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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 29, 2015

Tuesday - We let a bus do the walking...

So our first full day in Barcelona we decided to do a round-the-city bus tour where you can off and get back on whenever you want.   It was fun - not really serious sightseeing, but pleasant and we got a good look at most of the city.  Went past the Sagrada Famiglia, of course, but didn't get off.  We're
doing that this morning (very shortly leaving in fact so I'll finish this later today hopefully).

We got off the first time at La Predrera - an apartment building designed by Gaudi which is pretty amazing and of which I could not get one decent picture.  I'lll check with Chris this evening and have him send me one of his maybe.  You can take a tour up to the roof of the building but we didn't do that although Chris may do it later.  We had a tasty good lunch in the restaurant that is on the first floor.  So far the tapas I've had here have been much more like I expected than any I had in Madrid but it could be because the restaurants have been a little more upscale.  If we ever eat at a cheaper one, it will be a better comparison.

So, I'm going to once again post some pictures - not a whole lot and I don't know about some of the things I took pictures of except the fact that I liked them, like this light fixture below.  It was in the foyer of a building and was shiny gold and just beautiful.


 Barcelona also has many, many, many buildings that cry out "take a picture of me!" and so I do.  They're very different from Madrid but very heavily decorated and attractive.

 Our tour bus took us past La Sagradaa Famiglia which we have tickets to visit tomorrow morning (Wednesday) so we didn't get off but it was thrilling even to just drive by it and I actually managed to get a couple decent pictures of it.


Our next hop off was at Finca Guell, a gatehouse designed by Gaudi as the entrance to a planned but never completed renovation of an estate owned by Mr. Guell.  This is the incredible ironwork dragon which is huge, is so wonderful.  That's Chris and Heather below.  Chris is a great travel companion for Barcelona because he knows about all there is to know about Gaudi and his projects
 We walked from here down the street a ways and stopped at a bakery for a little pick-me-up and then at some point got back on the bus and at another point got back off the bus (I'm losing track a little) and walked some more and the kids saw a shoe store for the brand of walking shoes they like so they went in and each bought a pair cause Heather hadn't brought any good walking shoes and Chris was wearing ancient ones apparently.  Got back on the bus and went way out around to the other side of Barcelona - got a look at Mont Juic and the little cable cars that go up and down to and from it.  I might be inclined to do that if there's time.  There's also a cable car that starts out at the harbor somewhere and comes in to Mont Juic lower down from where the ones we saw were.  It would be fun to take the harbor one, get off and then get on the Mont Juic one and do the whole shebang.
 We went past all the Olympic games arenas and such. Barcelona has hosted the Olympics twice now - once in the 20's and once in the 90's.
A very fuzzy picture of the little cable cars. We finally made it back to our starting point, got off the bus and started the walk home.  It was a beautiful evening.  We stopped at a small grocery and got some meats and cheeses to go with the bread we had bought at the bakery and a couple bottles of wine and wandered on home.  I saw this tree and had to take a picture.  We'll see if January knows what kind of tree it is.  With the streetlight shining on it, it looked like a grey tree that people had covered with bits of white paper .

So it was a very nice day with no momentous events or visits but with good companionship, good food, good wine and lots to look at.  Tomorrow it's La Sagrada Famiglia then Chris and I go up the street to the Hospital de la Santa Creu i San Pau and Heather is off to an apparently gigantic flea market she read about and being the savvy shopper she is will most likely come home with many bargains.

Buenos noches!

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