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The place is simply a joy and no wonder those who visit Barcelona hardly ever complain. The active narrower streets nicely separate the main traffic from all the good parts - making such difference to getting about and allowing a host of small enterprises to spill out onto the pathways and squares all of which makes for interest and an unsophisticated order with family concerns jousting out of the shadows - yet there is little gaucheness as the natural rhythm is calm, is proportionate and is subtle. Staying close to the University at Hostal Grau describing itself as an eco-chic hotel, I could not have hit ...

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Walking, and for that matter sketching, in March in the Dolomites, that rather undiscovered part of upland northern Italy, is made somewhat more challenging by lying snow and a chill in the air that befuddles the daily preparation of the contents of ones rucksack in terms of types of clothing and supplies especially as too much weight spoils the occasion, but too few layers can mean an early exit as the evening shadows close across the rugged outcrops. But with the crystal blue sky full of sunshine bouncing off the whiteness, the snow-laden trees and pink rock faces it made for a place ...

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