We had an uneventful trip to Barcelona with a layover in Toronto, but not really a layover, since we walked for the full hour and 10 minutes to get to out gate just in time to board.
We were pleasantly surprised to see how close to the sea was our hotel.
we took a lovely walk along the docks on our first night, then found a nice small place to have some tapas: olives, fried potatoes, salad, mushrooms and vegetable paella.
On the way back, we happened upon a gothic church, so we poked our head and stayed for a bit of the mass.
This first night, we were tired so went to bed early,
The next morning, we had a bit of a scare. the taxi we ordered didnt arrive. we had to be at the Guell Park for our Gaudi tour, so we were in a bit of a rush. the hotel register came out to help us flag a taxi, but most were occupied. Luckily, she did get one for us, so we made it. The driver, from Ecuador, was fun to talk to. We used Spanglish to communicate.
So we got to see what mightend up being the highlight o our trip: The E
Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece of a church.
The lighting though the stained glass windows was fabulous as were the four different facades, some designed by different artists. I decided to call his style Organic Gothic since it has so many natural elements, such as trees and birds, yet it has gothic towers and other elements of medieval architecture.
The guide told us the church should finally be completed in seven year if all goes well.
We also saw the Guell Park, another Guardi work, originally built for a planned community, but only three people ever built and lived there: Guell, the sponsor, a lawyer and Gaudi himself, who lived in the sample when the project didnt pan out.
first night amd gaudi’s Guell park
sagrada familia and cathedral
We made it to Calgary after a 5-hour drive that included a walk around Henderson Park in Lethbridge for a stretch break.
But the smoke—oh, the smoke was terrible. The farther north we drove, the worse it got. We couldn’t see the Rocky Mountains. By the time we hit Calgary, we couldn’t see the high rises aling the skyline. No Calgary Tower. Our throats were sore and we were coughing. So we stayed inside: inside the mall to get our steps in and then inside the hotel.
We heard on on the radio that the fire is already the fourth largest ever in Alberta. It’s 52000 hectares with over 10,000 evacuated. They say it will burn all summer.
I pray our whole summer won’t be full of smoke.
on a fun note, we crashed some ladies in one of the conference room sewing “bags” or purses for a cause. These ladies met online and now meet face to face. They are the Ujamaa Grandmas. Read how these ladies raised over one million dollars. Find their wares on Etsy.
Tomorrow, on to Barcelona! But we lose a day.