Monday, October 27, 2008


October 30, 2008

This past weekend I was lucky enough to find myself exploring the mecca of modernism that is Barcelona, Spain! I must say in advance that my words and photos will not do this fabulous city justice; as my new favorite city, I can't rave enough. Barcelona is blatantly unique from other cities, and its charms lie in its combination of modern and historic architecture and their exquisite details. The modernist movement left its mark on Barcelona, led by creative genius Antoni Gaudí who can be credited with some of the most magnificent creations in the city, incuding the Sagrada Familia, Casas Batlló and Milá, and the fairytale-esque Parc Güell. Nothing else like them exists in the world; I absolutely fell in love. As the capital of Catalonia, the city also has a distinct catalan influence separating it from the rest of Spain, found in everything from the language to the food. After 2 non-stop, exhausting days, we just about covered all the main sights, ate some authentic paella along the way, and got a true taste of the magnificent city of Barcelona.
Day 1, 10/23/2008 - We're in Spain!

Carly, Gabi, Justine and I left Padova Thursday evening, taking a bus to Treviso airport where our flight left from. The flight itself was pretty uneventful, except for these obnoxious Italians who didn't understand the concept of keeping their voices down in confined, shared spaces. We finally arrived in Girona, Spain around 11pm and had to catch a shuttle bus into Barcelona, about an hour and a half away. Once in the city, we switched transportation yet again and caught a taxi to our hostel, Hello BCN. As far as hostels go, this one was pretty decent. The ground floor had a cool lounge area with couches as well as a bar, but unlike some hostels it wasn't party central so it was a great place to just go hang out and relax without feeling like you're in a club. The 4 of us had our own room with bunks. Speaking of the beds...they were literally rock hard, like sleeping on the floor! And the first night they forgot to give us pillows, and since it was so late we just decided to go without, which, along with our ridiculous matresses, made for one of the most uncomfortable night's sleep ever!

Day 2, 10/24/2008 - Wandering La Rambla

I came to Barcelona prepared, with 4 pages of notes and info on things to see and do in the city, which put us on a tight schedule to cover it all in only 2 days. We started our first day along the water at Port Vell, formerly an obsolete harbor which now boasts several entertainment structures and grand buildings. Our eyes landed first on a huge, futuristic sculpture of metal loops, like the arcs created by a bouncing ball. The harbor itself was lovely, with boats scattered along the sparkling water and the wave-like pedestrain bridge, La Rambla del Mar, cutting across, connecting the end of the famous La Rambla street with the Maremàgnum entertainment complex.
Nearby there were also several fancy buildings, including the Naval Sector, an old customs building called the Aduana, the New World Trade Center, and the Maritime Museum. Next to one of the buildings was a pair of gorgeous hibiscus trees full of the red blossoms, making the perfect backdrop for a photo : )
Next we started our walk up the famous La Rambla, a street consisting of 5 'ramblas'. The wide boulevard connects the Plaça de Catalunya, a busy square, to the Monument a Colom, a tall column erected in honor of Christopher Columbus. We began at the latter end, the Rambla de Santa Monica, first admiring the beautiful and intricate column, flanked by several giant lion statues at the base and topped with a statue of the explorer himself. The often crowded street is popular with tourists and locals alike, with the middle part of the Rambla pedestrianized and bordered by trees. Elaborate buildings, kiosks, flower stalls, animal stalls, and street artists are in abundance here. Next was Rambla dels Caputxins, with several great things to see. There is the Gran Theatre del Liceu, a lovely building decorated in modernista style, Plaça Reial, a 19th century lively little square with tall palm trees and eclectic street lamps designed by Antoni Gaudí. Opposite the square is the eye-catching Palau Guëll, one of Gaudí's first residential buildings, complete with twisted iron details and his signature colorful "chimneys". My first tastes of the genius of Gaudí were absolutely thrilling!
The next rambla was Rambla de Sant Josep, better known as the Rambla de les Flors, or 'Flower Rambla' because of all the flower stalls you'll find there. At the start of the rambla there is a little square called Plaça de la Boqueria which features an asian-themed building, decorated with a cool art-deco dragon, and a mosaic by famous surrealist artist Joan Miró.
The best part of this rambla, however, was the Mercat de Boqueria, an extensive, colorful market, selling everything from exotic fruits and vegetables to whole pigs and animal hearts! Housed inside a huge tented area, the stalls are truly a treat for the eyes. The fruits and vegetables are displayed as if it were an art, with many exotic varieties standing out, and candy and chocolate stalls, with their bright and succulent treats lined up, literally make your mouth water just walking past... On the not so pleasant side for me, there was a meat and seafood section, which, among all the normal things you'd expect to find, there were also whole pigs, whole hearts, and other terrible things! It was still a lot of fun wandering the aisles, taking in all the interesting sights and smells!
When we'd finished in the market, we joined the crowd again and kept walking up La Rambla, stopping every now and then to look at the postcards at souvenir stands or the sad animals ebing sold in cages lined up stall after stall. Now on Rambla dels Estudis, we passed the 18th century Reial Acadèmia de Ciènces i Arts, a theater since 1910 which also houses the city's first public clock.

