Girona, February 9, 2018

This afternoon I am taking the train to Paris, so naturally the weather forecast for today calls for temperatures 15 degrees Fahrenheit warmer here in Girona. The forecast for Paris, on the other hand, calls for continued cold weather through next week. I think that cold weather is following me around Europe.

I see the stock market is in real trouble. It seems beyond correction territory and headed for a real crash. That’s another thing that happens every time I leave the country; the stock market falls.

Because of the unusual cold, I cut my walk short yesterday. When I lived in Chicago and first visited Europe, I thought the weather here wasn’t really that cold. However, after decades of living in the warm climate of Phoenix, I am no longer adapted to the cold, and even temperatures above freezing seem intolerable now.

I like the way some old buildings in Girona have been converted to a more modern use. The building in the following photo, for example, makes use of old stonework polished to a modern finish.

Below is another building of that type with walls of old stone that have  been polished and fitted with modern windows. I suspect that the interior is also very modern.

I sometimes believe that the economies of both Spain and France run on alcohol. If alcohol were to suddenly disappear from the face of the Earth, both Spain and France would be bankrupt within days. Below is the image of an entire long supermarket aisle devoted only to wine and hard liquor. In fact, the liquor aisle extends even farther than shown in the photograph. Beer? Oh, there’s another aisle devoted to beer. I suspect that only a small percentage of the supermarket’s profits come from selling food. Hmm, given the condition of the stock market, maybe I should be investing my money in booze.

Incidentally, here’s a picture of the bunk I’ve been sleeping in the past five nights. Yes, those are two of my small towels drying on the radiator. One night there was someone sleeping in the bunk above me, but last night I had this side of the room to myself. A middle-aged Spanish guy slept on the other side of the partition.

Here is one of the multilingual signs in the hostel. The first language is Catalan followed by Spanish, English, and French. The English translation could be improved. The lift or elevator is not “jammed.” Someone looked up the wrong word in the dictionary. The elevator is operated by a key, and only the staff has one.

Actually, the first night I slept in the Girona hostel, I was offered an elevator key because of my great age. My room is two floors up. However, I told the personnel that at my age if I stop walking stairs, the day will come when I no longer can.

If all goes according to plan, I should be in Paris by 8 pm and arrive at my lodgings about 45 minutes later. However, the snow in France has been delaying the high-speed trains. Apparently when there are snow and ice of the tracks, rolling along at 180 miles per hour is not safe.