A Travellerspoint blog

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Inside the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia

Eating Mediterranean


View 2019 Paris - Provence - Barcelona on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

We went out to breakfast at the hotel (which is included). A got a waffle which looked good.
Granddaughter's waffle

Granddaughter's waffle


I just scootered around and got stuff from the buffet. A showered after me, so I left for breakfast first. We sat by the window where we could look down and observe traffic. We wondered about the bikes with smaller wheels - I was thinking that maybe they were folding bikes or something.
Reflections in the breakfast room windows of the hotel

Reflections in the breakfast room windows of the hotel


Our tour was for 9:00 and originally they said that we would end the tour at the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia at noon. So I got tickets for 12:15. Which said that we MUST be there - no refunds. But when we got here, the schedule had changed, and they said we would not be at the Basilica until 1:30 and the place we were going to be right beforehand was Montjuic and we would not be able to get a taxi there. So we just did the old city part of the tour (which I had not done before as the Hop ON Hop OFF bus does not go there) and then get a taxi from there. We were with the regular walkers - some of the "gentle walkers" were split off from our group after we got off the bus. We walked in through part of the older town where deliveries were being made in the morning.
Balconies

Balconies


Looking into a store

Looking into a store

Camera on the balcony aimed at the street below

Camera on the balcony aimed at the street below


Our guide took us to see the cathedral and explained which things were original and which were not. Two of the semicircular towers that defended the gate were from the first to the fourth century and one of the aqueducts has been preserved.
Granddaughter listening to the guide

Granddaughter listening to the guide

Rebuilt passageway

Rebuilt passageway


Outside buttresses

Outside buttresses

Photographer taking photos of a couple walking toward him

Photographer taking photos of a couple walking toward him

Group in a courtyard

Group in a courtyard


There were masses of tourists. We didn't go into any buildings although I think the other regular walking group did because they didn't have the scooter to deal with. The guide pointed out some stones with knife marks on them and said that was where the craftsmen sharpened their knives. But I think the sharpening came first and then afterward they used the stone to build with.
Whetting stones (with guide's hand)

Whetting stones (with guide's hand)


I don't think they were doing the sharpening on the stones in the side of the building.
Gargoyle

Gargoyle

Place de Sant IU

Place de Sant IU

Spires of the cathedral

Spires of the cathedral


Out front of the cathedral there were long lines to go in,
Entrance to the cathedral - guide talking to granddaughter

Entrance to the cathedral - guide talking to granddaughter

Front of the cathedral

Front of the cathedral

Scam - There are women dressed in white robes with clown wigs who make balloon animals for which they demand payment

Scam - There are women dressed in white robes with clown wigs who make balloon animals for which they demand payment


and I saw some ladies in white with wigs and I didn't know what they were doing, but I found out later that it is a scam. The ladies make balloon animals which they give to children and then they want the parents to pay money for them. Or else they have to take the toy away from the kid.

There was a tree dropping yellow blossoms all over everything.
Looking up at tree with yellow flowers

Looking up at tree with yellow flowers


Barbara asked A. to take their photo.
Barbara from Santa Barbara and her daughters

Barbara from Santa Barbara and her daughters


We went back to the bus, but we didn't take the bus - we went to find a cab.

The driver was a typical Spanish cabbie - not polite and quiet -jumping his cab into impossibly narrow places, having an argument with a girl on a motorcycle and swearing at the other drivers. It was about 11:00 and we had a hour, so I told him to go up Montjuic and we could see the city from up there
View from Montjuic

View from Montjuic


and also we saw the botanical garden
Botanical garden flowers

Botanical garden flowers


and the Olympic stadium and the cable car.
Catalan flag

Catalan flag


He dropped us off at the Sagrada Familia about 11:45,
Sagrada Familia from the park

Sagrada Familia from the park


so we had half an hour to find our way to the correct entrance. The ticket said to be there 20 minutes in advance, but they would not let us in until 12:00.
Detail

Detail


Looking up at the towers

Looking up at the towers


Outside detail

Outside detail

Entrance

Entrance


I had looked up the dress code before we came, and we tried to dress appropriately (except that I was wearing a hat which I don't quite understand why no hats). The site says:
For safety, no hats are allowed inside the nave or the museum except for religious, health or belief-related reasons.
Visitors may not enter barefoot.
As it is a Catholic church, visitors must dress appropriately, following these restrictions:
- No see-through clothing.
- Tops must cover the shoulders.
- No plunging necklines or exposed backs or bellies.
- Trousers and skirts must come down to at least mid-thigh.

