

Wednesday, we headed off to Gare de Lyons to catch the TGV to Montpellier.

Quite the surprise when we got to our first class seats. Very pleasant atmosphere and comfortable. The sights along the way were enough to keep us glued to the windows. These Nuclear reactor cooling towers didn’t seem to fit in and overwhelmed the surrounding landscape.

Other sites reminded us of the long history that Europe has.

Once we got to MontPellier we walked across the street to people watch and have a beer, or Alex had a beer and I sipped. Loved the atmosphere there too.

At 9:45 PM we arrived in Barcelona’s Gar Franca and peering throug the crows I could see Jackie sitting on the bench waiting for us. It was great seeing them again. We hadn’t seen them for a whole year and it actually seemed like yesterday. We bagan walking back to their place and Jackie stops and says “Look, there’s your favorite restaurant” and there was Wushu. We just HAD to go in. It was an amazing greeting. Paula gave us Cava and Brad come out to show us his new kitchen. We felt really great, as if we’d arrived home.

We finally got to bed at 1:00 and slept soundly. Wandered around Thursday and of course went to Wushu for lunch. From there we walked over and surprised Sylvie working. We went back with her to her place and chilled for a bit.

Back to S & J’s where we downloaded the photos from today but………..Alex lost all of her photo’s from today and most of the train shots. She’s trying to recover them now.

We have to figure out why………..

Until next time

May 24, 2008 at 5:16 pm 1 comment


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