Thursday, August 29, 2013

Barcelona and the Costa Brava

So we´re back, and we´ve seen so much and done so much, so I´ll only post a couple of highlights:

La Catedral. Oh, how amazed were we when we first peeked through the door and saw the cloister, with palms and geese: 
Yes, this is inside the walls of a cathedral. It was incredibly beautiful, and the geese and statues (and the artificial candles, which lit automatically when you threw in ten cents) made it cool for the kids, too. 

This is La Sagrada de la Familia, the famous church designed by Gaudi. I found it to be extremely crowded, and also it is of course still under consruction, so there are a lot of fences and cranes and construction tools. Also, they have pretty high entrance fees, which make it hard to visit it with a group of 6 people. But there is a playground directly in front of it, and a park, where some guy played the flute really beautiful, and a drinking water fountain.

We loved the markets, selling turtles and hamsters on the streets, and all sorts of foods and clothing articles and trinkets and junk. We loved the dusty heat, I loved in particular the craft stores - I found stores selling beads and plain rings and all sorts of nice things for making jewelry out of everything, for a fraction of the price I pay here in Germany. So, hooray for me :)

Okay, fast foward:
 The cactae-garden in Blanes.

It was a must for our family, because our three little ones have been quite cactae-crazy these last months. It started out with Tim giving them one (!) really small cactus for their room, and by saving up their pocket money and begging all relatives, they managed to aquire a collection of, so far, 36 plants. Yep. And they´ve got a book, to classify them. And they find out their needs and mix special soil and give them names and plant them in groups. And shelter them with umbrellas. And wish for a glass house for Christmas.
So... yeah. We had to take our crazy kids to the world´s largest cactae garden in Blanes, which contains 7000 different sorts of icky, phallic, beasty ahem, beautiful plants. My kids were the only kids there, apparently, and we spent about three hours with ecstatically screaming kids, two very proud parents and one very bored Eva.

And there was a pond:
Oh, oh so gorgeous! Like a painting by Renoir!

And do you remember the fish peeling we got in Prague?
Those same fish lived in the pond, which led to more ecstatic screams :)

And yep, we managed to squeeze in some sweet parent time, too.

It was fantastic swimming in the warm mediteranian sea, stars overhead, and the brightly lit 11th century castle in the background. It was fantastic picking lavender and wild fennel in France and figs in Spain. It was fantastic sleeping in a tiny hut, with the wind blowing around it at night and reading until midnight. It was fantastic getting up in the mornig to brew coffee on my little cooker while listening to Chopins piano concerts on my laptop, while the sun rose behind the mountains and everyone was still sleeping.
Sleeping in tents, small huts, next to sunflower fields and also in an automatic, no-service-check-in hotel at the roadside in France - all of it was adventure. Small adventure, short adventure, but non the less exciting.
And, in fact, I even liked the long hours in the car. We sang a lot, and constantly listened to some music. One favourite was:

Elisa´s uncle Ricardo introduced me to them, and they will blow your mind!

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