Saturday, April 30, 2011

Are You Asleep?

When someone comes into your bedroom and says 'Are You asleep?', you know what they are really saying is 'Wake up!'

Two Years in Granollers

April marks the 2 year anniversary of this Blog and our arrival in Catalonia. April is the month of roses and spring. Happy Spring everyone!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On the TV!

Today is the Day Of the Mother of God of Montserrat (La Mare de Deu de Montserrat)

Bit of a mouthful isn't it?  Montserrat is a serrated mountain close by and in honour of this day, I will repost from one of my other blogs.  Approaching the Virgin of Montserrat. 

However, Albert's mother's name is Montserrat and we have a couple of friends also named after the mountain. Typically people made a big deal out of their 'Saint Day' rather than the birthday around these parts, but lately the birthday has taken precedence.   Jett and I popped over for a few minutes earlier to give Montserrat a present and we will celebrate the day on Sunday. Today it's impossible as its a Barca/Madrid game playing.

Anyway, congratulations to our Montserrats!

Photo: Our Montse.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lovely Visit

Today we (Kate and I) were very lucky to receive a visit from Oreneta. We're all fellow bloggers writing about our experiences here in Catalonia. We treated our fair visitor to the sights of Granollers and we ate at one of our favourite restaurants, the Baalbek. Hope to see you again soon!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sardanas on montjuic

After picking up Jett from the airport we decided to pop into Barcelona and have a tourist view of Montjuic. It's lovely up here. Full of tourists, but still very pretty. It's cloudy but not too cold. A feeling of holidays still in the air.

People Buying Monas

Today is Easter Monday. For the last few days the cake shops have been displaying monas, the Easter Cake of Catalonia. Today we went out for coffee and people of all ages were carrying their cake boxes full of mona. The photo above was taken just outside the church and shows three different sized boxes. Very cute. Like little ducks.

Girona! How Charming!

Why have I never been before?! It was beautiful, charming, full of curves and flower spilling out over balconies. I loved it. We even saw a Catalan Independentist Rock Band. Though, note to self: don't wear spiked heels. They get caught in the cobbled streets.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saint Maria of Vilabertran

Lovely little church just 5 mins from Peralada. Didn't get a chance to go in, but it was gorgeous in the afternoon sun. No people about at all. Just pigeons.

Peralada Wine and Spa

Today we visited the spa here at Peralada. It was small and intimate compared to our last visit to the Caldea Spa in Andorra, but we had a very relaxing time. It had 8 stops in the circuit. There were hardly any people and I had the changing room to my self. The resort is also well known for golf and wine treatments. Now on to Girona for dinner. Lovely day with no rain in sight.

Xurreria in Llinars

We're on our way to a spa in Perelada. We've stopped by a small town. I feel like I'm suddenly in suburban Australia. People in sneakers, bellies creeping unabashedly over waist lines and women who didn't bother to do their hair. The coffee was served in a glass too! Just like back home.

Chimneys in Granollers

Granollers, like many towns in Catalonia, were once homes to huge textile factories. Many of the factories have been torn down leaving only these brick pillars as monuments to the town's past.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Watermelon Seeds!

Jett asked if we could plant some seeds from a watermelon we ate a few weeks ago. Well, three little sprouts are coming up! Spring is truly remarkable. We even have flowers coming on our tomatoes! :-D

Today is Sant Jordi

Take a look at last years post on the Symbolism of St Jordi.  It's very unusual this year as it falls on the Easter Weekend. The people I have spoken to about it are unhappy about it. They say it doesn't feel right and somehow ruins the day for them. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Easter Procession in Manresa

So, after the Romans and Jesus there were several large floats that were rolled or carried by. The one above got the most attention. It was called the Macarena. A lady sang with sincerity and everyone was clapping and/or crying. It was full of emotion and bossy old ladies. Now time for Tapas and wine at Las Vegas.

Jesus in Manresa

The Procession in Manresa Starts at 8

There are heaps of people! The Romans are on their way to the Church door with the ominous sound of drums. It's scary!

The Romans in Manresa

With heavy drums and spears the Romans have arrived to deliver parts of the procession.

Monas in Cardona at Easter

It's Easter Friday. We're on the way to Manresa and we've stopped off at Cardona. It's famous for the salt mines, the castle, and some medieval buildings. The only shop open today was the Easter Cake shop. Here they call it the Mona. Oh, and the Church was surprising beautiful inside!

For last year's Mona post

Our First Road Trip

It's Good Friday. We're on our way to Manresa. It's raining but we had to take the car somewhere!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

After the Busy Day Shopping at the Market

Torres in the Porxada in Granollers is truly one of The institutions here. Its vanilla cream is well known to be the best in town. And busy!

