Saturday, September 08, 2007

Valencia to Barcelona to London

With the taste of tomatoes slowly leaving my mouth, Greg and I explored Valencia, survived Barcelona, and cooled down in London...

After the tomatoes, Valencia was a clean and wonderful change. I really enjoyed the city with it's beaches and art galleries and ring of gardens around the city. We found an incredible food market where I took artistic and colourful photos while Greg bought Valencian Oranges. I also took photos of him buying the oranges.

A new and otherworldly place was the Center of Sciences, a collection of huge white futuristic looking buildings sitting in beautiful turquoise water. It housed the IMAX and some other museums, but it is the architecture that stunned me. I'll post pictures of them once I get home as it is the only way to appreciate them.

Leaving Valencia by train, we arrived in Barcelona - our last stop in Spain. We see a bit of rain while the temperature soars. Because of a complication with the hostel bookings and the fact that we decided not to visit Ibiza, we had two extra nights in Barcelona. Luckily, we were sent to our hostel's sister hostel on the beach. On the beach. Nice. Good things come from mistakes.

So we end up with two nights on the beach and 3 in the city. Barcelona has a beautiful beach with dirty sand and water. We arrive in the morning to a clean beach, but leave in the afternoon to a beach littered with trash. It is the tourists and locals at fault here. Announcements about jellyfish fill the air in muffled tones.

Once in the city, it is all about Gaudi and his amazing architecture - la Pedrea (his apartment building with no right angles), Gaudi's Park (a rambling park on a hill with dripping caves and curvy walls), and la Sagrada Familla (his huge incomplete cathedral.) I had never seen his building before and loved the rooftop sculptures.

After some cheap and spectacular museums (esp. the Museum of Catalynian Art - WOW!), we made our way up Las Ramblas - the pedestrian street lined with living statues, gift shops, and animal stores (anyone wanna buy a chicken?) The idea of a Las Ramblas TV show seeded itself in my mind... Watch this space.

We caught the 10:30pm (which became the 12am) easyJet flight to London Gatwick, which arrived at 1am. It being after midnight, the underground trains were no longer working. Thus we resigned ourselves to sleeping on the cold hard floor of Gatwick's departures check-in area (beside the Virgin Atlantic stall).

Hours (two) later, we were awoke by the Virgin Stewardesses to a crowd of staring passengers, who needed our place to form a queue. Strange overtiredness sets in and somehow we arrive at my Uncle and Aunt's by 8am. We say hi and then crash.

LONDON to come...

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