Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28, 2011

Greetings from Dallas,

Well, after seven months of kicking around Spanish speaking countries, we have arrived back home, invigorated and ready for the next chapter. I have already spent the better part of the day in Denton, going through mail, getting geared up for classes, while Tom got is back in the communication loop with new cell phones. We had a nice morning, riding around the lake, watching the sun rise through pinks, oranges, and purples, lighting up the sky and placid surface of the water. It felt good to be back.

Our last week in Spain was very water intensive and great fun. Our second day in Valencia, the 20th took us to the ultra modern area of town,that holds multiple museums, budges, performance halls, and aquarium. Several were designed by Calatrava. The stunning architecture, finished out in white and cobalt blue small tiles,set in crystalline, shallow pools of water both impress and implore. The exhibits are well done, in multiple languages, and provide the citizens with miles of engagement in the sciences and arts. We spent over 6 hours here and made to everything, but only scratched the surface.

That evening, at 9:00 we boarded a ferry, en route to Mallorca. We watched the sunset, sat on the deck and enjoyed the breeze, then retired to our sleeper cabin, ad arrived in Mallorca at 7:00 the next morning. It was a beautiful night to look at stars, listen to the Mediterranean rush below us, and in general, cool off after a warm week on the mainland.

Mallorca is a fairly large, mountainous island, dotted with exquisite beaches, biking paths, many ports, and seafood forever. We arrived at our hotel fairly early, and in the wrong taxi. After some initial confusion, we were treated to a lovely breakfast, and after a morning at the pool, we were shown to our upgraded suite. We took a short jaunt to the beach, which was lovely,protected, with clear, green-blue water lapping the shore ever so gently. That night we joined the other guests for a gala dinner and dance to a live band. It was a beautiful evening, as it had cooled off pretty well.

The next day was my 58th birthday. After a nice breakfast, we wandered into the village in search of the pearls Tom wanted to give me for my birthday. We found a beautiful necklace, bracelet, and earrings in white and light grey. This man spoils me, and I love it. We continued on and found a photo card, since we filled the other one up with other Spain pictures, then discovered a board walk. We followed it along the coast and saw volcanic rock, exposed to wind and sea, boats of all sorts, places along the shore where ladders crossed over the rocks into the calm, deep sea, and scads of hotels, catering to mostly German tourists on holiday. It was a grand walk, but really, really hot. We recovered pretty quickly with a dip in the pool. Around 2:30 the wind came up enough for a sail. We returned to the beach and rented a small sailboat and took it out for an hour. The construction of the boat was such that we sat on the floor in the cockpit area and water rushed in from the stern, keeping us cool and refreshed. It was so great to be back in this beautiful, dark blue water that it was really hard to turn ourselves around to return the boat. After a terrific massage, we went down for dinner, where we shared a bottle of cava, Spanish champagne, enjoyed dinner, then crashed. It was a terrific birthday, which ended with many birthday greetings in Facebook. A grand day indeed.

We rebounded the boat at midday on Wednesday and arrived in Barcelona around 7:30pm. It took us a while to find our hotel, after walking quite a distance from the dock. We had been warned that Barcelona was known for its theft ring, so we were a bit unnerved walling down the Rambla,the old city wall, with so many people going in so many different directions. We made it our hotel, found bait to eat and crashed. The next day we found the sites we wanted to see, based on novels we had read,mor advice we were given. The first was the cathedral of the sea which was built in the 14th c and devoted to Mary. Janet camp told is about this novel when we sailed with her in march, so we both read it and it was terrifi to see the novel come to life in the stones, statues, and signature pieces throughout. Tom had heard about another church, the sagrada familia, which was started in 1866, and is still under construction. It was massive, modern, and a mathematical wonder. The architect, gaudi designed it knowing that he would not finish it, but his plans were clearly noted in the museum models in the basement. We attempted to get to his home, via subway, five stories of escalators, and climbing, but only made it to the park, but were able to see the sprawl of Barcelona from this precipis. We were slated to sail on a catamaran at 6:00, so scooted and enjoyed a 90 minute boat ride in the harbor and sea. That night we found a tapas place on our small street and drank gin tonics and cardamom, recounting our day and trip in general.

The next day we spent time in the maritime museum, which is a large 14th c structure, used for building royal naval vessels until the 19th c. The museum is under renovation, but the two temporary exhibits were extraordinary. There was a huge model of the ity and the sea in the 15th c and a nice exhibit of travel by boats across the centuries. N a second large room was an extraordinary photography exhibited chronicling the atrocities in Latin America for the past 25 years. The documentations and photos were haunting and force attention to the need to care for all humans. We had a light lunch at the museum, which it turns out to be a restaurant training place for students. It was lovely. We found the mercardo on our way back to the hotel and were wowed by the meats, fish, olives, oils, candies, fruits, vegetables, and juices. We picked up some train food for our trip to Madrid on the bullet train. We had a grand time on the bullet, with gin and tonics, fruit, and snacks, arriving in Madrid around 10pm, just in time for cena.

We found our hotel, had cena, and enjoyed our last night in Spain. A series of subway rides in the morning found us in rhe Madrid airport, readying for our ten hour flight home. It Was great to see Adam and carherine at the airport.

I will probably end this blog, as my adventures have ended withth start of the semester, which upon me. However, Tom has multiple trips planned, so, who knows, more stories from the road may appear from time to time before 2011 ends. Thanks for being a blog follower. Glad you were with us n the journey. Hope all is well for you and yours. Love Jeanne

1 comment:

  1. A belated happy birthday, Jeanne. I've definitely enjoyed your travel-blog and pointing out places Ron and I didn't get to last trip to Spain. Can you tell Ron (or respond to this comment) with the name of the novel you were talking about? I'm not sure I caught the name. ("Cathedral by the Sea"?)

    Happy to have you home again. Let's get together soon.