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No. 426, August 1, 2010

The No Fog Countries Meeting
By Don Hobbs

Way back in ought-eight Joyce and I began planning our 2010 vacation. Out choice was always Spain but during the ensuing months, the plans were changed and changed and changed again. Our second favorite part of vacation is the planning, of course, the first is the trip itself. We have nearly as many maps as the National Geographic Society; one European map alone is about the size of three football fields. This is the one we use the most in our planning marathons. The 2010 planning sessions were no different.

Originally, our thoughts were to fly into Madrid and spend a few intense days, taking in as much as physically possible. It was then off to Lisbon, Portugal for another blitz before heading north. From there we were to go to Bilbao, Spain before turning south and ending up in Barcelona. Our scheduled trip is going to be just shy of three weeks. We nixed our first plans early on when we decided that the Bataan Death March across Spain and Portugal was not so attractive, what with schlepping bags and driving day after day. The next version was to divide our time between Madrid and Barcelona.

The final itinerary has been set and we will be spending the entire time in and around Barcelona. This eliminates the need for a car and the need for Sherpas. We can simply hunker down and explore one of the world’s great cities. We can take day trips to the surrounding regions. We firmed up our plans by early January and are now just waiting for the time to pass until our departure. During the Birthday Celebration Weekend in January, I mentioned our plans to Sebastian LePage. Much to our pleasure, he and girlfriend Morgan said they would like to join us on one of the weekends that we are in Barcelona.

When I returned from New York City, I promptly contacted Joan Proubasta, the Barcelona Sherlockian friend I have known for many years. I told him of our plans and asked to meet with other Barcelona Sherlockians. Then I emailed Sherlockian friends in France and Italy, mentioning that our plans were to have a Sherlockian get-together over the weekend of October 22-24, 2010. As it turned out, there had never been a joint Sherlockian meeting of Spain, France, and Italy. The Europeans took this idea and ran with it. “The No Fog Countries Meeting” was soon in hyper-drive.

The meeting will begin Friday October 22 with an informal supper at the headquarters of the Associació de Socors de Previsió Social in Plaza del Pi, founded in 1447. On Saturday October 23 we will begin at the Archo de Triunfo de Barcelona. Constructed in 1888, the central monument was the principal gate of the Universal Exposition. Here the attendees will enjoy the Park of The Ciutadelia, an area full of good book shopping. Lunch will be at the El Jardi de l’Angel, a restaurant at the Hotel Catalonia Albinoni (http://www.eljardidelangel.e). After lunch, we will be off to the Public Biblioteca Arús ( founded in 1895. This is a cultural and beautiful place with Masonic references. The lectures are scheduled here as well. The final day, Sunday October 24 will feature a typical Spanish breakfast of chocolate con churros, in Petritxol Street followed by a bus tour of the city.

The cost is simply 100 Euros per person. For further information, contact Miguel Ojeda, Circulo Holmes, Vicepresidente at

Happy Collecting!!


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Past 2009 Columns

January 3, 2010
Happy New Year! A Sherlockian Potpourri

January 10, 2010
Sherlockian Nirvana

January 17, 2010
Sherlocking in New York City 2010

January 24, 2010
The Forgetful Sherlockian

January 31, 2010
Barcelona October 2010

February 7, 2010
Sherlocking in Southern California

February 14, 2010
Sherlocking in the Sun

February 21, 2010
The Don Hobbs Olympics

February 28, 2010
Sherlockian Potpourri

March 6, 2010
Six Degrees of Sherlockian Separation

March 14, 2010
Lake Sherlockbegon Revisited

March 21, 2010

March 28, 2010
Spring At Last

April 4, 2010
Another One Bites The Dust

April 11, 2010
The New Sherlock Holmes

April 18, 2010
Adventures of a Maniac Collector

April 25, 2010
More Sherlockian Potpourri

May 2, 2010
Sherlock Holmes: The Melodrama

May 9, 2010
Sherlocking in the Pacific Northwest

May 16, 2010
Sherlockian Ramblings

May 23, 2010
Marriage, Sherlock Holmes and Logic

May 30, 2010
Foreign Accent Syndrome

June 6, 2010
Sherlocking With Les Klinger

June 13, 2010
The God of the Hive -- A Review

June 20, 2010
Sherlock Takes A Back Seat

June 27, 2010
The Manga Sherlock Holmes

July 4, 2010
Sherlock Is Still In The Back Seat

July 11, 2010
Tough Decisions

July 18, 2010
The Signs of the Four

July 25, 2010
Sherlocking in San Luis Obispo, California

August 1, 2010
The No Fog Countries Meeting