Monday, March 3, 2008

Barcelona, Day 3.

Hi, S and T! How are you? Here it is 8 pm and in Washington it is 1 pm. I have so, so many things to show you today. Every day I am here, I take more pictures!

First, here are two shots that I took from Angela and Oliver's apartment. They have a sliding glass door that opens to a small balcony, and this is what you can see from there.

Hello! Here I am in the elevator again. When I took this, it was about 10:30 in the morning, and Daddy and I were heading out for a day in the city.
Here is a shop called La Bicicleta.
There is a lot of graffiti in Barcelona. A lot of big cities have graffiti, and they have different ways of dealing with it. In Chicago, graffiti is cleaned up very quickly because the city does not like it. But in Barcelona, graffiti is usually left alone, so it stays on the walls and becomes art.
We are going down into the Metro to catch a train.
I took this picture for you, S, because you are going to be 5 very soon!
Here is a type of map that helps us know where the train is going to take us. The trains in Barcelona are very easy to use. In Chicago, I was always confused about where the train was going to take me. But here, even I can understand the metro system.
I took this picture as we were waiting for the train. Can you see the black screen with the green numbers? It is a sign that tells you how long you will be waiting for the next train. You usually don't have to wait more than 2 minutes for a train to come. That time goes by pretty quickly.
Before the day is over, these feet will do a lot of walking.
Our first stop of the day was to this flea market called Encants Vells.
In this large area, many people had set up tents and tables and were selling all kinds of things.
At the market you could find clothes, shoes, undies, furniture, toys, books, just about anything you can imagine.
There were many sellers and many shoppers.
We didn't buy this record player.
But we did buy a chess set from this man. Daddy did a little bargaining with him. This is what bargaining means: The man said the chess set cost 15 euros. Daddy said no, he wouldn't pay that much, and acted like he was going to put it back and leave. The man asked how much daddy would pay and daddy said 10 euros. The man thought for a minute, then he agreed to sell it to daddy for 10. Bargaining is a much different way to pay for things than we use when we shop at Target, right? But that is the normal way to do it at the flea market. And I think daddy had fun making a deal.
After we left the flea market, we walked around looking for some lunch. We passed this along the way. It's called Arc del Triomf.
We saw these funny bicycle buggies that were being used as taxis. That means people would pay some money to take a ride in them.
Another one of those winding streets I was telling you about yesterday.
Here is a scooter I saw. I couldn't tell if it was made like this, or if its owner used a marker to draw all over it. What do you think?
Here is a sign for a shop that looks like a robot. I liked the sign so much that we decided to go in.
The shop sold many interesting things. I was especially drawn to the things made of old cans. There were pitchers, bags, toys, and many other things all made of recycled cans.
These lamps were made of old cans as well. That's a good way to recycle, I think.
This restaurant's sign had two octopus'. Or octopi. Which is it?
We walked down this street which went under a sort of tunnel.
Our next adventure was to go to a Parc Guell, which is a park designed by famous artist and architect Antoni Gaudi. Parc Guell is on top of a big hill, so to get there we walked up, up, up. There were also escalators to take us up so we didn't get too tired. Thank goodness. To take this picture, I turned around and looked back at the part of the city we were leaving.
Here I am facing toward the park. You can see one of the many escalators that will carry us up to Parc Guell.
We are getting higher and higher.
Higher and higher! Can you see how far away all the buildings look now?
Here we are on the escalator.
Here is a view of the city from the entrance to the park.
Inside the park were these very cool cave-like walkways, which Gaudi formed from the stone that was naturally there.
This man was putting away his instrument for the day.
Here was my favorite spot at Parc Guell. There was a big open area, and all around were these curvy benches. On the benches, Gaudi used thousands, maybe millions of little pieces of tile to make beautiful, colorful mosaics.
I loved all the colors and shapes in the mosaics. I took many, many pictures! Here are some:

Here you can see how this plaza was kind of high up... you can look down and see the other buildings in the park, and the city beyond.
More bench close-ups.

The park had many lush, green plants --- shrubs, bushes, and trees.
Many people were sitting down to relax on the colorful benches, including this man playing his horn.
More mosaics. See if you can spot the butterfly.

Did you find it? Oh, I just loved those mosaic benches. Good work, Antoni Gaudi!

This man was selling earrings which he had displayed on an umbrella. I thought that was clever.
There are many entrances to Parc Guell, and this is the most famous and the most spectacular. There are two staircases leading up to an area with many magnificent pillars. There is also a lizard that is covered in tile mosaic as well. I hope some day we can come back to this place with you both, and we can take your picture by this lizard.
An interesting window.
A view from one of the park's paths. Can you see the blue ping pong table? There are tables like that in parks all over the city. People here like to spend their free time outdoors. They can bring their paddles and balls, find a ping pong table, and whack away. Sounds fun, huh?
S, do you know what this sign is saying? It is thanking people for picking up their doggies' poo poos. But you know what? A lot of people don't follow the advice of this sign. They leave their dogs' poops on the sidewalk. Yuck.
Here is a lovely spot to walk under an archway of flowers. This was right outside of Casa Museu Gaudi, a house where Gaudi lived for a while.
Here is a window inside the house.
Here is daddy under an archway, in a purple hallway.
Antoni Gaudi, I love your park.
Some houses I liked as we walked back down the big hill at the end of the day.
This plant looked like ribbons to me.
And, finally, a big orange truck for you.

Whew! That was a lot of pictures, right!
We are tired again after trekking all over this fantastic city. What did you do today that made you tired? I'm sure you are very busy doing something. I hope you are behaving well for Grandma and Grandpa, and giving them lots of hugs and kisses. I can't wait to get my own hug and kiss from you when we get home.
Goodbye for now.
Mom and Dad

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