Showing posts from December, 2011

I'm Lost in the Prado!

Ah! Sunday in Madrid! David and I awoke in our rather posh hotel, cozy in our bed with a fluffy down comforter and crisp white sheets, king size pillows to match the king size bed. Apparently, the Melia Castilla has quite the conference center, and has an auditorium that can seat a million people. Of course, I am kidding. I honestly don't remember how many, but I remember being impressed and wondering where they would put them all. It was also fun to stay someplace that provided a bevy of toiletries: a dental kit complete with toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste, a razor, of course a shower cap, a comb! I was running a little low on shampoo at this point so all these items were tucked into my luggage for use at the apartment. Yay!

I also spied this interesting ad (?) in our room. Roughly translated it means something like, "anyone tell you like watching television". That's how google translate does it anyway. This baffles me. Is this an ad for a movie or something tha…

On to Madrid!

So, when last we left off, we were at the Barcelona airport. Did I mention what a nice airport it is? And it has some great shopping. I picked up some fun things at the Nartura store, which is described on this website as "A home ware and gift shop offering everything from candles to incense sticks" but I got some jewelry there. Yay!

The flight to Madrid was pretty uneventful. We were on Vueling airlines again which was just lovely. They had a little catalog and you could order a keychain shaped like the airplane seat belt buckle. If they had actually come around and taken orders, I so would have gotten one.

I was surprised by how arid the middle of Spain appeared from the air...then again, they were having a drought. Eventually, I felt as though we were flying in circles. I kept seeing the same building below. Then the pilot came on to inform us that we were indeed flying in circles. So observant, am I.

Eventually we landed in Madrid. Nice airport. We got our bags. We got m…

One Last Morning in Barcelona

 This is the lovely church just across the street from our apartment.
You may recall that on our first full day in Barcelona, we walked over to the Sagrada Familia to see that the line stretched clear around to the opposite side of the church. We decided at that point to explore elsewhere and perhaps come back later that day. We never did make it back that afternoon, we were far too tired, and I kind of thought it might just be one of those things I missed on this trip. You can't see everything, right?

Alan and Erin had been there...they had arrived before it opened and got in line. Alan said it was amazing and really worth seeing, so Saturday morning Kym, Kyle, David, and I woke up and got there about a half-hour before it opened. There were already people in line, but we were very close to the front. Kym wandered off in search of coffee (I believe she came back with Starbucks) which the rest of us waited in line.

One of the many problems with ATMs is that you always get larger b…

The neverending stairs

Untitled from Michelle on Vimeo.

So, in Barcelona we were on the fourth floor...and it seemed like you the stairwell just went on and on and on. Watch the video to see what I mean.

To the Monastery!

So, after we had some snacks and coffee, we got back into our little bus and headed to Montserrat (not to be confused with the island). To get there, you travel a long and winding road up into the mountains. As we drove, Marta told us the story of Montserrat - how some monks found a statue of the Virgin in a cave in the mountain. They decided a cave was no place for her to be, so they picked her up and started to carry her down the mountain, but as they carried her away, she became heavier and heavier, until they could no longer lift her. Finally, they decided to just leave her and build the monastery around her. Now, pilgrims come from around the world to visit her and touch her hand. More on that later...

What amazes me is how they managed to build this amazing monastery pretty much on the top of a mountain. I'm also fascinated with how cell phones work, television, and how what I am typing on my computer here will be seen by you, yes you!, on your computer in South Carolina (Hi…