Most of the violations were shorts, but there were also a lot of bare shoulders and even some exposed bellies.
Turtle on the Nativity facade

Turtle on the Nativity facade

Looking up

Looking up


When we got inside, someone was singing "Ave Maria" and a little later, they played the organ.
Granddaughter looking up while someone sings Ave Maria

Granddaughter looking up while someone sings Ave Maria

Stained glass

Stained glass

large_364b3190-b62a-11e9-89e4-5f0030d9eee6.JPGApostles creed

Apostles creed

Stained Glass Windows

Stained Glass Windows

Crypt

Crypt

Looking up

Looking up

Inside detail - Christ on the cross

Inside detail - Christ on the cross


We looked at everything in the main church building and then I wanted to get A a ticket to go up the tower. But the ticket place said they could not sell us one because the elevator was not working. That we should go to the museum and come back and maybe it would be working by then. I was not actually interested in the museum so I went and laid down on a bench and waited for A.
Explanation in the museum for turtle on the Nativity facade (where we entered)

Explanation in the museum for turtle on the Nativity facade (where we entered)


When we went back, they had fixed the elevator.
Granddaughter in line for the tower elevator

Granddaughter in line for the tower elevator


A went up the tower
Granddaughter's view from the tower

Granddaughter's view from the tower


and I sat and waited for her. Then we got a taxi (we had to fight a bunch of other people who also wanted taxis) and went back to the hotel.

We went out to a Pizzeria for lunch, but they didn't open until 7, so we went to another place called La Tagliatella,
La Tagliatella sign

La Tagliatella sign


which also had pizza. We had to sit outside because there were steps to get down to the restaurant inside. They gave us good green olives (with pits) to snack on. I got Pane de La Tagliatella which was three breadsticks with variously onion, tomato and olives on them and A shared the one with olives. She got pasta (she is really enjoying eating pasta)
Mezza Luna pasta stuffed with goat cheese and bacon with rustica sauce

Mezza Luna pasta stuffed with goat cheese and bacon with rustica sauce


and I got
Cuore di tomino

Cuore di tomino


which I had to look up on the menu at home to find out what it was. It was pastry filled with tomino cheese, guanciale, caramelized walnuts and apples and tomato jam. What I thought I had from tasting it was a puff pastry shell with cheese on the bottom and then some ham (guanciale), and then on the top was peaches (or apples) and walnuts. This came with what I thought was strawberry jam (It was tomato jam)

We came back and napped, and then set out about 7:30 for dinner - even though it was early. We ate at a fancy place called Citrus. Looking out the window of the Citrus restaurant

Looking out the window of the Citrus restaurant

Granddaughter looking at the menu

Granddaughter looking at the menu


I had the
Beef carpaccio with rocket and parmesan cheese

Beef carpaccio with rocket and parmesan cheese


as a starter and A had a salad. Then I had
Chicken delights with sesame crust, prawns and fine soy mayonaise

Chicken delights with sesame crust, prawns and fine soy mayonaise


I didn't like that as well. A had
Veal Paillard with fresh herbs and French fries

Veal Paillard with fresh herbs and French fries


For dessert I had
Red berries foam and violet ice cream

Red berries foam and violet ice cream


I liked the ice cream and the 'foam' OK but there were square gelatiny things with berries which I didn't care for. A had
Warm chocolate courrant  with chocolate ice cream for dessert

Warm chocolate courrant with chocolate ice cream for dessert


which she liked. We had two bottles of water (€2.5 each).

