What can I say? Beware, other bloggers - if you leave it too long it becomes almost impossible to get back on track! So much has happened - quite naturally - since I last blogged, I think it easier to just pop some photos up with a short description. But then… you know how difficult I find it to be brief once I get started!
First, we had a trip to Mallorca, in September, just to have a break and some sunshine and meet up with our friends Trini and Steve, who live there.
Jim in the square, in the small town of Soller, where we stayed. We began most days with a coffee in the square, before deciding what - if anything - we would do for the day!
View from our patio across the orchard where the two holiday casitas had been built.
Looking down the orchard towards Soller.
The tram we took to reach the beach at Puerta de Soller, a twenty minute scenic route, full of local colour!
Puerta de Soller, with its yachts and fishing smacks, sandy beach, tourist shops, and beach restaurants.
Our seafood lunch. Mmmmmmmmm!
Steve up at the farm, demonstrating how the grapes become wonderful red wine, in his vintnery.
And lastly, one of our favourite places to stop for an afternoon helado or ice cream. We also ate dinner under those sunshades most evenings.
In October, Jim and I met up with some old Naval Medical Branch friends near Brighton. We spent 3 days catching up on old times and having dinner in a different place each night! Our hotel was in Rottingdean.
Our room overlooked the beach. The weather wasn't brilliant, but I rather liked this snap!
Evening number one: Chinese meal for eight. Yes! A rare one of me!
I had barely got my suitcase unpacked from Brighton, when my friend Pat and I flew off to Barcelona!
Pat had been twice before, with her husband Dave, but it was a place I'd longed to visit - mainly, as you'll have guessed, for the mosaics!
Our hotel was right on La Rambla, so we ate out each night at a different pavement cafe. The first night I ordered sangria - and was a tad taken back when it arrived in a half-litre glass. I didn't finish it!
We took an open top bus ride around the city. Some of the architecture was magnificent, some of it designed by Gaudi.
See the sky? It was like that much of the time we were there. No sunglasses required!
Up at Park Guell
The model of Gaudi's Familia Segrada, which was almost as close as we got, sadly.
The beautiful paint-and-plaster covered buildings at Park Guell I was spoilt for choice!
View from Park Guell across the city to the coast.
Ah! The mouth-wateringly beautiful mosaics - I didn't know where to start!
You just want to take them all home!
I swear if I'd had a sharp knife with me………
Another view over the roof-tops.
Mrs County Commissioner - the Natural Poser!
Sadly, we got to Familia Segrada at 1030 to find the next available entrance was 1830 that evening! The crowds were HUGE! So we decided we'd get our tickets and come back later. Only to find that as we reached the front of the queue, all the available tickets had sold out. Come back tomorrow! Well, too late for us, as we were flying out the next day. HUGELY disappointed. We understood the reason for it, but nowhere was it made plain that you should really book the day before to ensure you got inside. So many people were turned away, and more coaches arriving as we left - hundreds of people would not have got in that day. We felt it could have been better advertised.
This is as close as we got. It is really breathtaking, and as you can see, Gaudi's masterpiece remains a work in progress - the scaffolding is not for repairing the building, but for the continuation of the plans Gaudi laid down when he designed it.
Everywhere you look there is immense detail.
We didn't get to see everything we'd intended on our flying trip to Barcelona, but it certainly stood up to my expectations in every way, and I'm sure one day I'll go back - booking some tours in advance!
So, I'm more or less up to date now, I must get back into the swing of things and post regularly. Thank you to lovely Connie who always comments on my posts and has been asking after me during my long break! And now, I must catch up with reading all my favourite bloggers, I've got way out of date with them. See you all soon!