Up with the sun…

You know, we are surprisingly busy for four people on vacation. We are in bed around 11:00pm and up at 6:30am, and we have been doing a whole lot of stuff in between. I would not change a single thing! That said, I am way behind on downloading photos so today I’m going to share this morning’s sunrise view from our front porch.

We are staying at Mas Blanc, a holiday apartment. Our lovely 2 bedroom, 2 bath space is part of a remodeled farm building. It is so very lovely and you can see photos here: https://www.instagram.com/masblancc/ and here at booking.com

There are ruins on the hill in the distance that we’re going to visit on Saturday.

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As busy as we are, we took time to watch the light change and that is wonderful all by itself.

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And then the sun was up, we saw balloons flying over the fields, and we headed out!

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Palau De la Musica Catalana

After our food tour, we went to the Palau De la Musica Catalana. It is a beautiful space where choirs sing. Not just any choirs… magnificent choirs. And not just classical music, but all kinds of amazing music.

I wish I knew more about music, but I don’t. Celia knows a lot about music and she brought us here because it is a famous, wonderful space. I want to come back to hear choirs sing right here.

Side note: Since I’ve been in Spain, when I google something, it is in Spanish. I don’t want to link to a site you may not be able to read so, if you want to know more, google Palau De la Musica Catalana. You’ll be glad you did.

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Mosaics are everywhere. This space was designed by a contemporary of Gaudi, Lluís Domènech i Montaner,

There are muses that surround the stage, to inspire the musicians. Honestly, doesn’t that sound wonderful? To be surrounded by muses?

And then there is the stained glass, on the outside of the building…

But the best piece is inside, above the stage. It is not flat, but dips down in the center. The space if lit by lovely, colored light…

After this, we went to see the inside of the Sagrada Familia. That visit deserves its very own post!

 

What do you do on a food tour?

If you go on a good food tour, you do more than just eat. You learn about the local culture. In this case, we learned about how people shop for food at the markets in Barcelona. As I said in my last post, Pauline, our guide from Devour Tours, was wonderful and and I learned a lot!

We took the Boqueria Market tour. It is an old market that has been renovated over the years. I had to google it to help me remember dates, but the roots of the market go back to 1200. There are many markets in the city, and people tend to shop their local market where they get to know the stall owners, and meet and visit with their friends. I do so wish there was something like this at home… the grocery store is just not the same.

We started at the front with coffee…

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We moved through the market, and outside it a bit, and then back in, eating and talking.

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I learned a lot about jamon, very thinly sliced ham. We got to try some of the expensive ham, from pigs that live in the forest and eat acorns… I’d eat a bit of the every day if I could afford it. You really can taste the difference!

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There is a lot of seafood here…

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I like fish better when it isn’t looking at me :-).

I’ll share more from the rest of the day in a few hours. We are about to head out to Park Guell now!

 

 

Day 3…

We have been on the go all day long. First we went on a food tour with Devour Tours and it was fantastic! Many thanks to Pauline, who was our very own guide.

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And there is so much more that we did today but it is 11:00PM and everyone is going to bed. INcluding me! I’ll be sharing more from today, tomorrow. Until then, sweet dreams!

A day trip to Montserrat

Celia planned a day trip for us to the Montserrat mountain and monastery that inspired Antonin Gaudi. It was fantastic!

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The mountain is conglomerate rock, really interesting up close. It’s used in all (or most) of the buildings.

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There are many new buildings. This is the facade of the old church.

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We lit candles for mom and my sister, Christy.

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The inside of the church is wonderfully ornate. It was filled with tourists—we were four of them. A cantor came out while we were there and began to sing. It was wonderful and odd at the same time, to be in a sacred space filled with tourists.

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We took the funicular up the mountain. It is easier see the larger Montserrat complex of building from above.

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From there, we hiked up a ways to the small St. Joan’s Chapel. There were many pictures taken along the way.

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It really is easy to see how Gaudi was inspired by this place.

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It was a lovely excursion, followed by a cava (the Spanish equivalent of champagne) at the Codorniu Vineyard. Many thanks, again, to Celia for all of her work planning this amazing trip!

Round and round…

I was going back through photos on my phone, weeding and sorting — a never-ending task. Anyway, I found these… again!

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These are Amy’s mirrored disco balls. I love them!!!!

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Honestly, how can you not love them?

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I don’t have a good place for disco balls in my back yard. I don’t look out front as often, but I may put some there anyway. (FYI: you can buy mirrored disco balls online — just google it.)

And, because I like round things, I also have a photo of this lovely antique hubcap. It was on a spectacular car in the De Young Museum in San Francisco. That’s Amy and me in the reflection.

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And this!

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I really want to paint my own ‘you are here’ circle somewhere. Maybe in the garage… If you paint one, send me a picture!

Last stop: Sydney!

Catherine and I spent 2 days in Sydney. We had had a great view from our room:

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We walked and shopped (of course)…

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I was tempted to buy Han Solo in carbonite for my son, Chris, but thankfully he was not for sale. (Lorna, aren’t you glad this isn’t coming home to your house?!)

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We walked in the gardens… that’s a fig tree!

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We went to the Art Gallery of New South Wales where we got to view the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. There are 6 of them, each similar to each other, but different.

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The 2018 Archibald paintings were also on exhibit but we chose not to pay to go, mostly because I had a sinus headache that was trying to kill me. Not really ‘kill’ me, but it definitely slowed me down. Darn, right?!

Vivid Sydney is happening now. Once it gets dark, the city around the harbor is filled with light and music. It was lovely! We saw it from the water one night. Last night we walked the streets. So, this is the Opera House by day:

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And the same Opera House, lit during Vivid. The projected images changed, morphing from one thing to another…

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There were random displays…

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Catherine loved this one, that was all about microbes…

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And now it’s time to go home. I’m going to miss Catherine! We had such a good time together. It’s going to feel lonely for a while. I’m glad that we can FaceTime until the next time we can get together in the real world.

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