We’ve seen many new things in our first two days in Barcelona . Day one we went to the Sangria Familia. I enjoyed listening to the audio guide while strolling through the majestic basilica. The beautiful stained glass, the tall columns,the statues,the lettering made it more and more worth it. Antoni Guadi was a Catalan architect with most of his structures in Barcelona, but some in other parts of Spain. He knew that he would not live to see the Sangria Familia complete, but he left lots of examples of what he hoped it would look like one day. During the last few months before his death he lived in the cathedral. On June 10 1926 he died in the Old Hospital de la Santa Creu, after being hit by a tram. The Sangria Familia is still being constructed to this day , but is estimated to be finished by 2026. We arrived at the parc Guell an hour later. We sauntered through the park taken notice of the noisy vibrant green parakeets, and the lush nature. We visited the Warden’s house,another Guadi creation. Before going to the metro we stopped by a souvenir shop and I gotta pretty Barcelona shirt. Because I love souvenirs! Today we walked along the boardwalk for an hour before jumping in one of the many magnificent beaches. We made sure to get back before the protest started at 5. We are planning to go out for dinner at a close by restaurant tonight. Which will be our first dinner in Barcelona but will be our last dinner in Europe. Adios amigos!!!
Our unexpected stay in Montepellier included a dinner at the Tomate, tasty macaroons, breakfast at the hotel and a calming walk. At the Tomate daddy insisted on ordering frog legs, little did he know that he would get a huge plate of them. Meanwhile mummy ordered trout with tapenade, as her main dish. And herring as a side dish. I ordered a salad which came with smoked salmon on toast, and herring. It was my first time trying herring, and I found it quite interesting. AJ had a salad and they’re famous tomato basil tiramisu. And we topped it off with a warm tarte tatin, and a Dame Blanche. Which was warm chocolate, almonds, ice cream and whipping cream. Before our meal we went searching for the best macaroons.First we got colourful macarons, that were filled with cream. We chose 5 flavours, vanilla something, chocolate, pralines rose, mojito, and something else. Secondly we went to another highly rated macaron shop. These macarons are made differently and are somewhat healthier. We got 5 different flavours and they were all delicious! It was impossible to choose a favourite. Then we burned of the calories by walking through the little town of Montpellier. The next morning mummy and I had a peaceful run through a couple local parks. After a quick shower we went downstairs to the breakfast. They served us petit tarte tatins baguettes,madeleines, hot chocolate, coffee, yogurt. Then they allowed us to have anything are heart desired at the buffet. So of course we had to have some pain au chocolat, croissants, fruit cups, freshly squeezed orange juice, pancakes and tons more. Once we were full to the brim we dragged our bellies upstairs. And quickly got ready. We made a good chose to take the bus because trains to Barcelona are canceled till November 4. Unfortunately we made a bad chose by taking an Uber that was 20 minutes late. We nearly didn’t make it to Barcelona again. After 4 hours and a half we arrived in Barcelona. But we still did not make it to our Airbnb because they are two Buenos Aires. And our taxi driver took us to the wrong one. So finally after 2 taxi rides and a long bus ride we made it to our place. Yeah!!!
After our stay in Provence we drove to Palavas les Flots, which is an hour and 15 minutes from Provence. It is a beach town with old colourful houses. Our Airbnb has two levels with the kitchen,washroom etc downstairs and our beds and tv upstairs. We also had a nice balcony which overlooked the canal. We read and worked well watching the harbour dogs attempting to bring death upon the pigeons. During our stay in Palavas we went to Espiguette beach. It is a big long beach. We did not plan on going swimming as we did not bring our swimsuits. But the water was surprisingly warm, so we waded as far as we could. Expect AJ who swam in his shorts! After we walked part way down the beach, before drying off and heading to the Seaquarium. The Seaquarium had lots of sea creatures such as, fish, turtles, sharks, creepy big eels, seahorses, sea lions,seals, crabs and more. I really liked the sharks as they swam above our heads. The eels were interesting but enormous and creepy. I would not want to see one of those well I was swimming! And of course the turtles were beautiful and emerald green. There was lots of fascinating fishes. The unicorn fish was cool. But it took us a long time to realize that the rock we were staring at actually had eyes and was a fish, though I don’t remember the name. My favourite part of our visited at the Seaquarium was the seal show. The seals would do little tricks and jumps for some fish. Then they put out four different shapes, and the seals were trained to go to a certain shape. I loved when one of the seals flopped a few metres across the floor, making the crowd laugh. They finished but jumping and turning in the air. It was very well done. Then we went back for the night. The next day mummy and I faced the rain and went running in the morning. And we thought that weather was bad, but later in the day it got much much worse. Along with more rain came tons of thunder and lightning. Forcing us to stay inside. Then we couldn’t stay inside anymore so daddy AJ and I went on little walk to get a baguette for our vegetable soup. After some lunch we got in warm clothes and watched some tv. We ended up staying inside all day, for we would be soaked within seconds if we went out. Finally we fell asleep to the sounds of pounding rain, thunder and lightning. The next morning was time to leave. We dropped of our rental car in Montpellier, then of to the train station. We were going to have to wait 4 hours for our train. But unfortunately the train got canceled till tomorrow and maybe till Friday, because of flooding in Béziers. So we booked a nice hotel a three minute walk from the train station. We got drenched even though we were only outside for 3 minutes! We are hoping to take the bus to Barcelona tomorrow so we don’t have to wait till Friday. Cross your fingers for good luck!
