Spain - October 2010

Link to the blog of our trip

Page 1

Day 1 - Madrid airport to Medinacell to Siguenza
Day 2 - To Barcelona
Day 3 In Barcelona

Page 1 - Days 1, 2, & 3
Page 2 - Days 4, 5 & 6
Page 3 - Days 7, 8 & 9
Page 4 - Days 10, 11 & 12
Page 5 - Days 13, 14 & 15
Page 6 - Days 16 & 17
Page 7 - Days 18, 19, 20 & 21

We arrived at the airport on time about 10am. After finding our way out of the airport we headed up the A2 toward Barcelona. Before going to our hotel in Siguenza for the night we went to Medinaceli. It is an old Roman town on the top of a hill.

This was our first exposure to the narrow streets with high walls that all the old towns would have. At one point we had to just back out and turn around.

This town had one of a few triple Roman arches
We took the back way to our first Parador down some roads that were not on our map. Many places where we went we saw these huge windmills. We were going to get a closer look later.
We arrived in Siguenza. In many of the towns we could spot our Parador as we entered the town. The original castle was built in the fifth century and strengthened by the Moors in 712. In 1123 it was retaken by Fernando I and El Cid and was converted into a Bishop's Palace. In the late 1800's it fell into disuse and after a restoration which begun in 1964 it opened as a Parador twelve years later.
Most of the towns had an older section that was the main downtown area and then new developments around. The old towns were all well restored. Siguenza did not have much of a new town at all. The old town was real nice.
We had a room with a balcony that looked out on the center courtyard.
The next day we were on A2 heading for Barcelona. The construction on the road kept slowing us down. When we got to Zaragoza we had the choice of a toll road or the busy back road. After about 10 miles we had had enough of the trucks and got on the toll road. It was going to cost us about 25 Euros (at $1.40 a Euro) for 100 miles but it was worth it.

We saw these gigantic signs of bulls on the top of hills. We still do not know what they were advertising. We could see them for miles.

Coming into every large town it was always tough to find our hotel with all the narrow one way streets and a lot of traffic. In Bacelona we found our Best Western Hotel quickly. Jan is a good navigator after all the traveling in cars we have done and old car rallying. The hotel was fine but it was 25 Euro a night to park the car.
Our hotel was close to everything downtown. We settled in and then took off walking. We stopped along the way to watch the people and look at the stores.
This is our first exposure to streets full of scooters and motorcycles. Craig loves watching them.
 The Sagrada Familia is a landmark in Barcelona. The work of Antoni Gaudí. Construction started in 1882 and it is still not finished. It is so unusual and has so many features you could look at it for hours and not see everything.
Jan has not liked the beer anywhere we have been and that was the case in Spain too. She tasted Craig's once.
The view out of this hotel was not much. The Spanish eat dinner about 10 o'clock and stay up late. They played basketball outside our room until 11pm.
And an apartment looked down on us....
The next day we must have walked 10 miles. We walked from our hotel to all the sites in the old town.

This is the grounds that were developed for the 1886 Exposition.

Barcelona and other towns had bicycles that you could use to get around the city.
The old train station
They have a port and a beach front right in town.
Christopher Columbus is a real hero in Spain. It doesn't matter that he was Italian. That is him on top.
Then we walked La Rambla. It is the main shopping street and walking mall. It was full of people along with street vendors, tourists and performers.
The Plaza de Cataluna
Then we walked through the narrow streets of the old town and back to our room. We were tired but we were pleased that our legs and feet held up fine.
As we went to breakfast in a bakery the next morning we saw this old BMW parked on the street.
On the way out of town the next morning we hunted down some other examples of Gaudi's work. All of his buildings are major tourist attractions in Barcelona. We always knew we were close when we saw the tour buses. With the heavy traffic we were content to see them from the car.

Page 2 - Days 4, 5 & 6

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