Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sean's View of Barcelona

NB: I have changed the comment format so that anyone can make comments. So, please do! :)

A lot of photography is about having patience. Which I have none of and Sean has bucket loads of. The Barcelona Zoo tried my patience and the birds won. Damn birds.

Here I am feeding a Pere David's Deer.

The Bactrian camels were as uncooperative for Sean as they were for me. We chose to move on.

I love this shot that Sean got of an upset Macaw taking wing (as you may recall, construction was going on near their enclosure).

I was totally fed up and left the bird building by the time Sean got this photo.

These were a beautiful type of pigeon with a rose marking on their chests making them look like they had been shot fatally.

These are the crested Asian pigeons, who tried our patience so sorely.

Sean took this hyena shot blind in one exposure; he held his camera above his head on top of a brick wall and clicked the shot without looking. Good thing we use digital now, he was able to see how the shot came out.

Storks. Who do you think they are bringing a baby to?

A grand close-up of the tiger.

The king of beasts snoozes.

A black tailed prairie dog is too cute!

These steps were on our way up to Park Güell. I had to run up them to see what was on top. It was just more street.

But, a close up shows that I celebrated the win of the Barcelona team of Europe's Soccer Cup just the day before by purchasing an official team jersey. Click to enlarge.

A window detail.

Here is a metal sidewalk cover.

A photo of the aqueducts that are on the summit of the park and the steps leading up to them.

I am sitting in one of the stone nooks created by the stonework that you can see in the foreground. More stonework rises above my head. I'm sure it won't fall and crush the life out of me. (?)

Here is one of the sun details from the underside of the support for the serpentine bench.

Here is the underside of the serpentine bench with the colonnade. The ceiling is dimpled like a golf ball.

The tour bus went zipping by the Casa Batlló designed by Gaudi.

The following photographs are mine.

This is the Columbus Monument, that stands 60 m tall. It is said to be in the place where Columbus returned from his first trip to the new world.

This is a marina on the Barcelona oceanfront. I was kind of imagining what it would be like to live here.

The tour bus went zipping by this monastery so fast, it was only when I got home I realized that this is the Pedrables Monastery that dates back to the 14th century. Too bad, it would have been worth a visit.

As part of my imagining living on the ocean in Barcelona, this could be my front door. What do you think?

I hope we get to go back to Spain soon! We weren't there long enough to see anything!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sean's View of Madrid

Of the two of us, Sean is the real photographer. His assignment on this trip was to photograph me (LOL!) and make me look like a traveling starlet (LMAO) in the gorgeous city of Madrid!

Here, Cristiano and I enjoy some Spanish coffee before we go to the Prado Museum. As I recall, the service at this particular cafe was abominably slow. Unlike the Zurich Cafe that Sean and I went to in Barcelona. When we arrived there, no tables were in the shade. So, we moved one. Little did I know that we had left Spain and were in Switzerland. The angered waiter came over and shouted "MOVE!" We had to move to another table in shade that had just opened up. I asked for a croissant with jam and he misunderstood and thought I meant a filled one. He replied "NO!" Apparently they were out of them. He reminded me of the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld. But, we were served extremely promptly, unlike this cafe, where I was sure the wait staff forgot about us, only to learn that we were in between shifts. Oh well, it gave Cristiano and I time to catch up.

"Yada, yada, yada..." "Where's our refill?"

It was cold and drizzly waiting for the Prado tickets. But I was well prepared for any weather with my Tilley hat and wind breaker.

The Prado has merged old and new, adding a new wing that encompasses an old church.

Here is a close up of the mating of the buildings. Discuss.

Here are some lovely buildings that we passed on our way to the Prado.

A close up of the Institute of Cervantes.

More really neat buildings.

Great art deco details on this building. Look closely at the glass enclosed balcony and the awning over the door.

The street signs in the old part of the city were made of tiles and were very charming. However, they were not conducive to being read from a car. Maybe there is a message there.

This lovely old building was across the street from our hotel. It was at one point being used as a movie theater. Now it seems to be abandoned.

Now this is an entrance.

Here we are back with beautiful doors. There were quite a few in both Madrid and Barcelona.

Even the newspaper kiosks were pretty. This one is a work of art.

Here I am north of the Gran Via, posing in front of some baroque decorative stairs dating from the 18th century. The stairs are still in use and a fountain runs at the bottom. Click to enlarge.

Here is a shot I took of the Casa de la Panderia in the Plaza Mayor. It was built in 1509 and the fresco was completed in 1922.

We went to Atocha station to catch the Renfre high velocity train to Barcelona. I was very impressed the tropical garden in the center atrium space. Look at the size of it!

I couldn't wait to see if there were fish in that healthy looking pond. But no, it was infested with turtles. The water was brownish with turtle offal. Yuck! No wonder the plants are so green.

The high velocity trains were quiet, comfortable, and clean. Here is what the world looks like at 300 KMPH:

Next: Sean's View of Barcelona!