Barcelona in November


What a place! We just came back from a week staying in an apartment in the Gothic Quarter – easy walk to the Metro and many of the sights.

I took lots of pictures – I’ll post them as I get them processed. But if you get a chance, it’s the most wonderful mix of beaches, restaurants, architecture, town planning, art and culture.  We visited Gaudi’s buildings, saw the Picasso and Miro museums, and explored the shops and restaurants. It was warm enough for the boys to swim (not me!).

I was a bit surprised to see everything in both Catalan and Castillian – the two languages seem quite similar to me, although of the two, Catalan seems more closely connected to French (not surprising, I guess…).

We took a day trip to Tarragona – on the coast south of Barcelona. I had wanted to go to see where Dali lived, but it proved difficult with public transport, so we went to explore the Roman remains at Tarragona instead.  There’s a Roman ampitheatre dating back to 200AD, and a cathedral from the 12th century. Most of the city walls are also still in place. The town is quite spectacular, set up on a cliff above the sea.

We’ll be going back – I don’t know when, but we will.

Three days in Dorset


When my family first came to England (I think at the end of 1959?) we lived in a small coastguard cottage in Swanage. Last week we visited Swanage for the first time in many years, and showed our children where I lived when I was younger than them.

On this trip, we stayed in a beautiful cottage – a restored mill cottage with history going back hundreds of years.  With us were my parents, and Marina’s parents, visiting us from California.

We also went to Lulworth Cove – an extraordinary formation where the sea has broken through the coastal rocks, and hollowed out an almost perfectly circular bay.  I was aware of the cove from reviewing coastal charts, but had never had the opportunity to visit.