We finally made it to the final rambla, called Rambla de Canaletes, which ends at the beautiful Plaça de Catalunya. The square was enormous, flanked by statues and absolutely filled with swarms of pigeons! A cubist-style statue bearing the name of the square was there to greet us, and there was also a lovely fountain, surrounded by amazing beds of bright orange flowers! Surrounding the square were a bunch of really unique buildings, too: a castle-esque building with orange spires; a concrete brick building where the name is an optical illusion of the same brick; and a grand white palace which really was just a bank. As we walked to the other side to leave, we saw the Canalete fountain, which legend says that once you drink from it, you will keep returning to Barcelona : ) It looked a little too green for us though, so we passed. But I definitely don't need a fountain to make me return to this city!

Our next stop was the city's gothic cathedral, officially named Cathedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia, after Barcelona's patron saint Eulalia. But as we got closer, we were shocked to see the entire church covered in scaffolding! Only a few spires stuck out from behind the ugliness : ( Needless to say, we were pretty disappointed. It was pretty expensive to go inside, too, so we opted out. I was a little sad because in the cloister, there are always 13 geese in its central courtyard, each representing one year in the life of the martyr Santa Eulalia, a young girl tortured to death in the 4th century by the Romans for her religion. I wasn't sure if the geese were real or fake, and I still don't know!! Compare the pics I took with one from the internet to see how the cathedral looks without scaffolding.

At this point we spotted a Starbuck's, so Justine and Carly went to get a pick-me-up while Gabi and I went to get a closer look at a really cool looking building we had seen from the distance. The roof was wave-like with a colorful geometric, mosaic-style pattern. Upon closer inspection, we realized it was another market, the Mercat de Santa Caterina.

Our next stop was lunch! We were lucky enough to come across a restaurant called princess-something with the most amazing thing on the menu....NACHOS!! Having gone without mexican food for 4+ months, we had all been craving it since we got to Spain (for some reason we associated mexican food with Spain...the language maybe?), so we were super excited. When they came out, topped with a mound of guacamole, something we hadn't seen in so long, we just dug in!

Our stomachs no longer grumbling, we headed for the Picasso Museum! The highlight for me, sadly, was the gift shop which had several things, including a t-shirt, with Picasso's peace dove lithograph that I have tattooed on my ankle! The museum itself was interesting, but it only had his work pre-cubism and it didn't have any of his major works. The best part is too graphic for words, but let's just say there was an anatomical comparison that proves right the sayings! Haha.

Next on the schedule was the wonderful Parc de la Ciutadella. The park is home to a zoo (which until a couple years ago had a famous albino gorilla), a lake, a large fountain, and several museums. The Catalan Parliament is also seated at a reddish building in the center of the park, with rows of surrealistic looking trees in front of it. Upon entering the park, we were greeted by 2 tagged green parrots that had flown over from the zoo : ) The lake was beautiful, albeit a little green, with trees growing directly out of the water and little row boats available for rent scattered across it. I had read about a giant mammoth statue in the park, too, so I was eager to find it. When we did, we couldn't resist climbing up onto his trunk, which was curved perfectly for a person to sit! Definitely my favorite part of the park. There was also supposed to be a statue of a metallic cat, but unfortunately we couldn't find it : (

The park also has a famous fountain called the Cascada, an impressive arched fountain complete with waterfall, built for the 1888 Universal exhibition and loosely based on the Trevi Fountain in Rome. But as luck would have it, the Cascada was also covered in scaffolding! We literally couldn't believe our luck, or lack thereof. Despite this unfortunate "blemish", we took pics and climbed the ivy covered stairs on the sides of the fountain for a great view over the park grounds. On our way out, we passed the medieval Castel dels Tres Dragons, which now houses the Museo de Zoologia.

