Monday, November 3, 2008


This past week was my fall break.  A whole week to travel and not think about school.  I spent half of my week in Barcelona, Spain and the other half in Rome, but I'll write about that a little later.  So, here's what I did...

To start, here are the kids I went to Barcelona with:
Alina and Enrique - two super cool kids from North Carolina.  We caught the bus from Florence to Pisa and hung out at the airport for a while because we were eager beavers and got there ridiculously early.  We flew Ryanair (gotta love the cheap flights) to Giorna, just outside of Barcelona and cause a shuttle into the city.  We took it easy the first night, just eating some cheap Kebabs for dinner and wandering around the port area.  

The next day we found a free exhibit so we checked it out.  The room full of metal sculptures was by far the coolest thing in the exhibit.  
Here's Alina and Enrique getting some cool shots.  I guess I did as well!  After tthat we found a weird studio that did paintings as a tribute to Dali.  It was pretty much a bunch of nude paintings with Dali's face in most of them.  We had planned to go to the beach, but it started raining, so we decided to go to the Picasso Museum.  After about two hours of searching for the place though, we found a long line in the rain and decided to go back to the hostel to make a better plan.

There I found that there was a free Alfonse Mucha exhibit in town!  For those of you that don't know, he is my #1 favorite artist, so it was a real treat for me, especially since I wasn't going to Prague and  to his museum there.  So we caught the metro to the exhibit and I got to experience Mucha in real life! 

I had this poster on my wall all last year.  The show was amazing.  It was more than amazing, it was mind boggling, life affirming, close to a spiritual awakening-ly amazing.  There were a bunch of his works including many of his lithographs, sketches and oil paintings.  Why he isn't more well known I'll never know.  

On Wednesday we filled up our day with sightseeing.  I don't have much pictures because I was either in a gallery or they came out lame.  We started it off with the Picasso Museum.  It was mainly his early work, but it was really great to see that he started off  like every one else and painted portraits and landscapes.  There were a lot of prints he did, which I did not even know he did.  He did A LOT of work and the museum was packed with his art. 

After the museum we headed to the beach.  We didn't care that it was cold and rainy, we just wanted to see a large body of water.
Turned out that the water was warmer than outside.  So we walked about, looked for cool stuff from the beach, and then tried to warm up.   

After the beach we went to see Gaudí's La Sagrada Familia.  Incredible.  I have a bunch of photos of it but it is so big that it just doesn't make sense to look at it.  I still need to stitch some phoots together and maybe post it later.  After that we went to the Joan Miró museum to see his and a lot of modernists' work.  Not all of it was my taste, but it was pretty interesting. 

On the way back we stopped by the Mercat de la Boqueria, a large market with ton of delicious looking fresh produce, seafood and meats.

Fish... I just thought to colors on these guys were amazing.  I mean, it looks like someone spilled watercolors on them.  Beautiful.  

After eating a free dinner at our hostel (this was our third and final try at getting the food before it ran out) we went for dessert.  Now, when Richmond and Kristen got back from Spain last year they couldn't stop raving about the chocolate con churros, so naturally I had to try some for myself.  
Verdict - DELICIOUS!  Although, Richmond made some last semester and I think they were pretty comparable to these ones, if not better.  Bravo Richie.  Anyway, we enjoyed our warm snacks, had a beer and headed to bed early (relatively).

The next day, Thursday, Alina and Enrique left early to go to Prague.  My flight to Rome was a bit later so I explored the city a bit more.  

Here's Gaudí's Casa Batlló.  I'm thinking Dr. Seuss and Gaudí would have gotten along.  Gaudí seriously thought outside the box.  In fact, he jumped out of the box, ran a mile to the train station, traveled across Spain and thought there. 

After a bit of walking around I got to the hostel and packed.  Then I realized that the zipper on the big pocket of my backpack broke.  So I had to use some shoe laces (still attached to the shoes) to hold my stuff in the bag.  At this point I was running late for my shuttle to the airport.  Luckily though I got on the bus about a minute before it left and all was well. 

Here's just something funny I saw at the airport.  I hope everyone goes to the polls tomorrow and VOTES!  (or has already turned in the absentee ballots)

Ok, well that was Spain.  I'll be posting my Rome adventure in a bit.

Italian word of the day: malato - sick


Casey Newlin said...

Awwwww happy mustachioed boyfriend!

And finally pictures of Enrique and Alina! They look awesome :)

Sluu said...

*GASP!* Mucha is my favorite artist too! WTF, why did we not talk more in school. Well maybe it was for the better, we probably would have convinced each other to quit engineering mid degree.

Celia Doo said...

Wow such great luck to see Mucha's works without having to go to Prague. You must have been so happy!

The Casa Batlo is really cool!
smiles, mom

Dennis said...

Boy! I can taste that Chocolate already. Already voted and sad news that Obama's grandmother passed away yesterday. She was my boss for 23 years. Really a great person and I will miss her. I'm glad you had a chance to see so many places and absorb the art in those cities. Miss you a lot so keep safe! Dad