Light Fingers in Barcelona

Well I guess it had to happen at some point. I got pickpocketed in Barcelona a couple of days ago. We had just arrived in town, with our huge backpacks on the metro. Classic tactics, they saw my wallet come out to buy the tickets and followed us. Then the diversion while an accomplice dips into my pocket (which I though secure, evidently not) and they're off at the next stop.

Not a huge problem, though I resent being involved in forced wealth redistribution. Shittybank, amazingly, have been very good about replacement card. Should be in Florence by the time we get there. For now we're using Holly's card.

Two player card games?

As you might imagine, we're spending a fair amount of time sitting around either waiting for transport or travelling. There's also the inevitable nights when it's raining or cold and we want to sit in a cafe and chill out. Ploughing through English language books is one option, but finding enough books to keep the engine running is expensive and difficult.

So anyone got any tips for good two player card games? I bought Holly a book of card games for her birthday, but most require either more than one deck of cards or more players. We've almost played out Rummy...


Geo: 40.364661,000.403640

No, not a new drink marketed at the gay market but a beach town on the coast North of Valencia.

We decided we needed some more beach time, after our time in San Jose was marred by rain. After setting up our tent on a beautiful afternoon, we were looking forward to swimming the next day. Of course, we woke up to rain. Seems to be what happens whenever we camp.

Fortunately today was lovely and sunny, barely a cloud in the sky. We're both going rather brown, despite repeated latherings with 30+. I even managed to catch one of the (meagre) waves today! Woo!

Tomorrow we're catching the train North to Barcelona. We've only got he one night but we'll hopefully get back to El Setial, our fave restaurant there (Regomir, 11 Barcelona, in case you're wondering).

The following morning we're flying to Milan to start the Italian leg of our grand adventure! We're staying in Como and will duck into Milan to see the major sights. Then Florence, Rome, Amalfi Coast and across to Bari. Then we fly from Bari to Frankfurt.

Once again, the photo isn't mine, but it shows the view from about where we were lying all day today.

San Jose then Valencia

Geo: 39.472906,-000.371813
San Jose then Valencia

We arrived in Valencia last night after a mammoth 8.5 hour bus ride through every no-horse town between Almeria and the Costa Blanca. Certainly a long trip, but we're glad to be here.

We spent five days in San Jose which is in the Cabo de Gata National Park and has a lovely strip of sandy beach. Not much in the way of waves, in fact on the first day it was calmer than a tea cup. The second day brought heavy winds and the third a huge storm. We seem to be attracting violent weather here in Spain...

Due to the storm, we spent our last night in San Jose staying at a cheap hotel. Nice to have clean sheets and big, scratchy towels (as compared to our tiny camp towels).

It was nice to unwind a little after all the hectic sightseeing around the rest of Spain. We've certainly seen a lot of stuff in our short time here!

Next week we're off to Italy with a flight from Barcelona to Milan, though we'll be staying in much cheaper Como and ducking into (by most accounts pretty soulless) Milan to check out the major sights. We're spending a mammoth six nights in Rome, and even then reading the Lonely Planet I wonder if we'll do more than scratch the surface. Quite looking forward to the change of pace, though not the queues we can expect...

This photo isn't mine, as we can't connect our digital camera to these computers. I nabbed it off Google Images. It's of San Jose beach.


Geo: 37.176901,-003.588436

The Alhambra in Granada. You've played the game, now see the real thing!

We had to get up at 0630 this morning to get tickets, but it's well worth it.

Seville, Cordoba, Granada

I'm in the process of uploading some more photos from Seville and Cordoba. See here.

Seville was a nice place, though the camping ground was right next to airport and freeway and it rained rained rained! We were wandering from the April Fair (madness, louder fairground rides than I've ever heard before!) and in the middle of the big park, the rain got much much heavier and turned to hail, thunder lightning. By the time we found some shelter (with a North African homeless person) we were soaked through.

This was a storm of Glastonbury proportions, swirling around the city several times and going on for hours. Incredibly, our tent got through it relatively unscathed. A bit of mud splashed up on our packs and a tiny puddle up one end. Fortunately nothing was sitting in the wet patch, so we mopped it up and had a dry night's sleep. It rained a bit more during our stay in Sevile too.

Next up was Cordoba, with its beautiful Mezquita, an Islamic mosque that was turned into a cathedral after the Reconquista. Here we experienced our first really hot weather, heading up to the thirty mark. Lovely and that makes us keen to get to the coast!

We're now in Granada and have to get up at sparrow fart in the morning to get in the queue to see the Alhambra. We do seem to be ticking off the World Heritage sites at quite a clip!

We're in Spain for a couple more weeks, flying to Milan from Barcelona on 10th May. After a couple more nights here in Granada, we're getting some serious beach time on the Andalucian coast. With the heat we're now getting, and the onset of a bit of site-seeing fatigue, I'm really looking forward to some beach action. Snorkling, cycling, swimming (but no surf), reading some of the extortionately priced English language books we just bought. Can't wait!

Camping in Seville

Geo: 37.417063,-005.917796
Camping in Seville

Here we are in Seville. If you look at the map you'll see the camping ground is handy for the freeway and airport. We could count the rivets on the planes.

This will be our first use of our shiny new Thermarests. Thanks to everyone who gave them to us!