Corona Plaza on Market Day

On Thursday in Granollers they hold the traditional market day. In Corona Square they have women's clothing, hats, cheap Spanish style dresses, scarves, shoes, sewing materials, underwear, socks, jewelry, electrical odds and ends, men's clothing, cosmetics, handbags and suitcases.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Work?

These days of fine weather I've been having my English conversation classes outside on a terrace. It really doesn't feel like work at all. More like I'm working on my tan. Well, it's hard, but someone has to do it.

The Last Calçotada of the Season

I think this will be our last one. Jett's a total pro these days and unabashedly showed our visitors how it was done. The restaurant even gave us shots on the house. Afterwards we walked by our river and visited Palou Church! It was actually very pleasant. Beautiful day and very green.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday in Granollers

We came to the church and there was a mass in Spanish with lots of South American people attending. Outside people are gathering and children are running around with palm fronds, some decorated with tinsel, bows and ribbons. There's another mass at 12 in Catalan. I wonder how many people will turn up for it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

From Granollers to Mataró

Well, the lights are still out, so I'm writing some posts from todays pictures. Everyone else has gone to bed, except poor Albert listening to the radio on his phone. I can tell by his breathing that he's nervous. Today we took a day trip to the closest beach to Granollers. It was great weather and our guests even got sun burnt. We sat out in the sun with beers and olives. The sea was blue and the sky suddenly free of clouds. Later we ate at a great restaurant called Margarit. Great if you love fish. Also strong Sangria! Over all a great day apart from the power cut. Darkness over Granollers.

Tourists in Granollers

We have visitors from Norway with us. It's funny to play host. But it's also interesting to see what stands out as a point of interest or as a conversation piece. Today we talked about the Xics of Granollers.

Power Shortage!

Ok. So we're all watching the preview of the big game, the first of 4 important games in the next 2 weeks, and the power goes out, throwing this little town into a frenzy. What will happen next?!

Beers and Olives by the Sea


Responsible for the Weather?

One of the strange things I'm experiencing at the moment is responsibility for the weather for my guests. We're on the way to the beach and the TV said it would be clear skies today. It's not. I somehow feel some sort of 'sorry' for it. Not that I can do anything about it. Funny humans we are.

On the Way to the Beach

Lovely day, lovely flowers, lovely sun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Coffee at Veritas

It's surprisingly good. Does that mean I've blown my diet? What if I said it's decaf, organic and soy? Not that it is. That would ruin the point of coffee completely.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Am I Beautiful Yet?

The packet said it would make me fresh as spring. Hmm. How long do I need to wait for that to happen?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Storm Clouds on the Way

We're driving away from these clouds but they are close on our heels. Lead us onto the blue skies of the south!

Caldea in Andorra

We got up this morning and went straight over to the famous spa Caldea. It was across from our hotel. It was fantastic. I've never been to such a place before with steaming jets of water pointing at every body part and little rooms with delicate aromas and saunas and we could swim outside with the high peaks above us. Lovely and highly recommended! We wanted to go hiking this afternoon but a storm broke out and we started driving home earlier than expected. We were pulled over by the toll police but as we were not over the limit, there was no problem. Now we're driving through a gorgeous gorge close to a rapidly flowing river.

Shopping in Andorra

It's a lot like the Swedish border for Norwegians. There are French and Spanish buying tax free goods. Alcohol, cigarettes, chocolate, perfume. The main shops were the cosmetic shops and electrical equipment. We bought a few bottles and some chocolate.

Ashtrays in the Restaurant!

Of course it hasn't been long since Spain changed its laws, but it's still a suprise to see people still smoking here in Andorra. It's 31 degrees.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

11 Euro and 63 cents to use the Tunnel.

I'm with a Catalan. 'It's already cost up 17 euro to get this far.' Ok. Pretty on the other side!

Off to Andorra!

Look at this beautiful tree. I love the sun light through the leaves. We're finally off on our weekend trip. Only 1 hour later than planned. Not bad for Spain.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dining Alone

I love it. It's quiet. I can taste the food. I don't have to rush. Today I'm eating farm bread with tomato, asparagus and brie melted on top. With a glass of house wine.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Aussie Talk Notes

I didn't realise how messy my notes were until the head teacher wanted to take a look at my 'plan'. I like to 'wing it', or at least feel like I'm winging it. It helps keep me interested in what I'm saying if there is an impulsive feel to the talk. I have rough notes to glance at if I need to in moments of silence, otherwise its just 'Tiffy Talking'.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Baalek Lebanese Restaurant- yum!

Today I came to eat at this restaurant. Above is the number to call to ask any questions. It has many vegetarian options and it always tastes fresh and delicious.

Kate wrote about the Baalek too, and has some great pictures of the food if you're interested.