Monday, July 2, 2007


On Saturday, June 23, we drove south from Andorra into Spain. The mountains were beautiful. Arrived in Barcelona on the coast in about 2.5 hours. Found the hotel with no problem; however, the name on my internet reservation was different than the name on the front of the hotel. After 3 times around the block, we decided that had to be it and went to check in. We walked to Sagrada Familia. It is a cathedral that Gaudi designed and started building before his death. It is still under construction and it is expected to take another 30 years to complete. Two of the 3 facades are complete. Gaudi completed the Nativity façade. The Passion (Christ’s death) was completed by another artist but in a much different style. The Resurrection façade is not done yet. It is a very interesting building.

Then went to the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter). Happened upon a little court in which it is said that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella received Christopher Columbus upon his return from America.
In the evening we had paella at a restaurant near the beach. Ended up talking to a group of British people sitting next to us and spent the rest of the evening with them. It was the Fete de San Juan (St. John Festival) that day in Barcelona. It is said that St. John traveled through this area on his later missionary journeys. The festival consists of beach parties and fireworks.
On Sunday I took a morning walk around L’Eixample – amazing Spanish architecture and some Modernista buildings. The building that houses the Guell museum is the most interesting.
Then we went to Parc Montjuic. It is the highest point of the city and where Olympic Stadium is. There are several beautiful gardens and museums as well.

We wandered around Las Ramblas some before getting ready to go to the beach. We went to the beach near Parc Olimpic – Olympic Village where all the athletes were housed during the 1992 games. The Games revitalized Barcelona. This area is now full of restaurants and hotels. The beach was quite busy. More paella for dinner.

I enjoyed Barcelona, go to do everything I had wanted to except visit a few art museums. But maybe next time. I found that I had blocked out all the Spanish I learned in school in order to learn what little French I have on this trip, but I did understand numbers in Spanish where I still don’t in French.

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