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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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November 04, 2015

Saturday - A quick finish of the day

Well, quick compared to most of my posts.  After the very enjoyable visit to La Predrera, we had a fun tapas lunch where each thing we got was delicious.  We sat at the bar and I noticed a great big round glass container and guessed that it contained sangria - dark red liquid with apples floating on top - not too hard to guess.  And yes, that's what it was so we had that too.  And so good and so cheap!!  I think the whole thing was either 6.5 or 7.5 euros!  And I forgot to post this picture of the grand stairway at La Predrera so it comes first.  Incidentally, this whole project was commissioned by a gentleman and his wife who bought the two plain apartment buildings, had Gaudi fix them all up Gaudi style, and maintained the whole first floor (or in America it would be the second floor)  as their home.  The remaining apartments were rented out (or maybe purchased?)  Anyway, money, money, money.

So, the next project was to take a cable car that runs from a point on the harbor, across the harbor and up a hill where you can get off and go somewhere up there to take another cable car up to Mont Juic where I guess you can see the whole city even better than on the first cable car's hill and plus which I think there's all the Olympic arenas and such on Mont Juic.  Simply can't keep track of it all and anyway, we didn't go all the way to Mont Juic.

We took a bus or two down to the harbor area and then waited at least one hour in the sun just to get on the elevator to go up to where the cable car comes in.  Then we waited up there through two loadings of people and finally got on with the third batch to go.  In my humble opinion, they allow too many people on the car at once because they are circular with windows all around but the folks in the middle of the circle of people at the windows don't see a whole lot.  But when we got up there the views of the harbor and the city were very nice.  I think from Mont Juic you have 360 degree views and you probably don't from this place but it was good enough for us.  Quite honestly though, I didn't find the whole experience worth the money spent.  But, it was my first cable car ride ever so that's something, right?

Now, pictures and not a huge bunch. :)

 This is the tower with the elevator that a takes you up to the top and below this picture is one looking up into the tower.  Looks like a giant erector set.

 Here's car coming in...

And here are a few of the wheels (are they called flywheels?) that make it all happen.  The biggest one looks blurry because they were moving.  Pretty neat.

Obviously, in the photos below we arrived safely at the top and are now enjoying the view. :)

I loved the bright red ship in the front of this picture.  It really stood out.

I sure wonder what the three tall stacks are.  We decided we would walk down the hill by a route Chris figured out that would bring us to a bus stop for the bus we needed.  It was a beautiful afternoon and it was all downhill so a nice hike.  And, we ended up right at that big building and the three stacks behind it and I thought "oh, good - maybe we can see what they are".  But there was no sign or plaque or anything to identify them.  The building is quite modern and the stacks are obviously older - they're brick and up close, the brick work is attractive.  So I would still love to know what they were and if they were left standing because they were something special or if, for that matter, they're somehow still in use for something.

And that's about it - we got back to the apartment and Heather appeared not too much later.  We were all pretty worn out.  Heather had show and tell from her expedition to the beads, laces, vintage fabric stores she discovered.  I may have to beg for bits of some of them because even though I don't do all that much needlework anymore, when I see things like this I think "ooh, I could use that for..."

Heather and I spent some time getting organized to pack and we lazed around till about 10:00 and then were very Barcelona and went across the street to get a little something.  Turned out to be a fun place mostly because of the woman who was waiting tables - a slightly worn blonde but very sassy in her leopard print tights.  :)

And there is no need for a Sunday post because Heather had an early flight to catch so left the apartment around 8 something and then I finished up my packing and Chris walked me to the Plaza where the express bus to the airport picks up passengers.  I flew from Barcelona to Pisa, got a bus from there to the Pisa train station, got a train from there to Genoa, had some frantic moments when Rosanna called to see where I was because I had mistakenly told her the train would arrive at 9:17 when in fact, it arrived properly at 9:47.  The bad thing was that there actually was a train from Pisa that arrived at 9:17.  So when she called and I told her I was still on the train she cried "No, get off at the very next stop and I will come get you! If you don't you are on your way to France!"  Needless to say that startled me but I was pretty sure, having asked two people sitting near me, that the next stop was the station I wanted so between texts and calls that got cut off and etc., we finally met up.  She is such a delightful woman - very, very quick and eager.  I felt bad that she had such a fumble-bum to deal with but she took it all in stride and we had a delightful visit and I will have some photos to post about that next.

For now, it's 9:30 a.m., I've been awake since about 8 all cozy in bed working on this and am thinking I may get dressed and go in search of a "little something".  It's going to be a restorative day for me. :)


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