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I’ve been on my feet all day yesterday. I strolled around Passenger the Gracia, enjoyed the great architecture and did some shopping. Then I met with a former colleague for lunch at a tapas bar. They offered tapas with an international touch and they were delicious. The place also got pretty full while we were eating.
In the afternoon I visited the historic shipyards (sadly under reconstruction) and the museum of catatonic history. The latter was a tad disappointing. Now I am of to la Sagrad Familia.

I managed to arrive at my hotel without any problems. The room is a bit on the small side, but otherwise quite nice. The hotel is on the Rambla de Catalunya and the building is really amazing. Yesterday, I had dinner at a small Mexican restaurant. I had tortillas with mashed black beans, shredded pork lettuce and cheese. It was really good. This morning I plan to stroll a  bit through Eixamples. From what I saw yesterday evening, there’s some great architecture around here.

I am currently on the train, somewhere between Lyon and Nîmes, heading towards Barcelona for a four day vacation. I got the idea some time in early winter. I don’t know how much longer I will be living at a place from which I can reach Barcelona by train  in just a few hours, so I decided to use the opportunity. General consensus pointed towards May as the best time to travel, so here I am!

The train is quite nice. I got first class tickets (preferente) at an affordable price, so I have plenty of space and the seat is quite comfortable. No WiFi though, and the LTD signal is not robust at all. But I kind of expected that and downloaded a few books and newspapers in advance.

I’m looking forward to seeing Spain!

From 5g to 7g

All my mp3 players so gar have been iPods: I started of with a used shuffle from my brother, which soon got replaced by an IPod nano (2g). As I like listening to podcasts, being able to navigate your playlist is an absolutely necessary feature!  After this one broke, I once again got a used IPod (5g) from my brother. I did not really like the bigger screen, but it had a great feature: An integrated speaker! It was like a portable mini boom box. the sound quality might not have been the best, but for podcasts I didn’t really care Sadly, it reached the end of its lifetime a few weeks ago. I just got a new 7g IPod nano, and honestly, I liked the predecessor a lot better!

I don’t like the touch screen and there seems to be no reliable way to key-lock it. And the worst is, no integrated speaker! The only improvement is the colour. red is way better than green ;)

Finally snow!

After an amazingly warm December and January, we finally got the first real snow on Sunday evening. The mountains look really nice now! The skiers are really happy and miss no opportunity to go skiing. I only enjoy the snowy mountain view when walking home from work ;)

… from one of my few remaining readers about the distinct lack of posts in this blog.

I can not even claim that nothing interested happened in my life since last April.

So what happened since then? The most notable event is probably that I managed to break my foot in early summer. This lead to more experience with the French health system then I ever wanted. I also learned that

– Tram and  bus stops in the French town I live in are more disabled friendly then in Heidelberg.

– Zurich airport is pretty nice for people who need to be pushed around in a wheelchair. Also, Montreal airport was not bad.

– This cannot be claimed for Lyon airport.

– My colleagues are a really great bunch (well I kind of new that before)

 

I also once again visited Lund which I still like a lot and went on a holiday trip to Provence with my parents.

So basically last year had a great spring and autumn, but the summer was very frustrating.

 

Back to Heathrow

When I travelled to Japan back in 2008 I got to spent 5 hours in Heathrow Terminal 5 waiting for my connecting flight. It was a horrid experience: Despite the terminal being quite new, everything squeaked sounded in dire need of lubrication.  Upon arriving in Japan, what we noticed first was that it is indeed possible to build escalators that don’t squeak.

Therefore, I was quite happy when my connections for my last trip only had a two hour stay – that is, until I noticed that the plane from France would arrive at Terminal 1. Estimated transfer time: 90 min. Luckily, my plane was on time, and despite arriving at the weirdest gate I’ve ever seen, I caught my flight to NY. Why the gate was weird? Well, we got of via the gangway, and then left the building via an emergency exit to get on the bus to transfer to the main building…

Oh, and Terminal 5? Only the escalator to the safety check squeaked, so it was really nice!

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