Tag Archives: travel

From Caledonia to Catalonia

Leaving Scotland

After enjoying my final night of spectacle, cabaret and partying at the Famous Spiegeltent on the closing night of what is a mecca for any

The Famous Spiegeltent

The Famous Spiegeltent

self-respecting festival goer, the Edinburgh Festival,  I was about to pack up my bags to head back to Barcelona when a buyer turned up for what has been my home in Scotland for the last seven years.

So I rescheduled my return flight and began the Sisyphean task of organising the move in just three weeks: burning stuff, binning stuff, selling stuff, taking stuff to charity shops and recycling points, giving stuff away, preparing stuff to put into storage (including furniture I’d brought over from Spain two decades earlier), cancelling insurances and utilities… the list was daunting but I rose to the challenge and I completed it, with varying degrees of stress and effort, to schedule.

A fond farewell

I went through the process of discarding my past with mixed emotions. On the one hand I felt lighter as I said goodbye to so many

Dollar Glen

Dollar Glen

accumulated possessions and responsibilities, but, on the other, I felt a sadness at leaving what has been my lovely physical home and garden – enjoyed to the max in one of those rare glorious Scottish summers that we were graced with this year – but what has also been my spiritual home for the best part of a quarter-century, the ancient land of Caledonia.

Sadness not just at parting with the gems I had on the doorstep of my house in Dollar, in the “Wee County,” such as the glen, the Ochil Hills, the Devon where I had taken the occasional skinny-dip on a hot day, but, just as much, my lovely neighbours Robin and Julie, the friends I’ve laughed and loved and hugged with, those with whom I’ve shared Hogmanays and celebrated the old Celtic pagan festivals of Beltane and Samhuinn (the origin of Hallowe’en) – which I’ll be missing this year for the first time in many  – and the lovely group of souls I’ve danced 5 rhythms with or journeyed with through sound baths, inipis, pipe ceremonies and meditations.

I could go on for ever: the changing seasons, snow, ice, sun, gleaming lochs, the riot of colour from blossoming vegetation and the blazing sunsets seen from the Forth Road Bridge or with the looming Edinburgh Castle silhouetted against them, trips to Skye and the islands, Findhorn, the picturesque coastal fishing villages of Culross, or Pittenweem with its August Art Festival where dozens of homes open their doors to the public … Loch Lomond and Loch Tay, the Aurora Borealis and endless summer days, the Cairngorms and the Borders…

So now back in Catalonia, as I blog from a very different coastal fishing village, Calella de Palafrugell in the Empordà, overlooking the Mediterranean and resting from my recent mental and emotional ordeal, I know that my relationship with Scotland will persist and I’ll heed the invitation seen as you leave many places in Scotland: “Haste ye back!”

But in the meantime, whenever I feel a bit nostalgic, I’ll check in on this video, a nostalgic homage to Caledonia sung by Dougie McLean, with stunning pictures taken by a fabulous photographer and lovely friend, Ross Hutton.

¡Hasta Pronto, Caledonia!

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Looking into the future

Celebrating a new millennium

A bit random, I know, but reaching 1,000 views is a kind of significant milestone since I started this site 3 months ago and I would like to thank all those who have helped me achieve it and for the kind comments I have received over the period.mydiagonal1000

And it’s a good opportunity to give a wee update: –  over the next weeks and months, I will be adding new posts on places to see, eat or shop around the Eixample and Gràcia, and on events going on Barcelona-wide, as well as re-blogging other items that I think will interest visitors. There will soon be a section on restaurants and hotels, getting around and plenty more that can be found by clicking on the different categories on the right.

All comments, suggestions and critiques are welcome and I look forward to interacting with explorers of Barcelona over the coming months to make MyDiagonal a comprehensive resource for those looking to experience the city off the beaten track.

So, Fins aviat! (See you soon) and watch this space.

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Finding your way around

Discover a different Barcelona

This site is here to give you the tips you need to explore a part of central Barcelona that’s easy to reach but away from the tourist traps  – the less known streets for sightseeing , with pictures to give you a feeling for all the places to be enjoyed off the beaten track and away from the crowds. We’ll also tell you about where you can stay, eat, stop for a coffee, visit public gardens etc., with a rough price guide so you can plan your day.

The Diagonal

The Diagonal

Click on the categories on the right to see street-by-street guides, shopping, restaurants, cafés, getting around and so on. We’ll be adding new information all the time, so keep checking in for updates. For the moment, all the content is about the Eixample and Gracia, but we’ll be adding other areas for those wishing to explore further afield in the future.

If you’d like to add your own comments or tips for other visitors to the site, you’re most welcome.

Thank you for visiting myDiagonal and come back soon!

(PS – I’ll be publishing random posts about nothing in particular every now and then)

Sightseeing

A street-by-street guide of places to see with maps to plan your route and find places to stop off on your way.

Restaurants, cafés, bars

Classified by nationality, speciality, location, price range, etc.

Shopping

We’ll tell you about boutiques, wine shops, chocolate shops and delicatessens and other interesting places to find original gifts or treats for yourself.

Accommodation

Places to stay by price range, location, boutique hotels, etc.

Getting around

How to move around on foot, by bike and by public transport, including dedicated cycle routes.

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