We came back to the room at it was freezing cold. We just could not get the A/C to turn off. So we asked for blankets and they did not come. I went down to the front desk and complained and they sent someone up to show me how to turn off the A/C, but it kept going on again even though by now we had it set at 26 deg C. (79 deg F). They do not apparently have blankets in this hotel so they sent up two more duvets. And we did sleep.

Amelia's trip report Amelia's trip report

Tips

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:40 Archived in Spain Comments (3)

The End of the Trip

Packing


View 2019 Paris - Provence - Barcelona on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

A was going on the tour to Montserrat, but I decided not to go. It leaves early, so I got down to breakfast as A was finishing.
Breakfast room

Breakfast room

14fde740-b66f-11e9-9bf3-2906d4829cc4.JPGView from breakfast

View from breakfast


I ordered an omelet which doesn't come from the buffet.
Omelet

Omelet

Artie and Midge came in and they did not apparently know how early the tour left so Artie went back to the room and got Midge's walker and bag and he didn't get to eat (or get his coffee).

The room was still cold so I was complaining to Dragan about it and the hotel manager overheard us and said he would fix it. I went back to the room and was there when the maid came and cleaned. When the maintenance man came, he put a sensor on the vent and went up into the ceiling. But it is still cold, so I have the whole thing turned off. And I opened the window so warm air can come in.

We leave tomorrow and I have not been able to check in yet. I tried all morning to get boarding passes, and could not. When A got back from the tour, we went back to the place we ate lunch yesterday
La Tagliatella entrance

La Tagliatella entrance


and this time we got a pizza which had goat cheese on it. She just loves goat cheese.
Goat cheese pizza

Goat cheese pizza


We also got ice cream. We each got two scoops - four different flavors. A got chocolate and coconut
Granddaughter's ice cream

Granddaughter's ice cream

My ice cream

My ice cream


and I got hazelnut and a kind of vanilla with red fruit. It was good - I just don't remember what kind it was.

We both tried to get boarding passes without luck, although I could get a boarding pass for Heathrow to BWI. I finally called and they said their system was down.

It came time for dinner and I said I felt like steak but the only steak place I could see had not so good reviews. A said there was one that was 890 yards from us - it turned out to be the hotel restaurant Rumbo. So we went there. They gave us the kind of bread sticks we had at the pizza place for lunch yesterday.
Bread sticks

Bread sticks


We ordered steak, but the lady who took our orders came back with something a little different than what we had ordered and asked us to try it, so we did and it was pretty good.
Steak

Steak


It came with potatoes and a mustard sauce which A liked, but I didn't. When I was cutting the steak, I accidentally got my fingers in the sauce. Ordinarily I would have licked my fingers, but not in this case. We also had dessert. I paid in cash in order to use up my Euros. I also went to settle the hotel bill which all it had on it was the room service from the first night, so I paid that in cash also.
Luggage in the hall

Luggage in the hall


We packed. I put everything that had been in the computer bag into the suitcase. We left our spare Euro change (anything less than €1) plus about €4 for the maid. I have about €31 left.

Our schedule for tomorrow is to have the suitcases ready at 6:15 and to leave at 6:45 for the airport. They had the AA flight numbers down and I was worried that we would not get to the right place because it is only AA codeshare of a BA flight. It turned out that was the wrong thing to worry about.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:42 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Harrowing Heathrow

My granddaughter and fly to different destinations


View 2019 Paris - Provence - Barcelona & 2019 Fourth Family Wedding on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

July 7 - A LONG day

Most of the time, you leave the bags in he hall and they are picked up and taken to the lobby for you. This hotel told us not to leave the bags in tthe hall. We got up at 5:45. At 6:20 no one had come for the bags (and others told us that no one came for theirs either), so A took them and went down in one elevator and I used the other elevator with the scooter. We picked up our breakfast bags which had a bottle of OJ, a bottle of water, a thing of yogurt, a sandwich and an apple.