From here we were just a short walk from the Arc de Triomf. The stunning red brick arc is situated at the end of a wide promenade lined with palms and these über cool curliqueue lamposts. With its colorful Spanish brickwork design, the arc stands out from other notable arches in other cities like Paris and Rome. The top of the arch is adorned with a stone carving of the Coat of Arms of Barcelona. The other Spanish provinces are represented as well on either side of the crown.

From here we went to find the Palau de la Mùsica Catalana, a brick, multi-leveled, pillared, embellished masterpiece of modernista architecture. From pictures I could tell that the inside was even more impressive, but unfortunately we didn't have the time or money. The facade was truly spectacular, but as it was located in a narrow street, it couldn't be seen straight-on, so my pics are of bits and parts. At this point, I was forced to see the error of my ways in choosing to wear my new boots for a long day of walking; my feet were throbbing like crazy! I took my turn at another Starbuck's to refuel and rest my poor feet.

I had been looking forward to our next place ever since I started planning our trip to Barcelona, and even more so after seeing it displayed on various postcards throughout the city: Casa Batlló, one of Gaudí's masterpieces in Barcelona. Let me just say, nothing else in the world is like it, every detail is inspired and reeks of creativity. I was constantly marveling at his genius, wondering where his ideas could have come from and why I couldn't be like him. Located on the fashionable boulevard Passeig de Gracia, Casa Batlló, is one of 3 consecutive houses in the modernist style, each by a different architect. Gaudí's of course is the most expressive and impressive, and thus has become the most famous. The eccentric facade of Casa Batlló is made of sandstone covered with colorful trencadis (a Catalan type of mosaic), making it look like something from a fairytale. In true Gaudí style, straight lines are avoided whenever possible in his design, and thus interesting shapes are found everywere: the 1st floor features irregularly sculpted oval windows, the balconies at the lower floors have bone-like pillars, and those on the upper floors look like pieces of skulls. As a result of these features, the house was given the nickname 'House of Bones'. The enlarged windows on the first floor also gave it another nickname, 'House of Yawns'.

The house's interior is just as fascinating as the exterior. Once again Gaudí avoided using straight lines everywhere possible, leading to some rather unconventional details. There are large oval windows lined with colorful, spherical stained glass, with delicate carved wooden columns in front. Even the wooden doors are one-of-a-kind! One room also has a mushroom-shaped fireplace, complete with benches on either side of the grate! The ceilings are also worth a look, with 3-dimensional textures, like bumps or spirals. Crisp white hallways have consecutive arch-shaped ceilings, creating an optical illusion as you stared down them. The terrace off this floor also has beautiful colorful mosaics mirroring the front facade.
Taking the stairs up to he roof, you're surrounded by pretty blue and white tiled walls interspersed with windows and balconies. The roof, to me, was the most spectacular. Anyone who knows me knows I love mermaids, and the top of the facade, in my opinion, with its colorful scales in front and bright mosaics in back, is about as mermaid-esque as you can get with architecture! There are just no words to describe it; it was like so many things I love combined into one: mermaids, shiny, fairytales, and candy! I was speechless. You could even go inside this part, where there was a weird little water fountain playing gurgling noises. Gabi and Justine literally had to tear me away after like 20 minutes!
When we got outside, it was starting to get dark, so we sat on a bench across from the house to take a break before heading to get dinner. As luck would have it, we suddenly looked over to find Casa Batlló illuminated! It was even more stunning all lit up, starting with a greenish hue and becoming a golden glow, and we took about 100 photos of it between the 3 of us. Since it had gotten a little dreary out by the time we'd gotten to Casa Batlló that day, we decided to come by it again the next day to see the facade in better lighting.Dinner was not the smoothest of operations. We took the metro back to La Rambla and after looking for something good but decently priced for close to an hour, exhausted and with feet aching, we found ourselves back in Plaça Reial, lured into sitting at a restaurant when a waiter shoved a menu into our hands. Lucky us, it turned out to be one of the worst restaurants I've ever been to! We sat outside until we were informed that if you weren't buying drinks you had to sit inside...and a bottle of water doesn't count. So we move inside, order our food, and are then told in a very rude tone that it would be a 20 minute wait for our food. Ok, we thought. Until 45 minutes later we still did not have our food! When it finally came, we were relieved that it was at least tasty. In true Spanish style, I ordered the vegetable paella, served in the pan it was cooked in. Not surprisingly, we waited a half hour for our check before hobbling home, showering quickly, and literally falling into bed, exhausted beyond belief, but extremely excited for what we had planned for the following day!

