Saturday, June 5, 2010


So, it turned out that Saturday was a festival here in Girona. Basically, it was an extra shopping day. Normally, shops close for lunch on Saturday and don't re-open, but shops didn't close until around 9pm and there were vendors set up along the streets as well. We were shocked when we returned from Figueres to find the streets were packed with people:
We found a delightful shop selling microbrews, local gazpacho, and even botifarra d'ou a local sausage of egg and meat. I'm still shocked by Europe's general lack of open container laws as they nicely opened our beers and we drank them as we browsed the vendors.
Our evening was concluded by a trip to Bauhaus, a large German hardware store chain that reminded me of Home Depot. As you can see from the photo above, it has been quite enjoyable weather during the day. However, this has meant warm evenings. We were there for fans. After a fruitless week looking for a square fan to wedge in our window, our persistence was rewarded and we now enjoy cool, sleep-filled nights.We also bought a vertical fan, which works pretty well. It's still taking us some time to get used to the design though. Who would have thought that fans styles change throughout the world?
Love, fishes, robots, and cool breezes,
--Chrissy and Chee Sing

Dalí Museum

So, Saturday was off to the Renfe (rail) station (actually, it's the same station as the bus terminal) to catch a ride to Figueres (pronounced like Feeg-Air-Es). It's around a half hour ride from Girona with two options for Renfe: the regional train (2.90, has far more stops) or the medium distance train (3.90, nicer seats with outlets). We took the regional train on our way, and due to some bumbling with our change, missed the regional home (it pulled away as we had our tickets). Aside from a wait around the platform that smelled something like WD40, it wasn't too bad. It meant we could plug in Chee Sing's phone (which ran out of batteries during our picture taking at the museum) and so played games for the shorter ride:
As a note for anyone prone to motion sickness: it's generally more comfortable to ride facing the direction of travel. On the way, we decided to sit backwards, which always seems like it would be fun (in a return to childhood fashion), but for me is actually only enjoyable for the first quarter hour.
Figueres is special as it was the birthplace of Salvador Dalí and the location of the museum he constructed for his works. As one of my favorite artists of all time, it was quite a treat. I think it's a very interesting experience to view an artist's works as they would have you view them, even after their death.I was quite struck by Dalí's obvious deep devotion (obsession?) with his wife Gala. Her images are much more influencial in his work than I had realized, and her death was obviously devestating to Dalí.Dalí's Crypt is inside the museum.
The museum is divided into two different entrances: the main museum, and the jewelry museum. It turns out that Dalí had exquisite pieces designed from precious materials, in order to showcase art for arts sake (there is a quote on the wall to the effect of noting the importance of impractical art in a utilitarian society). They were quite amazing (a couple I would wear even if they proved uncomfortable as Chee Sing imagined they would be). Some of the pieces move!
After the museum, we wandered around town, picked up some groceries (since nothing would be open Sunday) and stopped for some kebabs on our way back to the station (we ate them in the park across the street which had a neat fish fountain).
Overall, a highly recommended adventure! I'm going to avoid giving too much away, since we are sure to drag any and all of you that visit off to the museum.
Love, fishes, robots, and amazing art!
--Chrissy and Chee Sing

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Physical Fitness

In response to my demands that we exercise regularly, we have started running in the evenings (around 9pm) for a little over 20 minutes. I have been enjoying beginning to establish the routine, and Chee Sing has found us a nice loop that crosses a pedestrian bridge over the river (the route is more or less below, although we now go more through the park and run around a block). While a lot of people in Girona can be seen outside walking, we usually only run into a few joggers when we are out and about.

View Training record in a larger map
In the evenings, there are even cute bats flying about through the swarms of gnats. I'll edit this post as soon as I can find out what kind they are.

Love, fishes, and exercising robots!
--Chrissy and Chee Sing

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Girona Walking Guide - Route 1... almost

We finally decided to break open the walking guide we bought on Dia de Sant Jordi to try out one of the hikes inside. Unfortunately, the urge struck us in the early evening, so we didn't figure out the whole route as written, but we did see most of the highlights listed (including the Font del Bisbe, one of the two local springs you can actually drink from). Here are some photos:

Love, fishes, and robots!
Chrissy and Chee Sing

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Temps de Flors

This Sunday, Girona finishes celebrating "Flower Time." The festival consists of a number of exhibitions, more artistic celebrations of spring than displays of living flowers (although plenty are to be had). We enjoyed walking the nearest displays last Saturday. They were quite enjoyable, although the tree below happens to be part of our Plaza's display... Unfortunately, I fear it will soon be removed since it's still in a small pot propped up with boards (they covered the boards with bamboo). We didn't make it out to catch the entire festival as planned since the week was besieged with intermittent pouring rain.
The next closest display to our plaza was at the game shop. They had robots from the group Chee Sing belongs too as well as crazy techno music and adorable (albeit less functional) robot toys.
Most of the displays were in Old Town where lunch prices rose from their normal ~13 euros to over 20 with the influx of local and foreign tourists. It was crazy! Normally uncrowded streets were clogged nose to nose and every other person had a camera slung round their neck.
One of the many highlights of the exhibition was the opportunity to enter a number of the local museums for free to see their displays for the festival as well as locals that would otherwise be closed to the public. There isn't enough room to post all of the photos of the displays, but hopefully this gives you a glimpse of a very interesting week to visit Girona.

Love, fishes, flowers, and robots!
Chrissy and Chee Sing

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Feliç Aniversari, Chee Sing

This Saturday, May 15th, Chee Sing turned 24. We celebrated with a party! I made Choco-Flan which was easier than I expected, considering the flan sinks to the bottom while it cooks making a flan over chocolate cake (covered in caramel) when you turn it out. He now has a new board game, rice cooker, and even a small rug!Love, fishes, and older robots,
Chrissy and Chee Sing

Friday, May 7, 2010

Crochet Projects

While Chee Sing writes his MS thesis, I have been dabbling in the art of crochet in addition to typing up my research. I picked up the habit in Chile as a way of controlling the ridiculous quantities of plastic bags I regularly acquired. I've only just started with yarn instead of plastic, but so far I have made Chee Sing some manly house slippers and these small robots that will soon be fridge magnets (as soon as we buy some to stick on their hands).

I like that I can multi-task while crocheting, including activities such as books on tape. While I haven't made it through very many, it does bode well for my prospects of catching up on some of the novels I have missed. The cute patterns are based off ones I found in Crochet Today (magazine).

Love, fishes, and yarn robots!
Chrissy and Chee Sing