travel photography

End of the Line: Barcelona & Girona

3 Glorious Days in Barcelona & Girona

When we sailed into Barcelona on May 30 we were ready for a planned 3 day stop with a side trip to Girona.  Except for what we needed for the next few days, our luggage was on its way back to the States.  

We checked into a 5-Star NH Hotel with a fabulous location on the Rambla de Catalunya, a wide boulevard that is the equivalent of the Champs Élysées in Paris, or the via Veneto in Rome. It was within walking distance of a lot of places we wanted to see. And it had a rooftop bar overlooking the city, which we, of course, visited. The Rambla, like the Via Veneto, also had plenty of outdoor dining spots, which we frequented as well. 

Overlooking Barcelona from a Rooftop Bar; Segrada Familia is in the background

One of the first things we did was to go on a guided walking tour of Barcelona. (We did a lot of walking tours). The tour included a visit to the exterior of the Sagrada Familia, designed by the famous Catalán architect, Antoni Gaudi. Later we got tickets and saw the interior of the church. 

Outside Sagrada Familia
Vertical of Church Door
Barcelona. Spain — June 1, 2023. A wide-angle photo of stained glass windows taken inside the famous Sagrada Familia designed by Antoni Gaudi.

After visiting the church we did a walking tour that included some older neighborhoods. In our travels we walked through numerous town squares with outside dining. One street we came upon was shielded with colorful umbrellas. 

Colorful Umbrellas Cover a Side Street

We also paid a visit to the MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art. The architecture of the building was very interesting; the exhibits less so. As it happens, the area outside the MACBA Museum is popular with skateboarders. There they practice their skills jumping onto ramps with skateboards. Not a sport for the faint-hearted.  


Trip to Girona

The second day of our visit we went to Girona where we did a walking tour of the old city.  It was a stunningly beautiful place. We walked through neighborhoods that had been revitalized with artisan shops, along a river running through the city, as well as historic UNESCO designated neighborhoods with stunning architecture. 

Along the River in Girona
Outdoor Dining in Girona
Tourists in Independence Square
Tourist Photographs 2 Buskers in a Courtyard
Bridge Across Onyar River

Later that afternoon it was back to Barcelona where we spent the following day visiting a farmer’s market type of a place, traveled around the city on a hop-on, hop-off bus. Then we had a fabulous dinner at La Cabrera Barcelona, an Argentinian steakhouse. 

Plaza Castellana in Barcelona
La Cabrera Argentinian Steak House

After 3 days in Barcelona and Girona it was time to fly back to Dulles and life in Virginia. But, as they say: Wait–there’s more! We will be traveling through France and Italy in August and September. You can keep up just by going to where we will continue to post. And if you want to log-in to the site, just send an e-mail to with the word “Register” in the Subject line. 


The Outer Banks

Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak our travel plans have changed quite a bit. The 2 month trip to Florence and Rome—well that didn’t happen. Three cheers for British Airways and Road Scholar for promptly sending us refunds after Italy shut down the country. The same can not be said for Hotel Adriano in Rome. After initially promising a refund, they tried to back out until we reported them to American Express. After that they saw the light. 

On a happier note, we traveled to the outer banks and stayed in Duck, North Carolina for two weeks. What a spectacular place–for instance, see the image below.

A beautiful pastel colored sky reflects soft morning light onto the beach in Duck, North Carolina

The Outer Banks are a series of barrier islands located between the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound. There aren’t any cities on the 100 miles + of the Outer Banks. Instead the islands are mostly populated by small seaside villages and towns. It is a favorite vacation spot, attracting visitors from the Northeast as well as Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas. 

We rented a house for a 2 week stay in Duck, a tony village with plenty of gorgeous beaches, fishing spots and restaurants.  That’s right. Restaurants you can actually go to and sit inside and have cocktails and dinner. Or you can get a table outside and relax over food and drinks. 

There are other places to go to as wee—for instance Kitty Hawk, where Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first historic flight in their flying machine back in December 1903. And then there is Corolla Park with the architectural masterpiece Whalehead and its Museum. 

If you get a chance, visit the Outer Banks and the town of Duck. You’ll be glad you did. 

Here are a couple of photos from our trip (below), taken with a Leica Q2 camera. Click on a photo to enlarge it. They can be licensed at Evocative Photos.