I had decided to ship the scooter and use a wheelchair in the airports but I had not apparently communicated this to the PTB. In the lobby, we took the scooter battery out and put it in the computer bag. That was all that was in there, which made it much lighter. And we got into a taxi-van (prepaid) with the couple who made a big fuss about the soot on the train. She was still talking about it. She said trains in California didn't have soot. I suppose that maybe they have air quality rules on the steam trains out there, but I doubt it. She just wasn't paying attention.

I drank the OJ on the way to the airport. The drive to the airport normally takes about half a hour and there wasn't much traffic. We got to the airport about 7:15. We let them off first. When we got to our section, I emptied the water bottle. Mistake

They were going to let us off, but I wanted a wheelchair. They wanted to know why I wasn't using the scooter, but when A leaves Heathrow to go to Bush airport in Houston, I will have no one to fold the scooter, so I wanted to ship the scooter. They said normally that one went to check in and then asked for a wheelchair and I said that I did not want to do that - that my plane reservation said that I needed a wheelchair. So the cab driver went into the airport to check if that was true (and it was) so he came back with a wheelchair person. The Ama person and the wheelchair person and A and I and the suitcases went to check in.

Now we come to the battery quiz. We had to take the battery out of the bag so they could see the power rating on it (or something) and they eventually decided I could have the battery in my carry-on. I did offer to put it in my suitcase - I had room. But they reacted to that idea with HORROR. While the Ama person was there (the wheelchair guy had gone), we got the bags checked - each to its destination airport. Mine was marked Heavy. Then they said that the scooter would have to go on a separate luggage belt, and that they would call for a wheelchair person who would know what belt to put it on. So they left us - me in the wheelchair with my cane, pocketbook and computer bag-with-battery, and A with her backpack and the scooter in the middle of the airport to wait for the wheelchair guy. It was by now about 7:45. We waited about half an hour with travelers ebbing and flowing around us like the surf on a beach. I had taken the tag off the computer bag and put it on the scooter just in case.
Scooter folded flat

Scooter folded flat


I ate the yogurt and the apple and then tried to take the Naproxen which says not to chew it. But I had emptied my water bottle and when I tried to swallow it without water it made me gag. I should probably have skipped it or waited.

Eventually the wheelchair guy came and put the scooter on the other belt which I found out later was to gate check it- not what I wanted. We went through security. I walked through the gate and then we got all our stuff on the other side - including a different wheelchair person and a different wheelchair. Apparently there are specialist wheelchair people for before security and after security.

We did not get to the gate until almost 9.
9:09

9:09

Waiting at the gate

Waiting at the gate


There was no plane there. The plane was late. My fear was that they would change the gate, but they didn't. Eventually the plane came and we got to board with the first group. It was one of those triple seats with a board across the middle seat - they are very hard for me to get into. So we were on the plane about 10 and the plane had been scheduled to leave at 10:10.
On the plane

On the plane


I looked our the window and they were loading pods of cargo. I don't know if that was suitcases or some other kind of cargo.
Loading pods

Loading pods


We took off at 10:50 - 40 minutes late.
IMG_3162.JPGTaking off

Taking off


They gave us some kind of lunch - A had a gluten free meal. I got some kind of tart, a stewed tomato, a yogurt and some fruit.
Lunch

Lunch


I gave A my kiwi fruit. I also went to the bathroom.
Flying to Heathrow

Flying to Heathrow


We landed about 1:20.

They tried to give the scooter back to me, but I told them I wanted a wheelchair and to have the scooter checked to Baltimore. They were confused but agreed. They took us on a bus ride of 15 minutes to the international terminal, and up and down some elevators, and then through security. At some point yesterday my left big toenail chipped and part of it pulled off. So my big toe was bloody and it hurt to put the shoes on. They wanted me to walk through the doorway barefoot. But I said putting my shoes on was a problem, so they let me go through in the chair. Then we were taken up to the lounge and there they said that A's plane was boarding (it was not) and so she went off to go home. They gave me a beeper and said someone would come for me.

