Saturday, March 7, 2009


I made another trip to Toulouse for work. I was able to work my travel out to have a weekend over there. I went to Barcelona, Spain for the weekend with 4 co-workers. I had the opportunity to visit Barcelona in June 2007 for a weekend so this trip was intended to do things I hadn’t the first time. I love the architecture of the city – so diverse. The majority of the 200 pictures I took are of buildings. Barcelona is about a 3.5 hour drive from Toulouse. We drove down Friday night after work. Had a late dinner at the Hard Rock Café in Place de Catalunya. Saturday we took a hop-on, hop-off bus tour of the city on a double decker bus. It was sunny in the morning but became overcast as the day went on and the bus ride got a little cold. But the bus ride afforded us a great trip around the city – parts I had not seen before. We did our first hop-off at Sagrada Familia cathedral. This cathedral was designed by Gaudi and construction began in the late 1800s. It is funded entirely by private donations, so the pace of construction is slow. I read once it will take an estimated 30 more years to complete it. The nativity façade was designed by Gaudi and was built during his life time. (That's me in the red.)The crucifixion façade is controversial as it was designed by a Japanese artist and is in stark contrast to what Gaudi designed. Every detail of the cathedral has significance. Spires represent the 4 gospels and the 12 fruits of the Spirit. The front doors are inscribed with the names of God.
We took the bus tour in a big loop around the city and saw many neighborhoods and fascinating buildings. Then we made our way to Parc Montjuic – the high point of the city. The venues for the 1992 Olympics are all on Parc Montjuic. The Olympics created a major revitalization of Barcelona. The Olympic Village was downtown on the beach – and most are now hotels. We went to the Joan Miro museum. I think I appreciated the art a little more than my co-workers. We then rode downtown and walked La Rambla. It is full of art kiosks and street performers. Dinner was down near the beach (the Mediterranean Sea) for paella. Sunday we took a detour due to the Barcelona Marathon. We walked thru Barri Gothic. Went to the Picasso Museum – which ends up is free the first Sunday of every month. After browsing through some pottery shops, we made our way to L’Aquarium which is down near the marina.I used the aquarium setting on my camera for the first time. The aquarium was nice but wasn’t really worth the 17 Euros entrance fee.
And after 2 full days, it was back to Toulouse and I flew home the next morning. I have a list of what I want to see “the next time” I get to Barcelona. I sit back and am amazed that I even think that there will be a next time. I feel so blessed with the opportunities I have been given.

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