A glorious day on a sassy 45 foot sailboat! I was already in love with the Costa Brava from the shore...from the sea...what a sweetie. Here you get life-style on top of sea air, the sound of cutting, splashing, laughing water and postcard views. After a few hours of sailing past the small towns and cliffs I recognize from weekend trips and walks we anchor in Sa Tuna. Perfect. I sun on the boat mahogany deck, watch the fish from above, then travel by dingy to lunch. After a meal beach front in a shaded cafe, I swim back to my boat before the sails go up again for the return home. Thank you to our amazing skipper Dani and the lovely girl "Up To You." www.up2uglobal.com
Carcassonne and the Canal Midi. Two more reasons to visit Languedoc. I did not go inside the castle, had been warned about that...tourist trap! But since the two hour float on the Midi was close by, I couldn't help to loop around it and a stop on the Old Bridge to gawk, and was super glad I did. The canal ride that departs from Homps is a great taste of canal life. Through tunnels of arched Plane trees (we call 'em Sycamores back home!), next to the vineyards, over a locke -- fun to float literally UP the river! But, hey, whats with all the plastic houseboats -- Winnebagos on water, please no!
I accidentally interrupt the vineyard owner and wine maker eating his lunch on a shaded terrace. He shakes my hand with his garlicky one, happily opens his small ware house, lustily pours tastes of wine from opened-on-the-spot bottles. Then waves genuinely as we drive away weighed down with a few of his bottles clanking in the back of the car. In Languedoc, three hours by car, technically out of Spain and into France, but so close to the border, I'm going to let it slide. Try Poilhes and Roquebrun for super cute villages.
You can't live in Barcelona and not be a Barca fan. Just not allowed. The slogan "More than a Club" means just that, its a way of life, a source of local pride. Last night was the first time I actually watched a game in the stadium, in Camp Nou, mecca in football. The stadium is a different place than I expected. Yes, there are tickets, and lines and security officers, there are hard seats, a hardcore fan section, snacks and beer. Here though, there are no replays on the display boards and every moment is live and alive. The people sitting next you almost always have season tickets, the right to which has been passed down through generations, they know everyone who sits around them, there is no cigarette smoking, and there are lots of kids, because even though the games start 9:30 pm or later, this is a family activity.
By Maia Pay Ozguc
Barcelona Impressions. Be curious. Be present. Be Barcelona!