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A Visitors Guide To Barcelona Spain

Jim Johnson

With its proud beauty, delicious food, and rich cultural history, it`s no wonder that Barcelona is such a popular tourist destination. It is the second largest city in Spain and home to dozens of museums, libraries, and other historical sites, as well as a burgeoning film industry and a variety of shops and restaurants. The two major languages in Barcelona are Spanish and Catalan, although many residents also speak English (even so, make sure to bring along a translation guide). During Barcelona`s 2000 years of existence, this city has proven itself to be friendly to foreigners and receptive to their influences. This is evidenced in the many different styles of architecture that can be found around Barcelona, from towering Roman structures to sweeping Neoclassical buildings. There are also plenty gorgeous examples of modern architecture, including many prominent structures envisioned

Despite Europe`s pricey reputation, there`s no need to spend a ton of money to stay in Barcelona. One of the city`s top hotels-Hotel Diagonal (205 Venida Diagonal)-isn`t just a gorgeous piece of modern architecture, but also amazingly affordable (less than $200 per night for a double room). Barcelona architect Juli Capella designed this stylish hotel, which attracts locals and tourists alike with its hip amenities. Each of the hotel`s 240 rooms has a slightly different design, thus removing the cookie-cutter feeling that away-from-home accommodations can have. The high-ceilinged dining room of the hotel`s signature restaurant dishes up the best in Basque and Catalan cuisine. Among the other amenities are a laid-back caf where guests can help themselves to a buffet breakfast, a piano bar that caters to a cool, young crowd, an outdoor pool for cooling off, and a solarium that provides a marvelous view of the city. Hotel Diagonal even offers its guests special deals, such as the "Cultural Barcelona" packag e, which provides discounted room rates along with tickets to hot tourist destinations.

The best time of year to visit Barcelona is the fall, after the busy summer tourist season. Located on the Mediterranean coast, weather is mild year-round, but autumn temperatures are the most comfortable, with temperatures in the upper 60s and lower 70s. Fewer tourists mean less crowds-an important factor in a city chock-full of fascinating places to visit-and lower hotel rates. During the off-season, deals can also be found at local shops and restaurants, so ask around.

Tourists have many options when it comes to places to visit. You might not be able to fit all your desired destinations into one trip, but there are a couple of cultural hot spots that you definitely don`t want to miss. The Museo Picasso and the Fundacion Joan Miro are world-class art museums dedicated to showcasing the lives and works of two of Barcelona`s most well-known citizens. Barcelona is also known for its terrific food, and one of the best places to sample its local cuisine is the Mercat de la Boqueria (located on La Rambla). This food market has been called the best in all of Spain

Planning a trip to Barcelona? Visit the Search Spain Hotels website to find a center hotel Barcelona http://www.searchspainhotels.com/Barcelona-1.shtml You`ll also find Barcelona car rentals, last minute deals, vacation packages and flights.

Portland State University offers new piano program - Items of Interest - Brief Article

American Music Teacher , April-May, 2003

Portland State University`s (PSU) Department of Music has created a new degree program, "Coordinate Movement Program for Pianists," to help pianists avoid neuromuscular disorders and injuries.

This program promotes a somatic approach to playing the piano. It is concerned with the treatment and prevention of injuries and with the improvement of performance. The program offers a curriculum designed to retrain pianists limited by pain, injury or tension while they pursue a degree option at PSU. Courses are designed to teach participants about the structure and function of the body as it applies to playing, and how to make necessary changes to become free of pain and injury.

The program is directed by Lisa Marsh, a pianist and former registered nurse experienced in retraining injured musicians. She is joined by Barbara Conable, internationally acclaimed Alexander teacher.

For more information contact Marsh at PSU, Department of Music, School of Fine and Performing Arts, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751; (503) 227-6699, fax: (503) 725-8215; pdx00586@pdx.edu.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Music Teachers National Association, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

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