2:06 PM- On the Bus to Madrid
I have about an hour and a half left of this bus ride to catch up with all the stuff that happened yesterday. As I said before, we saw a whole ton of Gaudi’s work in Barcelona. His work really inspires me. It’s just so abstract and natural at the same time. I absolutely adored his use of color and organic shapes in all of his designs. I especially loved the House of Bones because of the balconies: they were shaped like masks!!! I really have a soft spot for masks. I wish we would have had more time to actually go and see the interior of his buildings.
We also saw La Sagrada Familia (the church designed by Gaudi). Although it was unfinished, it was BEAUTIFUL!!! It really amazes me the amount of work that goes in to some of these gorgeous buildings. David told us that La Sagrada Familia is projected to be done in 50 years. I’ll be 67, and I’ll be there. I am really looking forward to seeing it, the thing will be just so utterly impressive….
After we saw that feat of architecture, Luis took us to La Rambla. La Rambla is the biggest street on Catalonia Square. It was packed with people. We were given four hours of free time during which Kera, Bubba, Pelley, and I explored. We went first to a cool café to try some picos (the new cool thing to eat in Spain, tapas are so out). While we were outside the café looking at the menu, a waiter walked by and said, “Pardon me, gringas.” Gringas means dirty Americans, and it is highly offensive and borderline vulgar.
So we left.
We had lunch at a place called Bocatta. My sandwich was kind of a rip-off. Lunch was reconciled with some WONDERFUL gelato at a pastry shop called “Dolsol.”
We bought some bags, I got some yarn, my ATM card was denied by the bank, we searched for Correos (the mail service), got a little lost, found our way, explored the gothic quarter (which was mystical to say the least. Very much like a fairy tale), and then finally met up with our group in front of the Hard Rock Cafe at 5:15 PM for dinner. We walked down to a cute little neighborhood café for dinner. There was this apartment building across the street from our restaurant: it was so ornate!! I just love the architecture here.
Dinner wasn’t terribly special. We walked back to Catalonia Square, got on the bus, and went back to the hotel.
We packed in the hotel last night so we could be ready for an early departure this morning. Our wake-up call was at 6:30 AM and we had to have our luggage in the lobby by 7:30 AM. Breakfast started at 7:45 AM, and we loaded the bus at 8:15 AM. Then bus, bus, bus, bus, all day.
We stopped for gas around 10 AM and for lunch at 1 PM. We ate in Zaragoza. It was wonderful. The café that Bubba, Kayla, Melissa, Kera, Jessica, and I ate at served us two plates of food and dessert for 6 Euros!! What a deal! I was so excited about finally finding an affordable place for lunch. I had paella marisco and bistec con papas (a traditional rice dish with seafood and steak with potatoes). It was very very good, especially for only six Euros.
The café walls were covered with pictures of NASA. I’m pretty sure that the crazy old man who seated us (and presumably owned the café) had been a part of a space crew. There were pictures that looked like younger versions of him working on rockets and wearing official-looking name tags. The whole thing was very intriguing.
So that’s pretty much all we’ve done today. Only a couple of hours and we’ll be in Madrid and headed for the Prado Museum!!! Tomorrow we are potentially going to the Reina Sofia Museum (Queen Sofia Museum) which houses extensive collections of contemporary artworks from the great movements like surrealism and cubism. That means DAHLI!!!!!!!!!! Oh man.
I will admit, the art that I have seen on this trip is a little cooler than the art we saw in Italy. I mean, the Sistine Chapel in beyond compare…but there have been so many famous works. Besides, I am far more interested in the types of works we have been seeing this time: impressionism, realism, and (soon) surrealism.
I’m kind of sad that we only have one more actual tour day left of this trip. We have see so much on this trip. I cannot even begin to list it all; it’s like a sensory overload. I’m also really glad that I’ve documented this trip so well. It has been so helpful. I would hate to think about how much I would have forgotten had I not written. I would hate to forget one single moment of this trip. Isn’t forgetting pretty much wasting time? I don’t really know.
The country we are traveling through is so beautiful: the vast mountains with their twisted dirt roads and their somehow perfectly-straight orchards. It’s so rich and alive! The reds, yellows, greens, browns…no gray or white spare a few, floating clouds. The rocks overthrow the landscape in red and purple clusters. I have never fallen so swiftly in love with a land in all my life. I do not think anyone else here is quite as taken with the land the way I am. My pictures and words will never fully do the justice that the beauty of Spain deserves.