Day 3, 10/25/2008 - Montjüic, More Gaudí, & Magic Fountain

Before going to bed the night before, Gabi, Justine, and I had outlined our plan for the next day, cramming in all the sights we hadn't gotten to yet, leaving us with a very busy itinerary. With so much to do, we got an early start leaving at 9am and heading to Montjüic, a hill near the center of Barcelona, featuring many famous attractions. As our feet were killing us from the day before and we were pushed for time, we bought day passes for the Metro and took that from place to place. We started at the Plaça d'Espanya, the square at the foot of Montjüic. Several interesting sights are located here. The centerpiece of the square is a large modernist fountain designed by several famous Barcelonian architects. Two twin Venetian Towers flank the wide avenue, Avinguda de la Reina María Christina, modelled after the Bell Tower in Piazza San Marco in Venice. At the other end of the square stands the red brick Arenas de Barcelona, originally an arena for bullfighting, it never caught on in Catalonia and thus is now being transformed into a shopping center. In the area behind the arena lies Parc de Joan Miró, a small park named after the famous local artist who left his mark there with a large, colorful, surrealist sculpture, called Dona i Ocell, or Woman and Bird. After seeing all the above, we headed up the Avinguda de la Reina María Christina toward the grand Palau Nacional. Before the palace lies the large Font Màgica or Magic Fountain. The fountain is not active during the day, but several times at night, it comes alive with colorful cascades of water! Of course we made plans to return later that evening forthe show! Although the palace appears very old, it was actually built in 1929 for the International Exhibition. It now houses the National Museum of Catalonian Art. But it's location at the top of Montjüic hill is the highlight; it provides some of the best views over the city.

From there we walked further up the hill to the Poble Espanyol, or Spanish Village, also built for the 1929 Exhibition. Meant to show visitors a replica of authentic Spanish architecture, it was basically an imitation of an old Spanish village. The village features a large square, the Plaza Mayor, and a couple smaller squares connected by picturesque streets, some with stairs. It also includes a town hall, a church, a monastery, shops, and residential buildings. There was even an old man working in a glass-making studio for visitors to watch! Although it was interesting and many of the buildings were impressive, it looked too fake for me. My favorites were the brick and white striped Torre de Utebo, the Monasterio de Sant Miquel, and the entrance gate Puerta San Vicente. There were also some great views of the city from the village if you peaked through gaps between trees, some with the famous Sagrada Familia church and Torre Agbar visible!
Next we hopped back on the Metro and headed to the strangely modern Parc de l'Espanya Industrial, sitting just south of a large railway station. The park overcomes a difference in elevation between the elevated railway station on one side and the lower parkland on the other by a series of steep steps bordering a lake and forming an odd sort of amphitheater. Of course when we were there, the man-made lake was dried up : ( At the top of the stairs are a series of 14 cool, futuristic-looking watchtowers.

The best part of the park, however, was this huge, cast iron sculpture called St. George and the dragon which also happens to be a slide! When we got there a bunch of little kids were going up and down it, so we thought we'd give it a try as well... only we are a lot bigger than those kids, so gravity pulled us a lot faster! Although it was a little scary at first (it's much higher than it looks!) it was a lot of fun and exactly the break we needed from sightseeing. Check out the funny video below!

From there we headed back to the modernist Eixample neighborhood where Casa Batlló was located and took some more pics, this time with a nice blue sky backdrop. The house next door, Casa Amatller, by another modernist architect, was unfortunately covered by blue scaffolding, but a few houses down we were able to see Casa Lléo Morera, by yet another architect, with a cute little suspended tower in the midde of it. Together these 3 modernist houses earned the name Mançana de la Discordia, or Apple of Discord, for being so different from the surrounding buildings. Next we spent a good hour looking for a decent place to get lunch near Gaudí's Casa Milá - which, unfortunately for us, is located in a very upscale shopping and hotel area, making it very difficult to find somewhere cheap to eat. Eventually we settled for less than delicious sandwiches, then Gabi, Justine, and I went to get in line for Casa Milá while Carly went to check out the Palau de la Mùsica Catalana. Also known as La Pedrera, the exterior of the house is wave-like, sort of resembling a honey-comb, with oddly twisted cast iron balconies. In true Gaudí fashion, not a single line was used in the design, inside or out. And while much larger and less colorful than Casa Batlló, it is nonetheless an impressive sight to see.

