Saturday, January 10, 2004

Homage to Catalonia, or something

I am not an impulse shopper at all, but I have a slight problem with discount airline websites, and I find that if I can buy a return ticket to Barcelona for 25 quid, I have a slightly nasty tendency to buy one. And a month ago that precise thing happened. As a consequence, I am now in Barcelona. I have spent the last week wondering if I was well enough to go, and indeed that if I should simply not go in order to catch up on all the other things I should have got done but haven't due to being sick, but I managed to persuade myself that I could in fact bring my laptop to Barcelona, find a WiFi hotspot, and get some of that work done along with getting a change of scenery. With my ultracheap style of travel, being here does not actually cost much more than staying in London, but we will see if that actually happens.

The good thing, though, is that the sky and Mediterranean are both blue, the sun is shining, the temperature is about 20 degrees Celcius, and Barcelona remains one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The flu is just about gone, and the much nicer weather here will at least help on that front. My one previous visit to this city was in 1993, and this city feels the same, although there are a couple more lines on the underground map. And my dark little secret (that I have even occasionally lied about) is that I somehow managed to come to Barcelona in 1993 without visiting Park Guel, although I did see a great deal of other notable bits of Gaudi work. Sometimes this happens. You visit a city, and you manage to overlook one of the key attractions through absent mindedness as much as anything. This is about to be rectified, anyway.

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