Barcelona & Girona July 2011

July 29, 2011 - August 6, 2011

Parc GüellWent to Barcelona and Girona with Satcha, Andy&Andrea and Mom&Dad.

I had a great time in Barcelona. Saw all the "touristy sights":
  • La Rambla - a 1.2 kilometer pedestrian street in Barcelona where there are street performers, shopping stalls, restaurants, etc.
  • La Pedreda - Roof of La Pedredabuilding designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. The roof of the building has the famous chimneys designed by Gaudí and incredible views of Barcelona from above.
  • Sagrada Familia - cathedral designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. It's very impressive to see this cathedral in the skyline of Barcelona. Its tallest towers are 170 meters (560 ft) tall. The sculptures and design is really pretty, the only thing I didn't like is that when Gaudí died only one fourth of the cathedral was finished. Because of a fire set to the Sagrada Familia most of his designs and sketches were burned. So, the organization that's continuing the construction of the Sagrada Familia is doing it based on the designs and sketches they've tried to put back together or think Gaudí would've done.
  • Parc Güell - Parc Güellgarden complex with architectural elements designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. It's a very pretty park with a lot of mosaic work, which I especially liked! The only bad part was there were so many people when we went that it was hard to enjoy the views and be able to relax.
  • Casa Batlló - a building restored by Antoni Gaudí. It's a really pretty building that has terraces that look like the jaw of a skeleton and an arched roof that looks like the back of a dragon.
  • Port Vell - Barcelona's port where there are restaurants and bars to relax and enjoy the views of the Mediterranean.
  • And many other things...taking the "hop on-hop off" tourist bus allowed us to see many of the sights in Barcelona: the Olympic stadium area, Montjuïc mountain area, la Barceloneta, etc.
We also took a 45 minute train ride to the Pendés region where grapes are grown for cava making (Catalonia's sparkling wine – comparable to Champagne). We went to Freixenet, took their winery tour and enjoyed glasses of cava afterword!

Scuba diving in Mediterranean SeaBesides Barcelona, we drove north to the "Costa Brava" and stayed in Roses, Girona for 2 days. There we enjoyed the beach, pool, weather and a wonderful time relaxing on the Mediterranean. Satcha and I were able to go scuba diving 1 day, which didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. The water was pretty choppy that day and there was a large undercurrent. Satcha got sea sick on the way to the dive spot and although he went down on the first dive, he got even sicker underwater. We didn't see much marine life on the first time and I had a hard time moving because the undercurrent was pushing me all around.

I went down without Satcha for the second dive (he was even MORE sick on the boat after coming up from the first dive) and saw more marine life on that dive: 2 moray eels, octopus, barracudas, other fish and coral, but still, the undercurrent was so strong that it was a really difficult dive.

I definitely hoped, and expected, it to be an easier dive in the Mediterranean and that I would see more marine life. This just means that we'll have to go and try it again in the Mediterranean!!!

CadaquésOn our drive back from Roses to Barcelona we stopped in Cadaqués and Figueres. We walked around Cadaqués in the morning. It's a beautiful costal town on a bay of the Mediterranean where Salvador Dalí visited and had a home for part of his life. It's got white-washed houses built into the hill that surrounds the bay.

Mae West Room Dalí MuseumIn Figueres, birthplace of Salvador Dalí, we visited the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí a large museum designed by Dalí which has the largest collection of his artwork. It's a really fun museum to visit. There are so many beautiful sculptures and paintings and many are interactive and show you how creative he was. Like the living-room with custom furniture that looks like the face of Mae West when you view it from above, or a red ruby-studded heart brooch that pumps like a real heart!

Freixenet tourIt was a fun trip!! I got to see everything that I didn't remember from my past 2 trips to Barcelona and go to towns along the Costa Brava which were beautiful. And on top of all that, I got to be with the fam!!

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