Frolicking through Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain has a certain energy.  A fresh, fun, and exciting spirit!  Arriving by train from Madrid (a 3-hr. trip), my traveling companion and I dropped our luggage at the hotel and began walking.  First along the waterfront…

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Then we found a park with–of course–a fountain and magnificent statutes.

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Heading towards the “Gothic” area…we saw “Street Art”…

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 Fun shops…

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That’s me in the window…acting silly!!

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Colorful veggies, fruits, bread and candy…a true Farmer’s Market!

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  No visit to Barcelona would be complete without viewing some of Antoni Gaudi‘s architecture.  I love his whimsical style!

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The famous Sagrada Familia’s completion is planned for 2026…the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.  He designed it to have 18 towers, 12 for the 12 apostles, 4 for the 4 evangelists, one for Mary and one for Jesus.

In 1926 Gaudí was hit by a tram. Because of his ragged attire and empty pockets, many cab drivers refused to pick him up for fear that he would be unable to pay the fare.  He was eventually taken to a paupers’ hospital in Barcelona. Nobody recognized the injured artist until his friends found him the next day.  When they tried to move him into a nicer hospital, Gaudí refused, reportedly saying “I belong here among the poor.”   He died three days later and was buried in the midst of Sagrada Família.

I know this isn’t a very good photo…but it’s so tall…hard to fit it all in, so I’m only showing a small portion…

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Tomorrow we’ll enjoy “bare buns” in Barcelona.  Oh, and thanks so much for reading!

Enchantment…the Alcazar Castle in Segovia, Spain

The famous Alcazar Castle is located in the enchanted village of Segovia, Spain, which is surrounded by a medieval wall, and the village itself has twisting alleyways and pedestrian streets where cars are banned.  Located 22 minutes from Madrid via fast train (which is how we traveled) or just over an hour by regular train, makes it a perfect day trip to include in your itinerary while in Spain!

Originally, I thought the Alcazar Castle was the source of inspiration for Walt Disney when creating Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disney world.  Actually it was the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.  But, this castle was where Columbus secured the financial backing necessary, from Queen Isabel, to discover America.

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I took this photo from within the castle…

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The gardens were amazing!  This shot was taken from above looking down (obviously).

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The world-renowned Roman Aqueduct, the largest and best preserved of its kind anywhere is a massive architectural marvel.

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This 16th-century Cathedral, a prominent landmark as one approaches from any direction, was impressive.

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I’m not sure what the history of this is…but I like it.

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This little girl agreed to be photographed while her Mother stood by.

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I hope I’ve convinced you to visit Segovia.  You’ll fall in love!

Walking Madrid

Madrid was the first of many stops of my whirlwind three-week European vacation, in 2010.  I traveled with a woman who I had met through my meetup.com affiliation.

Europe’s small sidewalk cafes are so charming!  I love to people watch, drink sangria, and dine on tapas in Madrid!  For me, that is what makes Europe such an alluring place to visit or live!

Following the advice of Rick Steves, our hotel made reservations for us to see a traditional Spanish Flamenco dance, at “Corral de la Moreria”.  The following evening, we walked the mile or two to see the show and were informed they had a private show that evening.  The hotel had mistakenly made our reservation for the previous evening.

Of course we were disappointed, but luckily, one of the dancers was outside and I requested a picture with her.  She graciously agreed!

Obviously, I hadn’t learned how to stand for a picture.  If you’ll notice, she is standing sidewise…which gives the illusion of a smaller frame.  She’s quite beautiful!

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This gentleman lady was anxious to pose for my lens!

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I’m not sure we’re experiencing the authentic Madrid?

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 These puppeteers were quite entertaining

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More walking…

SS850413The Jamones or ham in Spain are very tasty!

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We stayed in Madrid for three days, one of which we spent taking a side trip to lovely Segovia…which I’m saving for a later post.  We typically walked four to eight miles a day, which is a nice way to acquaint yourself with an area.  But, Madrid is one of the larger cities we visited, so I didn’t get to see as much as I would have liked.

Cincinnati Art Museum and The Way

I had an artsy day today.  Enjoyed spending a couple of hours at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  One painting stood out to me.  The Road Under Trees, by Claude Schuffenecker..1888.

 

Next I went to the Esquire Theater in Clifton to see the movie, “The Way”.  I really enjoyed it.

Martin Sheen plays Tom, an American, who travels to France to recover the remains of his son, who died in a storm hiking the pilgrimage route known as the Camino de Santiago.  Tom decides to hike it with his son’s ashes, to honor him, meets some interesting people and develops a deep bond with them.  The movie was very inspirational!

THE WAY, written and directed by Emilio Estevez, was filmed entirely in Spain and France along the actual Camino de Santiago.

I first became aware of this 800 km pilgrimage a few years ago and it’s on my bucket list.  What’s interesting is just in the past few days, it has come to my attention through two sources, another blogger, Anita Mac at TravelDestinationBucket and a facebook friend who just saw the movie.

Also…the painting I was drawn to at the Museum appears to be someone hiking on a trail. I believe I’m destined to traverse it!

According to Wikipedia…

The Way may refer to a spiritual path:

  • The Way or “Tao” of Taoism
  • An early term for early Christianity (see also The Two Ways)
  • The Way of the Cross, a Catholic devotion to the Passion of Christ.
  • The Way (church) (Japanese: 道会, michikai), a Japanese movement founded by Matsumura Kaiseki in 1907
  • The Way International, a Biblical research, teaching and fellowship ministry founded by Victor Paul Wierwille in 1942.
  • The Way of Madonna Della Strada
  • The Way, or , of any number of spiritual and martial disciplines stemming from Japanese culture.
  • The Way of the Buddha Dharma, or Buddhism
  • The Way of Shinto
  • A term used for the Two by Twos church, commonly known as The Way, Meetings, Workers and Friends, Cooneyites or The Truth

UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Europe

Europe has the most sites by far…with 44 Italy has the most and Spain is the runner up with 41.  N. America has 20.  These are the UNESCO sites I’ve been to within Europe…

 

 

Sintra, Portugal

 

 

Barcelona, Spain…Works of Antoni Gaudi

 

 

Dubrovnik, Croatia

 

 

London, England…Tower of London

 

 

Paris, France…Banks of the Seine

 

 

Paris, France, Cathedral of Notre-Dame

 

 

Old Town of Corfu, Greece

 

 

Vatican City, Holy See

 

 

Rome, Italy

 

Venice, Italy

 

 

Cinque Terre, Italy

 

 

Segovia, Spain

If you’d like to learn more about these areas…check out the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Thanks for stopping by!!