Sunday, April 08, 2007

Vacation Pics From John R.









Here are some photos I took recently on our trip to Barcelona, Spain
and Carcassonne, France. We were told to avoid the crowds and heat of the
summer, but we went a little too early as it was quite cold, about 8
degrees C. I didn't mind the cold so much, but Doreen was freezing and had to
buy a winter coat to warm up.

Doreen was most interested in seeing the buildings designed by the
architect Antonio Gaudi in Barcelona. His buildings are extremely different. When
he received his degree in architecture his professor said, "I don't know
if we're awarding this degree to a genius or a lunatic."

I was most interested in visiting Carcassonne, a medieval city in
southern France. The city had fallen into disrepair so much of it has been
rebuilt in the last 150 years according to any plans that survived.
It was amazing to walk along the walls and in the inner laneways of the
fortress. I became fascinated with medieval life so I've begun reading
the book "A Distant Mirror" which tells of everyday life in the 1300s.

Carcassonne is in an area that was inhabited by the Cathars, and is
thus connected to the books "The Da Vinci Code" and "Holy Blood, Holy
Grail". As we travelled by train, we didn't get out into the countryside, so we're
going to have to return to the area to do more exploring.

In Spain you didn't hear much English spoken, although most merchants
could communicate easily, however it was nice entering France where I could
understand public address messages etc. It's great being able to
understand two languages. I wish I understood more.


2188 Doreen in front of Gaudi's fabulous cathedral Sagrada Familia
begun about 1880. It should be finished in another 50 years.

2203 The entrance of Park Guell. The ginger bread house was designed
by Gaudi.

2212 The dragon in Park Guell.

2257 View from the top of one of Gaudi's buildings La Pedrera

2235 The interior courtyard of the Gothic Cathedral in Barcelona

2369 The Serpent Wall in Park Guell, designed by Gaudi

2455 Me below the walls of Carcassonne

2571 The outer walls of Carcassonne

2477 Doreen and I in front of the entrance to the Chateau

2574 Sitting on a wall on the SE side of Carcassonne


Thanks for sharing these pics with us John R.

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