Milan 0 x 1 Barcelona

Wooooohoooo!!!! My first Barcelona game in a packed smoky bar in this city of football lovers and Barça won!!!!!!!!! The match was really exciting and the energy in the bar was something else. We figured we would get there early to get a good seat but unfortunately the rest of the neighbourhood had the same idea.

A couple sitting by themselves in a table for  4 invited us to sit with them and we had a good time. The wife left when the came started – she alleged her nerves wouldn't stand it – but the daughter joined us. Turns out she used to study history and now does art history – medieval art history!! What a small world… Her dad told me he really likes medieval history too and after I told him what I study I got a little speech about how "la reina Isabella" was "muy mala" because she kicked out the Jews and that Ferdinando was "tonto" for allowing her to do it. Very amusing. Alan even got into a little discussion about politics – basically on Canada's relationship with Bush. 

 All in all, a great night. Can't wait for world cup… But before then, Barcelona plays again this coming sunday. Força Barça!!!!

Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

Standing on a 45 degree angle from the surrounding Eixample grid system, this hospital was built by Domènech i Muntaner based on the notion that aesthetic harmony and pleasant surroundings were good for the health. He certainly did a good job. The red brick buildings are stunning, marked by a combination of colourfull tiles that accentuates its walls and roof, and the occasional mosaic, such as those depicting SS. Cosma & Damian (shown below).

Roof detail

A hallway

The beauty of the surroundings, the quietness, only heightened my awareness that this is still a working hospital, marked by all the quiet sadness, hope and despair that such buildings often conjure. The ambulances, the doctors in white gowns, the odd patient sitting outside carrying a fluid flask, all erase the impression that this is a mere tourist destination. Suddenly I felt I was invading their privacy.

After the visit to the hospital we walked down Av. Gaudi – a nice tree-lined (what street in Barcelona is not tree-lined??) boulevard with a central promenade and sprinkled liberally with little cafes and shops. We stopped for a hot chocolate at Mora, a local chocolaterie and patisserie. Like in Paris, a hot chocolate in Barcelona is not your usual milk chocolate either…

Watch how the spoon stands straight up!

Getting ready

With the comps safely our of the way, we are now getting ready for our great European adventure. Here are some of the things we need to do before March 22:
– pack our apartment (we started today and got a lot of stuff packed from the computer room)
– clean up my carrel (maybe pass it to Janine)
– clean up locker at Hart House (pass it to Dana)
– write 5-6 page proposal
– set up dissertation committee (this will be tricky – since my committee won’t be exactly like the comps committee, it will probably require some emailing and meetings with some possible profs)
hmm, there are probably some other stuff I’m forgetting – but that will be enough to keep us busy for a while. Lot’s to do, little time!

Welcome to the Chronicle of our European Adventures

On 22 March 2006 hubby and I will be moving all our belongings into storage and making our way first to Montreal, then to Paris and finally to Barcelona where we will be living for a year. This blog is meant to document our trip(s) and allow us to keep in touch with friends and family in Canada, US, Brazil, and around the world. I’m looking forward to sharing all our photos, reviews of restaurants and bars, and remarks of the many places we’ll visit.