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Showing posts from September 6, 2009

Yet more pics

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Another Barri Gotic street This was great. We were walking around the park and, upon hearing loud music, went to investigate. This is what we found. These kids were dancing and having a great time while this guy showered them with suds from what appeared to be a suds cannon. Every so often he would get a hose and hose them all down to wash off the suds, the start the whole process over again. The kids were certainly having a great time.
These are some of the geese that I mentioned that are kept in the cloister of the cathedral.


More random pics from Barcelona

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More Park Guell A view down La Ramblas You can't read it very well in this pic, but these letters spell Barcino, the name of the Roman colony that founded the city.
This is the view off of our balcony.

Park Guell and the Picasso Museum

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This morning we took the metro up and then walked to Park Guell, a large city park designed by Gaudi. Here are a few pics from there.
The entrance.
View of Barcelona from the top of the hill.
Cool stone chair.



Overall, we honestly weren't really impressed. There was some cool architecture, but we weren't sure it was worth the long metro ride and long walk involved.
Afterwards, after what was really the only mediocre lunch we have had yet, we went to the Picasso Museum. It was fabulous. It was the only museum founded while the artist was still alive, and was also the only one founded on his express wishes. It was heavily weighted towards his early works, but it was really cool to see the evolution of his style. No pictures allowed, though, sorry.
Last night we went to a great restaurant called CerveceriaCatalana
We got there 15 minutes after it opened and only had to wait a few minutes for a table. When we left we had trouble getting out it was so crowded. The food was fantast…

More random pics from Barcelona

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Lunch today

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Today we went to the Boqueria, which is a huge old market here in Barcelona. While there, we had a fabulous lunch are a very famous restaurant there called Ponitxo Bar (Pinocchio bar). Here is a picture of the place.
We had to wait a few minutes to get a seat, but it was worth it. Wow, was the food good. This was probably my favorite meal we have had so far in Spain. We had some kind of fantastic garbanzo bean dish, some kind of bacalao salad, some amazing beef stew, and a fantatic sausage. We are seriously considering breaking our informal rule of never eating at the same place twice on vacation and going there again.
Here is the guy that runs the place. He is quite a character.

More later, now it's almost time to go out for more tapas.

Random pictures of Barri Gotic

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Barcelona Days 1 and 2

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Well, Barcelona is awesome. We came down on the AVE train yesterday, and I would have to say that it was one of the more pleasant travel experiences ever. The train flew along at speeds of up to 300 km per hour (around 186 mph) and was quiet and smooth. It's a wonderful way to travel. The train station in Madrid was easy to figure out, no problem at all. This is a not very good picture of the Gaudi building Casa Batillo. It looks even cooler in real life. We haven't toured it yet, but we most likely will.
This morning we walked down to the Barri Gotic, or the old city. It was really cool, lots of really narrow streets and old buildings. One of them is the old cathederal.
Outside of it there was a flea market going on.
In the cloister of the cathedral they keep 13 geese, symbolizing the age at which thier patron saint died. It was a little strange to see geese in a church, to say the least.
I will post more pictures of Bari Gotic shortly.
The food here is amazing. We went t…

a special note on ham

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OK, if you like ham, you must come to Spain. The ham here is amazing. It is far and away the best I have ever had. They slice it paper thin to serve it, and it is a thing of beauty. What you are looking for is a place that has this.
Oh yeah. That is the mark of happiness right there. Pretty much any place that sells ham will have these hanging somewhere, so that you can tell what kind you are getting.
On a related note, those of you who know me personally probably know that one of my favorite activities on vacation is trying new and different flavors of potato chips. Well, step aside Hot Chili Squid, because I have a new favorite. Behold: Yes, that's right, those are ham flavored potato chips. And they are every bit as awesome as they sound. They really need to release these in the US.

the Prado Museum

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Today we went to the Prado Museum. They don't allow pictures inside, but here is a picture of the exterior. As you have probably heard, it's an amazing museum. The collection is heavily weighed towards painting, particularly the Spanish masters such as Goya, Velazques, etc. If you have taken an art history class, you have studied many of these paintings. It was pretty incredible. We got there before it opened, and the line wasn't too bad. It wasn't that crowded, especially at first. If you want sculpture or modern art, go elsewhere, but if you are interested in classical painting, you can't do much better.
Afterwards we had an excellent lunch at an Itallian restaurant as we walked north. We were walking to the National Archaeological Museum. The museum is mostly closed for a major renovation, b ut a small collection is available for viewing. Looking at thier plans for expansion, this is going to be a amazing museum when it is finished. Here are a few choice…

Madrid Day 2

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Well, after not sleeping at all on the plane, we really slept in this morning. I didn't get up until almost noon. Not like me at all (at least on vacation!) After getting going, we decided to just kind of wander around some. We first walked down Gran Via, one of the main streets in the city. The architecture is amazing.We eventually ended up near the Prado, which is closed on Mondays. We plan on seeing it tomorrow. We went through the botanical gardens, which were very nice.
It was a very pleasant reprieve from the traffic and heat. Did I mention it's hot here? Not brutally hot, but it is certainly hot. Bearable in the shade, but in the sun it's rough.

We then walked over the Parque del Buen Retiro, or Park of the Pleasant Retreat. And so it was. It is a huge park, and we had a nice time strolling around it.

One of the major features is a nice lake where you can rent rowboats. There is also a huge monument to King Alfonso XII.
We then took the metro back to or hote…

Spain Day 1

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Well, we made it to Madrid. Sorry for the small pics below, but they load a lot faster on the internet connection at the hotel.

Our hotel is near Plaza de Espana, the main monument in which is to the famous Spanish write Cervantes. That's him on the chair there.


It's a nice big square. The best part is the statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

Madrid is really nice. It's loud and hectic, but it is the largest city in Spain, so that's to be expected. So far we are really enjoying ourselves. The flight over wasn't too bad, particularly since we both had aisle seats with no one in the center seats next to us. Sweet!

Above is a picture of the Royal Palace. This really doesn't capture the size of it. It is just enormous.

We had a great lunch at a place called Paradisio de Jamon, or Ham Paradise. It was good, and fairly affordable.

We then strolled down to Puerta del Sol. The most famous monument there is the statue of the bear and the madrono tree, which is t…