May 9, 2018
Another sunny day in Barcelona!!! It rained a bit last night when we were in for the evening, yet believe you me, I felt sun kissed AND Blessed overall!!!
This morning we had time to cross off a few more places from our “to see” checklist and so we packed all but toothbrushes in preparation of our checkout and proceeded on our way of discovery! In so doing we retraced many of the steps we had previously taken and ultimately put some completing pieces into the jigsaw puzzle that is the Gothic neighborhood of Barcelona – leaving us with more of a total picture visually and an overall geographic understanding. This is gratifying even if it is the last day with very little time to capitalize on these epiphanies. If there is a “next time” this culminating perspective will only serve to make a visit more productive or relaxing (or both) and enjoyable. Regardless, these “Ah ha’s” always empower and reassure me that I am totally capable of being a traveler in foreign surroundings and circumstances, further making it all the more likely that I will travel again from my comfort zone of “home” to wherever I choose! So cool!!
We wanted to check out a particular street, “Carrer Ample”, that Bill had noted to be representative of “Barcelona”. We decided that we had been down countless alleys and calles and paseos and carreras and avenidas and callejóns and correderas and cuestas and barrios and vias and rutas and ramblas and rúas plus through many squares and plazas and zócalos and plaças to conclude that whoever decided that perhaps didn’t get around much… it was pretty uninspiring as far as “Representing”. Pretty cool though as a place to live in one of the ancient but modern apartments that lined it, and a great shortcut to more of the business corridors.
Next on our list – the Post Office. How we previously missed it I do not know as we had skirted it many times. Constructed in 1927, the building’s design is a mixture of Catalan Modernism and Noucentism (the architectural and artistic style which immediately followed Modernism). The outer building embellishments were ornate and plentiful, drawing our eyes upward. My neck is so sore from all of the last couple of weeks’ skyward inspiration that we have encountered!! Entering through the front door, we were greeted by substantial supporting pillars and more neck aching ceiling action – grandiose, detailed and colorful frescoes on all four sides and a large stained glass lamp in the middle overhead!
We had “desayuno” (breakfast) again at Benedict‘s since it was a winner and it allowed Bill to enjoy another fabulous “huevos” (eggs) Benedict and “zumo de naranja recién exprimido” (fresh squeezed orange juice). I had “tomates verdes fritos” (fried green tomatoes) with “queso feta” (feta cheese) and aguacates (avacado) plus added a side of “huevos” (eggs) – Yum!
Full again, we waddled down La Rambla one last time and decided to segway to Palau Güell, one of Antonio Gaudí’s buildings built early in his career as an architect for the industrial tycoon, Eusebi Güell. Considerable amounts of steel and wavy lines were predominant and whimsical installations that look like miniature Christmas trees were atop the roof. Built between 1886 and 1888 and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, “Works of Antoni Gaudí” looks to be worthy of the offered tour – maybe “next time”…
That was all we had time to fit in, though having close to three hours to see even just a few more sights was quite nice! And we managed to get in three miles on our long travel day! Actually, by the time we checked out, walked back to Plaça de Catalunya for our bus to the aeropuerto, cleared customs and passport control, walked back and forth between two gate corridors in search of a café, boarded our plane and took off, we added on a bit more mileage to total 4.6 (according to the “health” application on my IPhone)!!
As a side note, on the way to the airport, our bus did drive through Plaça d’Espanya and by the adjacent Plaza de toros de las Arenas (the bullfighting coliseum) which we didn’t make it to earlier on foot. The Plaça d’Espanya is one of the best connected areas of the city and one of the largest squares in Spain. The monumental “Magic Fountain of Montjuic”, rises up in the center, periodically offers performances of water, light and music and is an iconic image of this part of Barcelona, marking the gateway to the avenue leading to the grounds of the 1929 International Exhibition. The Palau Nacional (National Palace) can be seen from the square and is home since 1934 of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.
Our thirteen hour flight to LAX was smooth but oh what a long time to sit in cramped space (especially with the person in front reclining into my lap). The Customs line seemed endless with zig zag lines like Disneyland and then we had the opportunity to increase our mileage hoofing it from terminal 2 to terminal 6. We had a shot at the 9:00 flight home but it wasn’t in the cards given the overlapping flights that came into the Customs area.
So the tiring wait until our 11:50 flight ensued, the challenging but successful fight against sleep accomplished and then finally home again, home again, jiggidy jig at 3:00 am PST, about 29 hours up without sleep…
What an Amazing, Fulfilling, Edifying, Awe Inspiring Adventure!!! I loved every minute away though truly am happy to be home!!!