Thursday, January 15, 2015

Settling In.

Our street.
We have been living in Spain for 1 month now.  It actually seems much longer as we are getting into a groove.  We've found places to shop, open markets, got our internet set up, visited Movistar to get our iphone set up, the police for our NIE card, the hardware store, the electronics store, the climbing gym, the best place for bread and fresh eggs, the best beach to run the dogs and us, our favorite pintxos bar in Girona, IKEA (2 locations near Barcelona), a few great trails to walk the dogs, a good vet for the furry kids, a great climbing store, a mexican restaurant and a dentist.

I don't eat cow cheese....but I do eat sheep cheese!

We're hanging pictures on the walls and sorting through boxes, there are still a few in the garage we haven't unpacked, but we'll get on it soon.

We're really happy here.  The people are so friendly, the gas is cheaper, the food cheaper and the sun has been shining almost every day.  It's so nice to wake up to blue skies instead of mist, damp and clouds, which is what happened in France our last 2 weeks there.  But then there is the language.  I don't speak Spanish or Catalan.  I realized how good my French was when I moved here.  We are going to take lessons and will be heading over to the school to meet with them on Tuesday, we'll each take a test and see what class we should be in.  Everyone we meet here tells us "you must learn Catalan", that is because they are Catalan.  But I'm not sure that would be the best for us.  Spain is a big country and we'd like to go to different areas in Spain and if we only learn Catalan it limits us when we travel, if we learn Spanish first, we can communicate with anyone in Spain and then we can start to pick up Catalan words.
The beach...15 minutes from our house.

Tomorrow we are heading back down to Barcelona as I have another dentist appointment.  I wanted an english speaking dentist and found a really good one in Barcelona.  Husband and wife team.  Both educated in the states, husband is from Spain and wife from New York.  Modern and friendly and I can understand them.  I went last week because I have had a tooth that is very sensitive to hot and cold.  I had a little cavity and they filled in without any problem.  Tomorrow I'm going for a cleaning, as I haven't had my teeth cleaned in a long time.  Bruce is coming with me and after my cleaning we' are going to the Picasso museum and then have lunch.  Should be fun.

I'm excited to be here and to explore this beautiful area of Spain.  I love change and moving, learning new things, meeting new people, mixing life up.

Cool old place in Bascara.

Visiting the climbing gym in Girona.

I'm not the only one who loves the beach.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Another Day of Climbing

Our friends left on Saturday morning.  We spent the day cleaning the house, doing laundry, going grocery shopping and getting into bed early.

On Sunday we decided to go to a new climbing area about 40 minutes from us.  It's called Bellavista. Normally we don't climb on Sunday because it's usually crowded, but it was a beautiful day and we hadn't been climbing in a week, so we took a chance.

Our cliff is the one way at the top left.

It's about a 30 minute hike up to the cliff, not too bad and really pretty.  There weren't many people there, we got lucky.  We met some climbers from Girona, they spoke english and were really nice telling us which climbs were good, hard, etc.  We climbed for most of the day, leaving at about 4:00.

1 old, 1 new

This was our view

Shirtless in January

Our new friend Serge trying to send his route.  He fell at the last move.

It was really hot at the cliff too.  60 degrees at home and probably 70 at the cliff, since it's south facing and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  No complaints from me though.

The weather for Girona for the next 10 days is sunny and between 60-68.  I'm a very happy girl.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Our First Guests - Day 3

Our friends had never been to Barcelona.  So on their last day that's where we went.

This church has been under construction since 1882!
We drove in and found a parking garage that was right by La Sagrada Familia Basilca.  We walked around it and took pictures.  We didn't buy tickets on-line and the wait was huge, so we'll go back inside next time.

The we walked up to Park Güell, a beautiful park designed by Gaudi.  Last time we visited it was 15 years didn't have to pay to get in.  This time you do if you want to visit the area called the Monumental Zone of Park Güell.  The next available time to enter was 2.5 hours after we arrived, so we passed on that and spent about 1.5 hours just wandering around the rest of the park, which is beautiful.  Next time, we'll make reservations and buy tickets on-line.

View Park Güell

After we left the park we wandered down and visited some of the neighborhoods and then headed down to old town.  

The "one eyebrow up" shot
We stopped at a little cafe for some tapas and a glass of wine before dinner.

We took the advice of Anne, who commented on my Barcelona post a week or so ago and went to Cuines Santa Caterina.  It was fantastic.  Great service, good location, huge menu.  Bruce and I had sushi, Mike had fish and Nicci had fried rice with shrimp.  Wine was good, price was good, meal was fantastic.  Thanks for the recommendation Anne, we'll be going back for sure.

We left Barcelona about 11:30 pm and arrived home about 12:30 am.  It was a long day, but super fun to explore the city with friends.

Here we are....happy.