April 6,2012-We slept well on our last night in Barcelona and we were ready to start our day. A quick breakfast and then we were out the door. We started with the Block of Discord. This is a wonderful city block filled with sumptuous mansions. Each of the home owners wanted to show up or out do their neighbors so they hired architects to go all out. Each house is more elaborate than the next but the most outrageous by far is the one designed by Gaudi. He created something that looks like it is out of The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was amazing to see the amount of thought and consideration that the architects put into each house. A quick subway ride took us to a tram to make the climb up to Mountjuic. When we exited the tram we hopped onto to a gondola ( like at a ski resort) which took us to the Castle of Montjuic. We wandered around and took some snaps. After a few minutes the was a down pour and we headed to have a picnic lunch inside the castle. After lunch, we took the gondola back down and headed for the Olympic Museum.
The museum was good...it showed lots of the Barcelona '92 Olympics. The museum closed early and we were rushed out before Amy could test out the time track exhibit. Our next stop was the Olympic stadium. This stadium was originally built for the '29 Olympics but the Spanish Civil War put a stop to that. Decades later it was enlarged and modernized for the '92 Olympics. Across the street was a Barcelona art museum within a grandiose building. We walked toward it because we had read about some"magic fountains" where people gather to watch a spectacular show when the sun goes down. We walked down Montjuic towards the fountains and then headed for the subway back to collect our bags at the hotel. As we have during this whole trip, we noticed and appreciated the Spanish people's love for their dogs. We saw a lot of cute ones as we made our way back to our hotel. People take their dogs everywhere--for a walk around the gorgeous parks, on a train ride in the subway, to small tapas bars where they no doubt slip them a nice piece of ham or cheese when the waiter is not looking, etc.
We even saw one dressed in the Barcelona soccer team's jersey. Amy and I really miss our dogs back in the USA so maybe that is why we keep fawning over the ones here. We had a quick bite to eat and we boarded the bus to the airport. We arrived at the Barcelona airport early and were able to wander around before our fight to Sevilla. The flight was short and sweet and before we knew it our cab was pulling up to the old city of Sevilla. We quickly realized that we had timed this visit perfectly. Sevilla was in the middle of their Santa Semana (Holy Week) festival, so we ditched our bags at the hotel and joined the rest of town in the streets to enjoy the procession. It was breathtaking. Spectators lined the streets as members of the town's various "cofradias," or religious fraternities, carried several ton statues mounted on parade floats thru the streets by candlelight. Approximately 42 men shuffle beneath the statue carrying it on the back of their necks thru the streets. This is a major honor and men sign up years in advance to participate in these festivities. After following the same procession for 30 minutes, we picked out a tapas bar for our dinner. We are on the same schedule as the Spanish and sat down to eat at midnight, along with families with small children. After a delicious dinner, we wandered back to our hotel and tucked in for bed around 2am.
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