Category Archives: Spain

Diverbo – So Much More Than a Free Holiday

“Oh you’re going to Spain – you should look up Diverbo.”

And it begins.

Advertised as a free holiday for English speakers, Diverbo is a language program for Spaniards. The general idea is that an equal number of Spaniards and Anglos attend the retreat, which takes place at a semi remote location designed to create a natural separation between the Spaniards and their language. The Spaniards (or their employers) pay a large amount of money for this experience. The English speakers volunteer for the experience and in return for their time, energy, and the words that flow very easily and naturally out of their mouths receive food, drink, and shelter.

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Travels with Dani

Everyone likes to think they are a great traveller and everyone likes to think they are easygoing. I think it and I know if anyone is reading this – you also think that about yourself.  We all want to believe this to be true about ourselves.

What I have learned about travelling with Dani is that she hates arriving in new places hungry.  I have been doing my best to keep her fed on travel days.  Point 1 for me being easy and Dani being difficult.

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Hola and adios to Barcelona

After our luxury cruise to Spain we arrived to Barcelona at about 10 pm. We had an Air Bnb secured. A taxi delivered us to a dark alley in El Raval, a neighborhood on the brink (a very long brink) of gentrification. The taxi driver had a look around and asked us, “are you sure?”

I thought I was sure, and Jen was very much not sure, but we got out anyway. We were looking for number 23. Number 23 had a smashed window, through it we could see a mattress on the floor and food scattered around. If this was our place then I definitely overpaid.

Continue reading Hola and adios to Barcelona

Barcelona adventures continue

We are just about complete our week in Barcelona.  It has been incredible and really nice to have an apartment to stay in the entire time.

We just came back from the Dali museum in Figueres.  The museum was amazing with many exhibits and many of them interactive for a few Euro.  We only had enough Euro for a couple of exhibits – one of them where it rained in a car which was pretty amazing. I am so glad we made the trip out.

We have also had the opportunity to see a few of the Gaudi sites in Barcelona.  The awe inspiring Sagrada Familia – which is still not complete (anticipated completion is 2026-2028 – guess we will have to come back)  It is truly amazing to see.

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We also went up the Nativity Tower to get a wonderful view of Barcelona.

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Then had to climb down the narrow spiral staircase. Yikes!

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We also took part in the official visit of Park Guell.  The park was gorgeous but the Gaudi site itself – only okay.  On our walk back from the park we managed to see two other Gaudi buildings both lovely.

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After taking in the Sagrada Familia, we were lucky enough to run into a friend of mine from Toronto who now lives in Barcelona.  We went for drinks and tapas(bravas, peppers, bread, mini burgers, and a plate of cured meats) and wandered around her neighbourhood with her cute Yorkshire Terrier, Vincent, which obviously Dani loved right away.

The other exhibit that we were able to see that I really enjoyed was at the CCCB entitled Big Bang Data.  I have just finished reading “To Save Everything, Click Here” which also talks about the subject which interests me alot.  The exhibit was a great visual representation of alot of the things that I read in the book and also included some of the ‘conscious citizen’ type products that are being developed.  Really neat (and nerdy)

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Barcelona Recap

We arrived in Barcelona a few days ago which was different from our original plan so I didn’t have a ton planned. Instead of scrambling to figure stuff out we just booked an apartment for a week and decided to hang out.

Our apartment is in El Raval which is ideally located to many major sites. The area is not completely gentrified yet so a bit rough around the edges but that makes it a bit more interesting.

Highlight of the first day was the boqueria where we were able to get some delicious snacks. Figs are still in season so I am content with that. Dani was pleased to find they serve meat in paper cones. Tiny sausages and serrano ham. Obviously this will be a contained stop through out our time here

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We then wandered down in the area taking in all the sights and sounds and obviously drink sangria.

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