Friday, October 07, 2005

A manse in the Pyrenees and loads of cows

I am slowly but steadily catching up with the overdue updates! (It is helping that I am at home, with a medium cold.) So I have yet to tell you about the last weekend which I spent with some nice people in the former manse (= a priest's house) of a village called Setcases. Further down I wrote that I would be heading to Andorra - wrong! The people who had planned the trip changed their mind, so we headed to this village in the Pyrenees, to cook together, take some walks through the village and on the mountain and tell each other urban legends by the fireside. Some impressions from the weekend:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Something I have wanted to do in ages...

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Yes, I got myself a piercing! Not-so-exciting news for the rest of the world, I know. It was something I have been having on my mind for a long time actually and then one beautiful Friday evening after work I was strolling through a series of record shops in the search for some concert tickets together with Katja, a friend of mine, when we passed this tattoo & piercing place that has been recommended to me by a work collegue (who should now, he has > 5 piercings). Once there (with massive persuasion by Katja!) I decided to go for it or I would never do it. The fear was immense, and I passed a bad moment when the guy who was on before me nearly fainted when he came out. The guy who did the piercing looked quite scary as well, and then I had to go in there all alone, they wouldn't allow for a friend to accompany you! I already was preparing for the worst, but then - it did not even hurt! :-) (and I am about the most snivelling person you can imagine)

And then I did some official passport pictures with a foto machine that spoke to me in Catalan, so I could only guess what it tried to tell me to do. Oh well, the result did not turn out so bad:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Needed the pics in order to get my official foreigners identity card which is quite a bureaucratic hassle I tell you!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

:::: "Human avalanches" ::::

... this is what Spanish media use to refer to the hundreds of desperate Africans that currently try to cross the border fences in Melilla and Ceuta nearly on a daily basis, in search of a better life.

Melilla and Ceuta are two Spanish enclaves in North Africa, bordering Morocco, and seen by the African refugees as a door to the European Union. Morocco has long claimed these areas for themselves but with no success. Spain meanwhile has constructed a razor wire fence worth €33 million in an attempt to reduce illegal immigration and smuggling. The pictures I saw on TV are heartwrecking ... hundreds of people with nothing apart from what they wear on their bodies, climbing up the fence with selfmade ladders and jumping down on the other side from a height of about 3 metres, many of them hurting themselves in the attempt, or brutally being beaten by the border police. Quite a few people have died revently. Those who manage to get to the next police station may stay in Spain (did not understand though if permanently or only temporarily...).

Read more in a recent CNN article.

A weekend at the Costa Brava

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Right after returning from a fabulous week home in Austria I hopped on a bus to spend a beautiful weekend at the Costa Brava - about 1.5 hours north of Barcelona, in Platja d'Aro:

A friend had kindly invited us to stay at his house, and we enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere of playing some tennis, swimming in the sea (it was bloody cold but there were hardly any people at the beach!), walking around the beach without a goal and having extended meals on the terrace.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Flat news

After a turbulent time thinking we have to leave our cosy flat it seems like we could stay a while longer - they will raise our rent but by an acceptable amount. Karina and me had already started to look for a flat, but then the good news about mine and her stay back home in Germany came in between and now it seems we have gone back to the start.

Look at the sky, this was about a week ago...
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

We are all optimistic it will work out. My flatmate is painting her room ...
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

...and I will head to IKEA to invest a little in making my room a little cosier!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Silence is easy...

I know this blog has been rather quiet recently but don´t you fear - autumn is approaching and with it the motivation to work on the computer now and then in the evenings. Apart from this, I bought a wonderful new laptop which works with unbelievable speed!

There are quite a few stories to tell and pictures pending to post, so I hope you will tune in again now and then to keep updated on what's going on in my little life here in Barcelona. =) Tomorrow I am off to a trip to Andorra. Have a good weekend, everyone!