This left me with a wheelchair which I could not push myself - it was one of those that you push down on a bar at the back, with my cane, my computer bag (which just had the battery) and a pocketbook and no way to get to the bathroom or get anything to eat.
14:55 (Is that the right time?)

14:55 (Is that the right time?)

Looking for your gate

Looking for your gate


I waited until about 3 and then I moved the wheelchair to in front of the information desk and said that I needed to go to the bathroom and to go to the plane. So since I was in the way there, they got someone to come and get me and take me to B36 which was my gate. They pushed the wheelchair to a cart, and I got on the cart. The cart went down the elevator and
Speeding on a cart through the bowels of Heathrow

Speeding on a cart through the bowels of Heathrow


through miles of corridors under the airport and up and down at least two more elevators until we got to the gate and there they left me and said that someone would come with a wheelchair to take me to the plane.

So I sat there while everyone else (including Standbys) boarded the plane. It was 3:40 and the plane was scheduled to leave at 3:45. They kept saying "You won't miss the plane". Finally at the very last minute as they were getting ready to close the doors, a wheelchair person came rushing up and took me down the elevator and to the jet way. I was the last person on the plane.

As soon as we took off and the seat belt sign was off, I used the bathroom. They gave me a menu and a packet and let me keep my pocketbook. They gave me Lunch (or Supper?) at 5pm UK time. At this point I have been up for 12 hours. (UK time is one hour later than Barcelona)
Starter Lemon roasted asparagus

Starter Lemon roasted asparagus


Main- roast beef with mashed potatoes

Main- roast beef with mashed potatoes


The beef was good but hard to cut - I needed a sharper knife. I didn't eat much of it.
Lemon Cake Dessert

Lemon Cake Dessert


They brought the desert board around and I got some lemon cake thing.

I had to use the toilet three more times. Usually my ankles swell on the plane over and then they go down during the trip. This time my ankles were fine after the plane trip and they swelled after I had been in France a few days. Other older ladies also complained. Maybe the heat

I slept some and played some trivia and read my Kindle. About a hour and a half before we landed they offered sandwiches or tapas, but I opted for tea and crumpets. They gave me milky tea which I guess is one way to keep tea from being too hot to drink. I hadn't thought of that possibility before.

We landed and there was some confusion about where the scooter was. Were they going to give it to me on the jet way - or Not. Eventually someone came with a wheelchair (I was the last one off the plane except the crew) and we decided that it was not going to be there - then when we got to the top of the jet way, it apparently appeared on the jetway. I don't know if it did or not. I didn't see it.

I went through immigration - since I was the last one off the plane except the crew, I was also pretty late going through immigration. And then customs. I collected my bag and then we found the scooter and the wheelchair guy unfolded it and we put the battery in. We went out and the wheelchair guy picked Bob out where he was sitting waiting for us right away. I tipped him $5.00 (not Bob - the wheelchair guy)

We loaded into the car and drove home and got home a little before 11 (almost 24 hours after I started). A's plane landed about 45 minutes after mine did - Houston is in the central time zone. But she was probably home about the same time as I was because we are farther from the airport than she is.

--------------

Our next trip was to attend our grandson's wedding in Fort Lauderdale in August
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Eventually, I'll do a -Then and Now album of the photos from this trip and past trips.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:44 Archived in England Comments (2)

Then and Now

This is a comparison of photos taken in 1964 and 2019.

The Main difference between 2019 and now for the Church of Ste. Marthe is that in 1964, the tower was missing.

Then and Now- Collegiate Church of Saint Martha

Then and Now- Collegiate Church of Saint Martha

Tower

Tower

Doors

Doors

Sainte MARTHE Hotesse du CHRIST

Sainte MARTHE Hotesse du CHRIST

I took only one photo in 1964, and I was standing across the street. In 2019, I was driving by in a taxi and it was not possible to get the same angle. But I can see that in 1964 there were barriers across (maybe because of falling debris). This year apparently the church was open as there are people on the steps.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 19:58 Archived in France Comments (0)

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