Inside was magnificent and an absolute treat for the eyes. The entrance door is like an iron spider web of circles, but what's waiting inside is even better. In my opinion, the ground floor is the best, with a colorful stuccoed ceiling and brightly painted walls, and 2 wonderfully eclectic staircases, one with columns running alongside making spirals where they touch the ceiling and another covered with ivy and sheltered by a canopy. The tour began with the attic, whose walls and ceiling were completely made up of concentric arches of red brick, and which houses an exposition of Gaudí's works, including some the quirky chairs he designed. The lighting was dim, inducing a cool optical illusion all around us!

Next up was the most extraordinary part - the roof! Topped with several surrealistic, twisting, colorful chimneys, you truly feel like you've been transported to a fantasy world. The terrace itself is not flat, it's made up of waves, with several staircases connected lower levels to the upper ones. Many of the "chimneys" reminded me of soft serve ice cream because of their smooth, twisted shapes and creamy coloring. We spent about 45 up there, circling the entire terrace and enjoying the views of the surrounding neighborhood and the city. Their was even a great view of both the Sagrada Familia and the bullet-shaped, sparkling Torre Agbar! The roof is an absolute must-see and it will leave you truly inspired.

Back inside we visited the final part of the house, an apartment on the top floor. It was more convential than I had associated with Gaudí; it was very clean, delicate, and white, a mixture of expressionist and Art Nouveau styles, but almost like something out of Home & Garden magazine. My favorite feature of this part was the pretty raised designs on the ceilings surrounding the chandeliers.

The rest of the afternon we continued the Gaudí trend, taking the Metro to his final, unfinished masterpiece: the infamous Sagrada Familia. The iconic church, which has literally become a symbol of Barcelona, is two-faced, since the front and back have very different, distinct looks. The so-called "back", from a distance, appears to be melting, but up close, it is ornamented in a baroque fashion with motifs of animals and plants and the famous Nativity Facade in the center. It is topped by 4 tall immensely tall towers on each side, although when finished it will have a total of 18. It is the most unconventional and impressive thing I've ever seen, I could barely take my eyes off it. And once again I said to myself, "Gaudí was a fucking genius."

The "front" of the church is lighter and smoother than the front, and features the famous Passion Facade behind 6 diverging columns. To the right is an extension of the church, distinctly different from the rest, with several of Gaudí's signature colorful "chimney" tops. Once again, I could've spent all day admiring the details of this facade. Unfortunately as it is still unfinished, it was surrounded by scaffolding and construction, but they did little to take away from the powerful effect of the church. The Sagrada Familia is scheduled to be finished in 2041, and I can't wait to return and see the finished masterpiece!

In the park in front of the church, I took a much-needed break to massage my feet, which had gotten to such a level of pain that I was practically hobbling. When I removed my boots I saw that I had several blisters and a few areas were even numb! If I weren't so determined to see everything on my list, I think I would have called it a day right there because they hurt so bad. So I begrudgingly put my boots back on and we headed toward our last Gaudí work, which also happens to be an UNESCO World Heritage Sight: Parc Güell.
The Metro doesn't take you directly to the park, so there is actually a pretty long walk to get there. We followed some signs which ended up taking us the wrong way and up a virtually 90 degree incline, but we eventually made it. When I layed my eyes on the entrance I actually gasped... I felt like I'd just walked into a fairytale! The 2 pavilions flanking the entrance, designed by Gaudí, seem to be taken out of Hansel and Gretel, with curved roofs covered with brightly colored tiles and ornamented spires. They looked just like huge ginger bread houses! Beyond the pavilions is a double-sided staircase decorated with ceramics, with the most eccentric fountain at its center and a mosaic covered dragon-like lizard further up.

At the top of the staircase is a hall known as the Sala Hipòstila with 86 huge columns supporting the platform for the large square called the Gran Placa Circular. This famous feature of the park is reached via a connecting flight of stairs and is bordered by the serpentine bench, considered to be the largest bench in the world! The colorful ceramic serpentine bench, designed not by Gaudí but Jujol, twists snakelike around the plaza, its curves perfect for nestling into : ) The view from the plaza is spectacular as well - on a clear day you can actually see as far as the Mediterranean Sea!

