Monday, April 4, 2011


From the Manzana de la Discordia (block of the discord) Barcelona. We were there late in the day. Early morning light would have been better for pictures.

Cathedral in the Barri Gotic

Dragonback plaza in Parc Guell..The tile mosaics are called trencadis. You can see this in Gaudi's buildings too

Me sitting on Gaudi bench in the middle of Passeig de Gracia

Parc Guell

From Wiki: Casa Batilo (Gaudi) at night
I watched the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona with interest. What a beautiful city with all its modernista architecture, particularly that of Gaudi! I vowed that if I ever got to Europe, difficult at the time as I had 3 kids, one a baby, I would head to Barcelona. Ten years later, we had a mom's trip to Paris where one of the 'babies' was studying. How close is Paris to Barcelona? Thirteen hours by train.

We took the Joan Miro, the night train to Barcelona. We (two of us moms) opted for the deluxe suite. Beautiful lit up French villages flashed by as we had a gourmet Spanish dinner with plenty of wines. We were very comfy in our bunks. We even had our own shower!. I woke up several times in the night as the train chugged through the Pyrenees. The railroads in France and Spain have different gauges: our train (Talgo) was equipped to have the wheels adjust at the border.

We stayed in the Barri Gotic, the gothic section, a maze of narrow, dark passages. We feasted at the edge of the Mediterranean on paella containing numerous sea creatures sipping our sangria on a bright, sunny day. Miles we walked through the Gothic section, Las Ramblas, Passeig Gracia, Parc Guell taking the subway between locations (rides were about 30 cents each way). So much to see!

Dinner is late in Spain: 10 pm. We found a place near our hotel in the Gothic section. It seemed popular. We opened the menu: all in Catalan. I could understand that 'pa' meant bread but little beyond that. The waiter spoke no English. We didn't hear anyone speak it the whole time we were there and I knew no Catalan or Spanish. (The next time I was in Spain, I learned enough Spanish to get around). I listened carefully in the dining room for English speaking tourists. None. Then I thought I heard German and trotted over to the speakers with the stereotype that Germans usually know English.

Sprechen Sie Englisch? I asked hopefully.

One of the tourists replied in English..What makes you think we are German! We are Dutch! We find this an insult.
I apologized profusely and said that I only heard them speak a few words and it sounded like German to me (and I know no Dutch) and what do they have on their plate anyway? Is it good?

I returned with different friends in 2004 and visited other cities in Spain during that trip.On my other blog I wrote about that.

The local bookstore is going out  of business. I bought up a few of the travel books the other day plotting and planning my next theoretical trip.So many places to see!

Back in gray Ann Arbor, it is finally warm but rainy. I am taking a day off from running. There is plenty to do around here and I should get cracking. Josh returned from his trip yesterday but 'forgot' to pick up his car. Steve and I ate lunch in this pan-Caribbean place. On the menu is churros and chocolate, a common Spanish treat.

According to the various stat counters on my blog ( I have three showing different results), the page that for some reason gets accessed the most is one on hummingbirds. The number one non-English country that is on my blog is The Netherlands even though I never write about it. Number one Asian country : India. South American: Brazil.  African: South Africa. I average about 50 hits a day. In general Sunday is my slowest day but yesterday for some reason, was very busy even though I did not post anything. Some days I really have nothing to say and other days (I think of these things in the middle of the night) I have plenty. I know who some of my readers are but others are a mystery.

For really beautiful pictures of Barcelona see:


Holly said...

how to i get the stat counter that you mention today??

and, i know what you mean bout how weird it is not to know some of the people reading what we write...

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

So with the 3 stat counters, one is built into Blogger. One is the Flag counter which you can get by clicking onto the bottom of my blog and the other is Stat counter. I think if you click on the number of visitors I have, stat counter pops up. In Blogger, you insert its code into the 'add a gadget' part of the edit page.


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