Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hola from Barcalona, Spain!!

Dear Family & Friends,

We are on the last legs of our big European tour. We have spent the last few days in Barcelona, Spain.
The last is certainly not the least!! The first day we got off the ship and checked into our hotel in Barcelona. We had planned to take a day to get checked in but the process of getting off the boat and into town was so smooth and easy we were in our hotel by 9am! So bonus, we had an extra day in Spain.
We started out by exploring the city of Barcelona. What a fantastic city!! A very dynamic and exciting city, a combination of old and new, and full of art, style and passion.
The city is a great combination of architecture from very traditional European, Moorish, Gaudi, and modern.
We came across a fantastic theater that was a combination of several arhitectual styles and famous for it’s mosaic art. A big plus for Bonnie who is a mosaic artist… After enjoying the  beauty of the theater we saw they were having a Flamenco Dance concert that night. What could be more Spanish? So we got tickets to the performance.
I have seen Flamenco before on TV but never in person done by Spanish artist. What a passionate dance and music! I have never seen such intensity in a performance before. The women were so graceful and expressive.  You could see that these performers had a passion for life… The women seemed like they would be very passionate lovers, but if you ever crossed one  that same passion could be very dangerous because I am sure their anger would be just as passionate.. They also had extremely strong stomping feet….
The dancing was so fluid, graceful, and passionate. A great evening!

The next day we did the standard tour of Barcelona. We woke up to heavy rain so to kill a bit of time until the rain let up we went to an indoor market across the street. The markets are are so colorful and the foods so beautifully displayed I enjoyed an hour of taking food photos. Check out my blog to see. 
The assortment of food was amazing. Every kind of fruit and vegetable you could think of , and some I never heard of. The assortment of meat and fish was  huge and they do not waste any part of the animal.. What says BBQ time more than pig feet, snouts, and penises?

From there we took a city tour by bus and saw the major sites getting off and on as we felt like. One stop I particularly enjoyed was the Salvador Dali museum… I have seen his major work before but this museum really showed the breath of his work. All sorts of styles and themes… Even some erotic art work. Some subjects were just about beauty and style. Some paintings no matter how long I looked at them and thought about them I could not figure out what he was trying to say. Some works were probably better not to understand. You know the saying about the fine line between genius and mad man? I am sure he crossed that line randomly……

That afternoon we went to the famous Gaudi Church towering over Barcelona. Gaudi was a visionary architect from the late 1800s to early 1900s hundreds. In a time when buildings were rigid angular Victorian style stone he designed buildings from stone and poured concrete to be extremely fluid and organic looking with no straight edges or hard corners. His buildings look as if they could spring to life… The church was started in 1885 and they are still BUILDING it today.. Honestly if you can’t build a building in 130 years maybe it is a bit to complicated??? I will say wether you like the style or not I admire men that can think outside the box and forge new ideas and he certainly did that..
From there we went to the Gaudi home park. A beautiful city part full of his designs and buildings… All his work is detailed with mosaics so Bonnie really enjoyed the visit.. Love to see my wife enjoy what she is passionate about because she certainly indulges me….

The next day we toured the city again by bus taking in all the sites. We stopped at an old fort on a hill overlooking the city and had some spectacular views. Unfortunately the weather was not great for photography.
We finished off the day with another great Spanish meal with lots of good wine…..
Our last day in Spain is today. We are all running down a bit from the constant on the go traveling and sight seeing so we slowed down a bit today. In the morning Bonnie and I walked up the street from where we are staying into the town center and toured a Gaudi designed house…  A private home designed by Gaudi in 1905. This one was built in only a few years. It was design and built for a wealthy local business man of that time and it is still privately owned today although the owners do not live in it and open it for tours… I have never been in a building that felt so alive.. You feel as if the house is a living breathing organism. Again no straight edges. The window openings are fluid shapes like an animal cell. The ceilings have ribbed arches like a rib cage of an animal. Turns out that is a good design. The arches were the strongest lightest ceiling arch of their day. The outside columns look like leg femur bones.. The out side is covered in tiles and mosaics. The roof tiles look like giant fish scales.. 
Some of the engineering marvels was a giant open area running down the center of the 5 story building allowing sun light and fresh air into every room of the house!
An amazing and warm building. See my bog for more photos..

I am really impressed with Barcelona. It is a city that combines tradition with a modern vibrant city. At night the streets are full of young people going to bars and dancing, enjoying outside dining and all sorts of social activities.

A couple of personal observations about Barcelona…….
-The people are really good looking! Both men and women are quite handsome, stylish, and passionate.
_Spanish food is GREAT! I have had Paella and Tapas until it is coming out of my ears.
-I like Sangria, expect to drink it at our next party…..

Thats it from Spain. Next stop LONDON!! Looking forward to my favorite city and good friends there…
Dahli, my new inspiration .... 
Call me limited but I still cannot figure out what this means???


Got this one!! Horse giving way to the car!!

I am not sure what it means but it does look like I feel some days..

A FREE SPIRIT, what I like about Dahli..

Welcome to Barcalona!

Paella.. :) Rice, Saffron, Chicken, Spanish Sausage, peas, and shell fish. A great dish but the best in the world is still made by my wife Bonnie!! Lucky me.. :)

What a great theater to see Flamenco Dancing..!

Bravo! Love Flamenco music and dancing!

                  Time for some food photos!! Hope this          makes you hungry

Who doesn't like a chocolate breast????

Need a few snails??

Literally fresh off the hoof....

Yes these are just what they look like... Shall I throw a few on the BarB for ya'?


Barcalona harbor..

Welcome to the Olympic Village.

An interesting mixture of old and new!

An over all view of the Gaudi church under contraction for 130 years.....

 Here are some detailed photos of the Gaudi Church after 130 years of contraction..

Whatever they are paying this man, it is not enough.. This is about 150 feet above the sidewalk..

 Welcome to Gaudi home park.. Park Guell

Mosaics everywhere!

Happy lady.... :)

Outside cafes everywhere in Barcalona.  We enjoyed several great meals here...

Here is a statue I would LOVE to have for our house!!

This was the happiest coffee barista we have ever seen. Loved his job and smiled all the time. Life is all about attitude.

A smile that literally lights up her face...

The say SLO is the happiest city in the USA yet I never see anyone served desert like this in a restaurant...
 Now for a tour of the Guadi designed home in downtown Barcalona..

Notice even the columns look like bones from an animal..

Notice there are seats on each side. One side seats two the other seats one. The double seat is for a young lady and her date, the single seat is for the chaperone.....

The roof top mosaic garden

An interior open air space for natural light and fresh air..

"ORGANIC" Style arches of incredible strength and lightness.

The only straight edges in the house, ventilation slots..

Even the chimney has an organic shape and mosaic tiles...

The roof edges are designed to look like a "SPINE"

Fish Scale roof tiles..

A 1905 elevator..

Even organic shaped chairs...

Now for a quick tour around Barcalona and a stop at a local Castle.......
I am a lucky man... :)

Ready to fight off pirates!!

I wasn't quite sure what they expected us to do????

This man had style.....

Notice how I have been working out??

 Next stop London!!

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