Next we saw the pink colored Casa Museu Gaudí, a pavilion where Gaudí once lived which now houses a museum dedicated to the man himself. Another unique aspect of the park is the decorative "rock" work. Hallways lined by columns of rock were everywhere, some even quite intricate... I'm still not sure what to make of them! We kept wandering the park until twilight, finding new treasures at every turn, and then watched the sunset from a terrace.When it was dark we headed back toward the Metro. I could barely walk at this point, and I actually felt physically sick from the constant throbbing I'd been experiencing since 9am! I pushed on, however, since we only had a couple more things to see. We went back to the Sagrada Familia, hoping to see it all lit up, but were unfortunately disappointed. Then we headed back to Montjüic for the 8:30pm Magic Fountain show! When we came up from the Metro, we heard music and saw the fountain and without a thought Gabi and I just took off running! Oddly, this seemed to help my feet; I think maybe it caused more blood flow? Anyway, when we got there we were speechless. For about 20 minutes we just sat there in awe, watching the colors change from yellow to red to pink to blue and the plumes of water changing from one stunning shape to the next. At the same time, the Palau Nacional was illuminated, providing a beautiful backdrop to the even more beautiful fountain. I cannot think of a more fitting name for this wonder than the Magic Fountain. I might even go so far to say that it has been my favorite thing I've seen in all of Europe so far... Something about the combination of the lights, colors, and music was just magical : ) Check out this link for a clip of the show:

When the show finished we met up with a Carly's friend and also a friend of Gabi's who is studying in Barcelona as well, and went to a small Mexican restaurant for dinner. We had to split up since there wasn't a big enough table, so Carly and her friends went to another restaurant close by. The food was really tasty, especially since we have all been craving Mexican food for 4 months. I got enchilades verdes and we ordered a bottle of red wine to split.
After dinner we went to a fantastic local bar called Espito Chupitos, which is known for its creative shooters. My first one was called the Boy Scout; first they light a fire on the table and give you skewers with marshmallows attached, which you thn roast, dip in the shooter, eat, and then shoot the alchohol. It was by far the most delicious thing I've ever put in my mouth! I have no idea what was in the shooter, but it was heaven. Check out the video below!

My next shot entailed more pyrotechnics (which the bar seemed to do a lot of)... The bar tender filled 4 shot glasses with alcohol, poured some liquid onto the table in a spiral design, lit it on fire, including our shots, then extinguished everything but our shots and gave us straws to drink them while still flaming! At that point I was finished for the night, but I got to watch some other cool ones: the Watermelon, in which they place a piece of watermelon shaped and flavored gum at the bottom of the shooter to use as chaser; the Harry Potter, in which they light the shots on fire and then sprinkle cinammon over the flames to create "magic sparks"; a nameless one in which the bar tender fills a shot glass, covers it with her hand with a straw peaking out, and then has you drink from it, slams it on the table to create strong alcohol fumes inside, and then makes you drink the rest (Justine made the funniest faces with this one!); and finally the Monica Lewinsky, which is too graphic to describe here! After a while it got super crowded and smokey, so I opted to head back while Gabi, Justine, and Carly, went with their friends to a club.

Day 4, 10/26/2008 - An End to a Perfect Weekend

Oddly, "fall back" occured on our last night there, so we gained an extra hour of much-needed sleep! We checked out of our hostel, got sandwiches on La Rambla, then took the Metro to the Bus Station. Altough I was dead tired and glad to be going home, I was sad to leave such an amazing city. Like I said, my words and pictures do not do it justice, it's a place that must be seen in person. Gaudí's work is truly one-of-a-kind and I envy is creative genius but also love him for it. My trip to Barcelona was really the perfect weekend : )
On the flight back I caught some pics over Girona, and going over the Dolomites there was an eery fog so that just the black peaks were visible. Back in Treviso we caught another bus back to Padova, glad to be home but more than ready to go back!
Besos xx


Anonymous said...

I would have never thought about Barcelona being a such a beautiful city. Of course, the architecture of Gaudi that you took such great pictures of make it seem more than one might think. Again, you're commentary is remarkable.

love, mom

Anonymous said...

wow! I just watched the magic fountain video. Truly amazing. How do they get all the different colors? It's like the water itself is on fire. loved it!