JWG (jwg) wrote,

Delightful trip to Spain

We're back from a wonderful trip to Barcelona, Cadaqués, Rupit, and a few hours in Zurich. The contrast of the bustle and Gaudi architecture of Barcelona, the seaside town of Cadaqués, and the medieval village of Rupit with our hotel there in the countryside inn on a sheep and cattle farm was a special treat.

I have several thousand pictures and will soon be working on selecting some for some more detailed posts.

In Barcelona we stayed in the Barri Gotic with a view out our hotel balcony (Hotel Colon) of the Cathedral. We wandered through the narrow streets many times, finding some nice restaurants and various scenes. Lots of delicious Tapas. We saw a lot of Gaudi: Sagrada Familia (construction started in 1882 and the end date is projected to be 2040), Parc Guell, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, Palau Guell, the Gaudi Museum; visited the Joan Miro and the Picasso museums; walked around Montjuic: and went to Montserrat for the day. I saw some of these in 1971 and 1972; but there is much more to see these days since there is much more open to visitors. I have to dredge out my old slides for comparison. This is one incredible city; I recommend that you find time to go there if you haven't done so!

We rented a car at the end of the Barcelona part of the trip and drove up the coast to Cadaqués. This is the town where Salvator Dali lived and his house is a museum absolutely chock full of stuff to see including some Michelin Men lounging about. Our hotel there (Playa Sol) overlooked the Mediterranean. It was a nice small town and a short hike to the nearby place where the Dali museum was.

Then we went to a medieval village in the mountains that I read about in a Boston Globe article about 8 years ago. It was quiet small village with narrow streets and lots of possibilities of hiking to surrounding spots. Our hotel there (Mas la Serra) was a few kilometers away in an isolated spot (tough to find). The views there were of fields with sheep and cows.

Spain, which is currently in great financial stress, has a pretty good infrastructure. The Barcelona Metro is great - count-down signs at all stations and trains at about 3 min intervals (MBTA: they are way ahead of you); the roads are well marked with good signage, pavement in excellent condition, and well engineered merges and divides on the highways (Mass Highways: are you listening?). Drivers on the highway get out of left hand lanes, use direction signals, and everyone lowered their high beams at the right time.

Yesterday, the day we left, there was a general strike in Spain. As a result our 2:40 flight to Zurich to catch the 5:45 flight to Boston was replaced with a 9:45 flight. We stayed at Mas la Serra only one night instead of the two planned since we didn't want to have to get up so early and stayed in a near-to-the-airport hotel. The extra time in Zurich gave us the opportunity to go into Zurich (a 10-12 min train ride and a train goes about every 10 minutes). We walked around a bit, had a nice lunch in one of the many resaurants on the pedestrian street and then noticed the National Museum was right there. We went in for a short visit for a very interesting special exhibit called Kapital about the medieval/renaissance histories of Venice and Amsterdam.
Tags: architecture, barcelona2012, museums, spain2012, travel

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