Sunday, March 14, 2010

POBLE ESPANYOL - 1929 International Fair

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday breakfast at you know where…McCafe seems to be the only local place that has hot chocolate! My coffee I can get anywhere…but not hot chocolate; and Jim and Barbara do love McCafe’s hot chocolate!

Took a taxi to the Baroque Church on The Ramblas and found that they’d just finished the 9:30 am Mass….so off we went strolling down the Ramblas; a pedestrian only street full of vendors and people enjoying their Sunday morning. This street takes you from Plaza Catalunya to the port; right through the original Roman walled city of ancient times. Rather dangerous at night, especially for pickpockets, it was delightful today in the sunshine. We found a giraffe to photograph with Barbara…seems like we’re finding one in every city. She purchased a very tall wooden carved one for her house just before Christmas so it’s been fun finding them here in Spain. We saw a very strange building with a dragon and an umbrella…see the slideshow. Lots of unusual people dressed up for photo opportunities with the tourists…again…several photos in the slide show.

At 11 am we returned to the church for the 11 am Mass. The music was supplied by an older man with his guitar and beautiful voice. Later we walked over to the Santa Ana Church and enjoyed the attached cloister. We found the Roman Necropoli; not worth writing home about….looked like a group of tombstones that had been collected and put in one spot.

Returned to the hotel and dropped Barbara off for a rest. Jim and I found Bus # 50 and headed out towards Montjuic, a mountain (large hill) that overlooks Barcelona city and the port. The 1992 Olympics was held here and also the 1929 International Fair. For the fair a Spanish Pavilion was built representing all of the different parts of Spain as a village known as Poble Espanyol. It was so popular that like the Eiffel Tower in France it has been maintained as a popular tourist spot. Rick Steves Tour Book doesn’t give it very high marks but Jim and I thoroughly enjoyed the visit. We did get the audio guide which was well worth the three Euros. We also met some very helpful Spanish people on the bus and an Australia couple who we enjoyed visiting with on the trip back to the Hostel.

The clerk at the Hostel encouraged us to go to a musical performance tonight. It started at 5 pm and was the opening night of the first round of piano performances of classical music at the fifty sixth annual International Music Festival. Barbara decided not to attend so Jim and I walked over, about a twenty minute walk, and enjoyed the first half of the show. Each contestant played several classical selections for about twenty minutes each. We stayed for five of them. Beautiful, but many were playing the same selections….

Back to the hostel where we picked up Barbara and headed out for dinner and then home to pack our bags for our trip to Venice tomorrow. We’re flying on Vueling Airlines, Spain’s answer to Southwest and Ryan Air. Should be an interesting experience…we’re a little worried about the size and weight of our luggage. Another learning experience awaits…..

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