On Monday we went hiking in the Alpilles. This was just an hour and a half , because we all agreed we were tired. A little while later we hiked up a hill, to take in the view while enjoying our baguettes. The baguette long was my favourite because it tasted like a woodfired pizza, when you add a slice of cheese. Tuesday we went to the Saint Paul de Mausole. It was where Van Gough spent a year, he was there as a psychiatric patient. He created most of his famous paintings, including Starry Night. He only ever sold one painting, which was the Red Vineyard. Not as famous as Starry Night but equally beautiful. We visited a reconstruction of his room. His story is sad but also very interesting and inspiring. He will never know how celebrated and respected he is. Wednesday we went to the morning market. This was the biggest market we’ve been to yet. There was lots of cheese, meat, vegetables, fruit, clothing and sweets. We sampled cheeses, pesto and nougat. AJ probably took to many samples of nougat for the sellers likings. It was delicious! The original flavour of nougat is almond and honey. But later was made with pistachios, hazelnuts, chocolate, dried fruits and much much more. We also let in for AJ’s request for tapenade and olives.Which everyone loved , even I liked them and I’m not olive person. We also bought hummus, kale, paella which is a seafood and spicy rice mix for daddy, a Madeleine to share and a macaroon to share. Next we went back had a quick lunch and headed of to les Baux de Provence. We walked through a little town and bought some small things from the local market. Then we headed up to the castle. We saw some cool cannons and other weaponry, that I’ve never heard of. We learned interesting things from our audio guide, and enjoyed being there. Then we went to a gallery that make it seem that your in the painting. We saw Japanese paintings and Vincent Van Gough paintings. They had to use tons of projectors. On one painting it felt like we were swimming in the ocean. Because there was ocean everywhere, on the ground, ceiling and all the walls. Thursday we went biking for the day. We hiked along a canal. And my favourite part was when went down a bunch of bumps. We biked past majestic horses and other farm animals. It was a nice change to get away from all the cars and loud noises. Today we went to Arles a nearby town. We saw an old amphitheater and a theatre. The amphitheater is definitely not as big or historic as the Coliseum, but it has its pluses. Such as not being crowded by thousands of people. The amphitheater is still used to this day, for bull fights, gladiator recreations and so on. We also went to a museum with lots of old artifacts. And there was an old shipwreck that apparently still had all it’s money and things to bring. But it never made it. Tomorrow we our heading to Palavas des Flots. We did lots and saw lots in Provence, but we also took time to work and relax. I will always remember the smell of Provence, a light lavendery smell.
Our quick days in Nice were very nice. The place we stayed was not my favourite but the bath was enjoyable. And the sunsets over the ocean were stunning. We were very tired when we got there after a long four hour train ride. The next morning we had a swim. It was very hard to get in as it was sloped, but once we stumbled in the bright blue sea we knew it was worth the blisters on our feet. Afterwards we had a warm grilled cheese and cantaloupe. Then we went up up up a tower, and saw the rooftops of nice and the dazzling water from above. There was a nice park there were we quenched our thirst and replied sunscreen. Next we walked down the busy streets of old nice. We tried new foods we loved and some just for the experience. Socca is one of the foods that was for the experience. It is like a chick pea pancake. Pissalediere is one of the foods that we ate within seconds. It is a tart with onions and some times anchovies on top.When I saw it I had mixed feelings, but when I bite into it I thought don’t judge a book by its cover. It was mouthwatering. We decided it was time to head back. The next day we hit the road. Aurevoir Nice! We got stuck in some traffic, because of an accident. So when we got to Antibes we rushed out of the door for the sake of our butts. Antibes was a stop we made to have lunch and stretched our legs before the 2 hour trudge to Cassis. We walked through the town, but unfortunately the Picasso museum was closed. So instead we ate our lunch on the steps of a square, while the market dogs begged for food. It was hard not to give in. Then we walked on by the harbour and saw some impressive yachts. The Dillbar yatch is by far the biggest with its helicopter landing platform. It’s in between 800 million US dollars and 1 billion US dollars. We also saw a cool statue and Ferris wheel, sadly we did not have time to go on it. We went back to the car, not excited for the car ride but excited to visit a new place. Our day in Nice was fun, and our few hours in Antibes was a pleasure too.