Saturday, November 28, 2015

From Heathrow to Dulles

We left last Thursday evening and are now at the airport to go home. As was usual neither one of us slept last night. We arrived in London and soon after journeyed to Spain for a couple of days. I haven't been in this many airports and flights within such a short period of time. We are both eager to get back to the comforts of home. I lost a pair of shoes in Barcelona. Luckily they weren't of any significance. Right now we are hanging around and waiting for the flight to board. I have a feeling both of us will sleep most if the way back. It's weird being out of the country - we missed Thanksgiving for the first time. I still don't know why people like to travel. It must be in their genes. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Christmas Lights in London

From the back seat of a small car it is very hard to take photos. And so it was last evening when we headed to London to see the Christmas lights. Every time I thought I had a decent shot, a bus or taxi would get in the way, or the camera would not focus, or the car would take a lunge. In spite of it all, the trip was fun if nothing else but to see the landmarks and holiday fare combined. The iPhone 6 Plus does take fine photos in low light, but unfortunately I didn't get many of those. I did get a great video of a seatbelt and Big Ben. We are visiting with friends in England for the fourth year in a row. The first time was October, then August, then July, and now November over Thanksgiving. We didn't have turkey or a Macy's day parade, but it was a great holiday all the same. Now the trip is winding down and we head back home tomorrow. It's nice to be here, but it's also nice to be home. I know at least my photos will more than likely be in focus.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Placa de Gaudi in Barcelona

It was probably the strangest "church" we have ever been in, and it is still under construction. I didn't read anything about it, and usually don't. We were traveling with friends to Barcelona and this was a place the earnest travelers wanted to see and we were along for the ride. It's called Placa de Gaudi and it looked very gawdy. I don't know if one word has anything to do with the other, but it reminded me of a movie called Baron Munchausen - we walked out of it it was so strange. We waited in line for quite some time to buy a ticket, and wandered about the church for awhile and were amazed at how busy it was. I was eager to leave it, and see the more natural beauty of the country. At least I can say I was there, but that's about it. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Old Barcelona

This is the first year we have not been home at Thanksgiving time. So I did not have to worry about making a turkey and planning for guests. This year we decided to visit our English friends, and all meet our French friends in Spain. I probably would not have ever gone to Spain otherwise. Yesterday we walked though the old section of Barcelona - this is the favorite spot for my husband as he loves the crowd and the action, and the markets, and the walk. The day before we meandered through the modern section of town, and then took the train to the Mediterranean Sea. The best part of any of it is that I don't need to think about how to get from point a to point b, because there are seasoned travelers in this group that really want to see and do specific things. We just tag along. By the end of the day, we went for a late lunch at the top of a department store complex. So we saw the view of the city at dusk. It's hard to believe there were Olympic Games played here a while back. The city must have been congested! But even this time of year it seemed very crowded. Now we are back in London for a few days. I need a vacation! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mediterranean Sea

My dad was in Northern Africa during WWII on a ship in the Mediterranean. This is the first time I have seen the Mediterranean Sea seventy years later. A lot has changed since then! We are in Barcelona visiting our English friends son and were joined by our French friends.  Yesterday we took a stroll along the sea, saw some parrots flapping, palm trees, and surfers. It reminded me a lot of Florida along the gulf shores where I grew up. The sun was misleading as it actually felt like thirty degrees. But it was a very pleasant day taking in the sights in a place I would not have imagined visiting even last year. My husband and I prefer the company over the sights and pretty much tag along wherever everyone else wants to go. This way I really don't have to think about anything. And I really like it that way! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Raco de la Vila Restaurant in Barcelona

We usually have dinner at 6 PM. But people in Europe tend to eat a lot later - more like 8-8:30 or later. Last evening we met up with the son and girlfriend of our English friends, who happen to live in Barcelona, where we are visiting for a couple of days. Our French friends are also in town, so we are a party of eight! The best way to get to where we were going was to take the metro, and thank goodness other people like to take the lead on getting us from one place to another. So we made our way to Raco de la Vila and filled ourselves up with tapas and dinner. We decided on paella after gorging on bread, artichokes, mushrooms, salad, onions, and an assortment of other things. It was relatively busy for a Sunday evening. Before we left on this trip we watched a show about the city and its' food and the first thing we saw was a pig leg (I think) in the entryway which is sliced very thin. The tiles on the walls and decor were interesting and the company was even more so. We could hardly waddle out of the place after ice cream and coffee and after dinner drinks. No wonder I can't sleep at night since we came here - I have such horrible palpitations and can only guess it is from all this food and drink. We will be leaving shortly for another one of these adventures. Every time I think I will behave and eat less it never happens. I am hoping for a decent nights sleep but am afraid it won't happen until we get back home. Until then I will try to enjoy the ride, in spite of the after affects. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

From London to Barcelona on British Airways

I am not much of a traveler, international or otherwise. But since Thursday, we flew from Washington DC to London, and this morning from London to Barcelona. I am also not someone who likes to get up early in the morning. And to make a 7:55 AM flight at Heathrow airport, we had to be ready for a cab to pick us up at 5:45 AM - which meant getting up by 5:00 AM. Of course I did not sleep a wink last night because I am still on Washington DC time, and we ate dinner at 8 PM. But for this leg of the journey our friends in England made all the arrangements so I didn't have to think about anything but the passports. When we were dropped off at terminal 3 at Heathrow it was already abuzz on a Sunday morning. My husband found a cell phone lying on the street in front of the cab and had to drop it off at security so they could reach the poor soul who lost it. We were on British Airways once again, and once again enjoyed the flight - if you can do such a thing. However, when we went through passport check, our English friends had no line, but ours wound well past the queuing lines filled with at least 1000 people. If that wasn't bad enough, a plane filled with young males decided they could just cut in front of us and took over the place. Luckily our friends were able to convince the authorities to find us and dragged us out of the hellhole. It was really dreadful with these folks surrounding us and pushing our backs... It doesn't appear they understood what a line and order was. Thankfully we got out of there soon enough but it was a very unpleasant experience. Then we jumped into the cab and got to our hotel in downtown Barcelona. Our English friend's son lives here, and he met us at the hotel, along with our friends from France, who flew in yesterday. I never thought I would ever visit Spain. Let's see how this goes after a very unusual start!