Brooke’s European Adventures Continue
Our European adventures continue! We arrived mid afternoon after a near miss of having my luggage stolen on the train-luckily my partner, Randy noticed and confronted the fellow who easily relented but needless to say we were a little more cautious after that. We took the metro to our hotel and the very first sight we saw when getting off the metro was Gaudi’s Battlo house! I couldn’t wait to get started! Getting around Barcelona was fairly straight forward- we had a good map and the metro was quite easy to follow. People were friendly and helpful when we needed help.
I had two favourite sights in Barcelona, Gaudi’s Battlo house and Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia.
Basically Gaudi just kind of blew me away. We had the audio tour for both of these and so were able to learn so much more than if we just tried to read up on it on our own. Gaudi was a master. I can’t say I particularly like his designs but I was in awe of them.
I was particularly impressed with how he translated light. In the Battlo house he had lighter tile in the lower level with large windows to maximize the light but as you moved up through the house the light was completely consistent because he darkened the tile slowly and made the windows smaller the higher up you climbed in the house. It was spectacular, in my opinion, and something I won’t forget. His use of materials and flow with nature and in particular the sea was also masterful. At the Sagrada it was just one masterpiece after another. For me the showstopper here was his process. He used extensive geometry to ensure each column and spire was built to the exact tension.
The rest of Barcleona was also wonderful with great food, lots of sights and we even had good weather!
After 4 days in Barcelona it was time to fly to Prague.
We arrived and it was COLD!! What a change in weather! Luckily this time we took a taxi to our hotel as the metro was a little tougher to figure out in Prague and we were grateful to have that evening just to get the lay of the land. The next day we were up early and explored all day in the Old Town. We walked over the Charles Bridge and into the Mala Strana area. We visited many beautiful churches and the architecture in the whole city was beautiful. Prague was virtually untouched during the war so the buildings remain very old with little new construction.
After spending a few days exploring Prague we took the train to a very picturesque little town called Cesky Krumlov. It was a bit of a feat to get there as the train service people were not that helpful. At one point we sensed that everyone was getting off the train to get on a bus. We learned the train track needed repair so we were to get on a bus to the next station. Few people spoke English at this point so we were kind of winging it! Eventually we did get there but it was a bit tense for a while!
Cesky Krumlov is a small town that is now quite touristy but we still enjoyed the cobbled streets and the castle and the overall fairytale-like quality.
On our last day in Prague the sun came out in all it’s glory!
Now it was time to head home but on our way we stopped to visit my youngest son who is at film school in Montreal. I love Montreal so was excited to see my son but also to see the great city again!! I love the walk up apartment living and Old Montreal is just my favourite with its boutiques and restaurants and history.
Finally it was time to say good bye to my boy and head home. I already miss him!!
All in all I had a fantastic time. It is always so good to get away and unwind and enjoy a different culture and learn about different countries. But no matter how long I go away for whether it a weekend or a month I always like to come home. We live in a pretty spectacular place here in Vancouver and I always feel so lucky.