Wednesday, March 25 p.m. : on to Barcelona

We left Laguardia at about 10:30 this morning. It was snowing pretty hard about an hour before that, and it turned to rain as we were packing up. We have a six-hour drive to Barcelona and hotel reservations for tomorrow so we will drive for a while today to make a dent in that. We need to return the rental car tomorrow before 3pm, and that probably won’t be a problem. (We finally figured out that a warning light that was going on intermittently meant that the road was wet. It had been cause for concern.)

We drove out of the rain and of course the more south we went the warmer it got. We stopped for gas about an hour into our drive. I got out of the car and the wind was so strong it lurched the car door open when I pushed it. It easily would have blown away a small child. We noticed that there are wind-breaking trees in that section of the highway, and the doors there are all sliding, pocket doors. It must be extremely windy all the time. I wouldn’t be able to stand it.

We drove to about an hour outside of Barcelona, to the city of Lleida. It seemed a good place to stop because it was written in LARGE letters on the map. It is a busy little city and we drove all around it looking for a place to stay. We found a “hotel and spa” that looked fine, but was it very strange once we got inside. It reminded me a bit of the bar in Lisbon: there, with random collections of CDs, toys, and other sort of random things. These were all around the lounge and made it (at least to me) uninhabitable.

But the room is very nice and it seems a comfortable place to spend the night. I tried to check out the spa part of the hotel, but it is in a separate area and I couldn’t find it (the sign outside an elevator said it was on the 5th floor, but the elevator only went to the fourth (?) The pool is temporarily closed. Still,it seems fine.

We went into the city at 6:30 to find a restaurant (first, a place to park – sheesh they were scarce. We parked at the soccer stadium) and were happy to find a terrific-sounding place for dinner, Xalet Suis. We learned that it, and the other ones here, don’t open until 9. That’s typical of all of Spain, but we’ve been going to places that open earlier, probably to accommodate Americans.

So we walked around, had some coffee, checked out the city, and went back for a delicious late dinner. We were the only ones in the old, very good restaurant for most of the evening. We enjoyed the whole dinner and this little, busy city.

Tomorrow we will check out Barcelona. (See photos in post that follows)

Adios,
-Susan

Wednesday, March 25, p.m.: Photos

Coffee shop we stopped in to bide some time before dinner

Coffee shop we stopped in to bide some time before dinner

Lunch today about two hours into our drive

Lunch today about two hours into our drive

Lounge area of the hotel we are staying (the rooms are nice though)

Lounge area of the hotel we are staying (the rooms are nice though)

Really odd seating in the lounge area at the hotel

Really odd seating in the lounge area at the hotel

Entrance to hotel where we are staying. Sort of odd

Entrance to hotel where we are staying. Sort of odd

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Wednesday, March 25: Laguardia and Ipad Problems

We had a nice day in Laguardia yesterday even though it was still raining and continued to most of the day. It was also very cold.

We were able to have a tour of a winery <the Fabulista> in English, and it was just a small group of us <five> so it was particularly enjoyable. They seem to have set up for groups of up to 50, which will probably be happening all summer. I am so glad we have beat the tourism rush. There have been no crowds anywhere we have visited.

We also had a nice wine tasting and it was a surprise that the bottles of the red and white wine they sell are about three to ten euros.  I mentioned that in the U. S, three dollars would hardly cover the cost of the glass bottle, or that any wine at that price would not be considered worth drinking. Of course, their wine was very good.

We spent some time checking out the walled village and had lunch at a small wine bar where we pointed to the tapas we wanted. It was good, and also fast and easy.

I am disappointed that my iPad wont start and is in the Recovery Mode. I cannot access my pictures or turn it on to write a blog post. <i wanted to check out the origin of the Fabulista winery, since the woman giving the tour said it has to do with the person who orginated fables and was not a form of the word fabulous, as I thought.>

This hotel computer is set up to type in Spanish and is tough to work with = no apostrophes or parenthesis, for examples. We are leaving here shortly and driving toward Barcelona, and maybe there will be an Apple store there <there was a big one in Madrid> where I can get them to restart it. Otherwise I will plug along on hotel computers.

Adios,

Susan