Thursday, November 17, 2011

Biking in Barcelona Nov. 17

It is now mid November, and the gloominess of late-autumn is setting in. After getting used to six months of blue sky, it was a shock to see the sky covered with dark clouds, which then turned into steady rain for days. But it is not all bad. The temperature is still mild, about 17C in the day, and flowers outside apartment balconies are still blooming. When the sun comes out, we take our bikes and go for long rides around the city. There are several main arteries that criss-cross the city with bicycle paths, much like subway lines. These are dedicated bike lanes, clearly marked, with their own traffic lights, and are very safe to use. One can pretty well go from one end of the city to the other within an hour. We would typically pick a destination, usually a restaurant or a signature building, and explore the neighborhoods along the way. Doing this by bike is at the perfect pace. Walking would take too long; subway works great but one would miss all the scenery.

Eliza is now an avid cyclist! Just  stay out of her way...

Dedicated bike path through the park

The bike lane is safely separated from vehicles, with it's own traffic light

Some nice buildings along the way...

Two-way bike lane on Avinguda Diagonal, a large boulevard

The only down-side to the popularity of biking: bike theft. We lock our bikes with three locks.

A night at the music hall Nov. 13

The Palau de la Musica Catalana is a spectacular modernist building designed in 1908. We went for a Sunday night concert with some friends, to enjoy an evening of Vivaldi,  but also to see the interior of the building. Richly decorated in multi-color mosaic tiles and stained glass, the Palau is indeed a work of art. The center of the hall is dominated by a large inverted glass dome, which bathes the concert hall in a soft light. After the concert, it was only 8:00PM, still too early for supper. So we took a long walk around the busy El Born district, got lost just a bit, and then found our little resturant hidden in a quiet alley, and had supper till 1:00AM.