Lois Reynolds Mead

Art and a pink monkeyflower in a native plant garden…


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Settling in…

We arrived in Barcelona last Wednesday  at 11:00 a.m. and immediately started to become acquainted with our new “home away from home”. It is quite impressive in my way of thinking. We are in the Eixample District of Barcelona which when it was laid out back in the 1800’s, was aligned in a gridded regular square system. The sidewalks are lined with multi-storied buildings most of which have multiple balconies (we have two) in wrought iron with ten feet tall shutters. 

   

You walk all the way through and find another balcony and a common open space for the block. 

     

Our front door details…

   
 

The square blocks have their corners lopped off so every time you come to an intersection it visually opens up and makes this very urban space human and accessible. A fabulous urban planner thought that up! Every block has a big beautiful intersection.

   
 

Thursday morning we explored our neighborhood and quickly walked past the Block of Discord. I got my first glimpse of Casa Botlló. We were on our to the University area for our Untours orientation (how to use the Metro, interesting day trips…)

 The local market:  
        

Lots of art nouveau building facades:

         

   
       

The University clock tower:

  
We met our group at a cafe in an interior courtyard with the most amazing wall decorations:

                

Friday we went through Casa Batlló: 
   
         

Oh, joy, oh, rapture! Then we met our Untours group for a tour of the Santa Catarina Market, olive oil tasting and a tapas lunch. 

   
       

Terry and I walked around the main cathedral on our way home… 

   

That was the only organized activity with Untours and now we are on our own…so Saturday we hopped the high speed train (201 km/hour) for a day-trip to Girona for their flower festival…

   
    
This is only the beginning…  


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Bern, two…

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After walking to the rear of the Parliament Building so we could see the view and the Aare River (muddy because of all the rain), we continued our stroll down-elevation past banks (lots of them…it’s Switzerland!) and casinos (in this case casino means opera house.)

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Also saw the sophisticated suicide barrier on the bridge…

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Our walk swung over to the center of the peninsula that is Bern so we could enjoy the Zytglogge. I am not an expert on world-wide clock towers, but this one seems to me to be one of the most special. It dates from 1530.

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The street artist was also fun…

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Walking to the rear of the tower puts you in the Kornhausplatz.

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There is the Ogre Fountain (child-eater). Possibly it was meant to scare mis-behaving children.

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We elected to stroll down Kramgasse a wide street that gives the sense of the arcades plus the cellars below that are also retail shops…

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Zähringen Fountain…a bear in full armor…

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The house where Einstein lived in 1905 when he developed the theory of relativity right here in Bern…

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The Samnson Fountain…

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We also walked around Bern’s 15th century Münster (Cathedral)…

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I could not get far enough away to get a full picture so you will have to piece it together in your brain…

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If you live in one of these houses in Bern…

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You get this as your yard…

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One more fountain (there are more than we actually walked past) before we went across the bridge to the BärenPark…of course, it was Justice…

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“Time is the justice that examines all offenders.”~Shakespeare

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(Snapseed app, Image Blender, Stackables, and Vintique)


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Notre Dame interior…

We visited Notre Dame midday on a very sunny day and now I know in order to get better photos of stained glass I should go on a cloudy day or early or late on the day I am visiting. My photos in Sainte-Chapelle at 5:30 in the afternoon have much more of a glow to them. Also over on the list of things to be sure to do next time would be to have Notre Dame’s visit early in the day so my aged knees felt like they would want to climb all the steps up the tower to see the view. For some reason, on such a hot day, the feel of the cool church put me in mind to sit in the shaded park instead…

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Digression. Now into the interior…

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Jeanne D’Arc

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