Thursday, October 27, 2011

Life in Barcelona Oct. 24

Life in Barcelona         Oct. 24

View of Barcelona old city, from our marina 

A gorgeous sunny afternoon at the beach, a short walk from the marina 

The famous Cassa Batllo by Gaudi 

We like this artistic chair and lamp post! 

Placa de Catalunya, at the center of town

Barcelona is truly an amazing city. We’ve been here over three weeks now, going out sightseeing almost everyday, but so far we’ve barely seen half the city, and very superficially. Everywhere we turn there are magnificent buildings, interesting museums, impressive squares, beautiful parks, not to mention the signature Gaudi buildings. The city has done a wonderful job of laying out the roads to accommodate bicycles, and most streets have dedicated bike lanes, making it safe and easy to commute by bike. We are making full use of our two foldable bikes and go nearly everywhere with them. However the popularity of bikes also makes bikes targets for thefts; we use three locks on our two bikes.

Tapas! Yum!

Typical elegant apartments. Beautiful ironworks and stainglass.  

The AMAZING Sagrada Familia by Gaudi. Took a hundred years to build and not quite finished yet.

 Inside the Familia

We’ve settled into a pattern with our lives here in this big city. We get a fresh loaf of bread every morning for breakfast – Ben jogs the 5 minutes to go to the bakery in town outside the marina. We do a bit of exercise, then do a bit of boat-work (yes there are always things to be fixed, cleaned, varnished …. ), try to learn Spanish (mostly Eliza) and sometimes we go to the library, also within a short walk, where they have some English books and magazines, and free WiFi. Often we just go for long walks. Port Vell marina is very centrally located. Within half an hour walk, we can get to: a long beach with a nice promenade; the Old Town, where all the tourist attractions are;  a couple of large, modern shopping malls; a large, beautiful park; and of courses, churches and museums, just to name a few. The marina is right next to a vibrant, middle class neighborhood, which has everything we need – countless resturants, several bakeries, half a dozen fresh produce markets – all at very good prices. We were pleasantly surprised to find that produce in season is cheaper here than Canada. The quality and freshness of fruit and vegetable are amazing.

Food Festival! Eliza is busy sampling.

A local produce market. Great selections at good prices.

Fresh bread every day! Note the wide selection of breads. Freshly made in the shop throughout the day

However life is not totally perfect, of course, and we do miss a few things. The weather in this part of the northern Mediterranean is not as mild as southern Turkey where we wintered last year. Now, in late-October, it is turning cold (15C to 20C daytime high), and occasionally, we have cloudy and rainy days. In Turkey we had spring-like sunny weather until December. The marina here, while expensive, has only very basic service infrastructure, and social life here is nowhere close to Kemer. So there are pros and cons. But cruising life continues to be interesting, and we are meeting new friends and having a grand time exploring this exciting city.

1 comment:

  1. The architecture!! Detail, detail, detail.
    In Ottawa today, I observed ice on the ground. Enjoy your 20 degree "cold"!