Cartagena Spain

The city of Cartagena Spain

An ancient port city that was Hannibal’s Spanish headquarters during the Carthaginians’ second Punic war with Rome. It is still the main Spanish Navy establishment. Located on the south eastern coast of Spain, the city is a dynamic mix of ancient history, Spanish culture, and modern living.

Cartagena Spain

Cartagena Spain

When a cruise ship with over 3000 passengers and about 1000 crew docks in a port city of 230,000 there should be a blip on the economic scale.

Cartagena Spain

Cartagena Spain

While we wait for our turn to go through the museum, we get a chance to look around the port area, or just loiter in front of the city hall. (also called the Calle Mayor and the Palacio Consistorial).

Cartagena Spain

Cartagena Spain

Cartagena Spain

Cartagena Spain

Cartagena Spain

Cartagena Spain

The enterance to the Museum of the Roman Theatre is just across the square from the city hall, so we wait on the steps of the city hall while our guide purchases the tickets.

After the tour of the ancient ruins we climb to the top of the hill to get a better view of the port and a tour of El Castillo de la Conception at the top.

Cartagena Spain

Cartagena Spain

When we get to the top, we are watched by the peacocks who like the cooler breezes at the summit.

Cartagena Spain

Cartagena Spain

Cartagena Spain

Cartagena Spain

Looking down on the city the new open air theatre is clear on the left. Further down the hill and a little to the center is the old Roman Theatre. It was not until the new theatre was being built that the Ancient Roman ruins were discovered.

Cartagena Spain

The Royal Princess at dock in port of Cartagena Spain

– Where do you want to go today? –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cartagena,_Spain  

 

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Inside Sagrada Familia

Inside Sagrada Familia

Being inside the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain is like being inside a kaleidoscope of colors and curved shapes. It is bright considering it is cloudy and raining outside. It is immense and constructed like no other in the world to date.

inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

Gaudi studied the form of nature for the unique structure and strength of the columns. They start out large at the base like a tree trunk and gradually get narrower as they reach for heaven. They branch out near the top to support the roof. A unique dual spiral in the columns adds strength and stability to the narrow columns without the need for walls to keep them upright. One spirals clockwise while the other spirals counter clockwise within the same column.

inside Sagrada Familia

Unique columns support the towers inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

Where the pillars meet the ceiling inside Sagrada Familia

 

looking up to ceiling inside Sagrada Familia

looking up to the ceiling inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

stairways inside Sagrada Familia

Light from the stained glass reflects from the light colored pillars. The colors are chosen to create a contemplative mood.

inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

The upper galleries are accessible from spiral staircases and elevators, tucked into the corners but still offering a full view of the worship space below.

inside Sagrada Familia

open elevators inside Sagrada Familia

Organ pipes inside Sagrada Familia

Organ pipes and altar  inside Sagrada Familia

inside Sagrada Familia

Crucifix above the altar inside Sagrada Familia

On one side the stained glass is green and blue representing dawn and birth. On the opposite side red and orange hues represent the setting sun.

inside Sagrada Familia

stain glass windows inside Sagrada Familia

– Where do you want to go today? –

http://www.barcelona.de/en/barcelona-sagrada-familia-interior.html

http://www.sagradafamilia.org/en/

 

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Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia exterior

At the time of our visit, this modern work of art is still under construction, but nearing completion. The building permit was issued in 1885. Consecrated in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. It is on track to be completed soon, in 2026.

Plaça de Gaudí Exterior

from Plaça de Gaudí, Exterior facade of Sagrada Familia

Plaça de Gaudí Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí,  Sagrada Familia, Exterior

Like many building projects of today, some things have not changed. Delays in construction have been caused by everything from protests to politics, civil wars to funding woes. Late term plans call for destruction of neighboring property to complete the final walkway.

Plaça de Gaudí Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí,  Sagrada Familia, Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí,  Sagrada Familia, Exterior

Like all good structures of renown, it has its own collection of artistic sculpture. Final details are expected to be completed up to ten years after the completion of the building.

Plaça de Gaudí Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí,  Sagrada Familia, Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí,  Sagrada Familia, Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí,  Sagrada Familia, Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí,  Sagrada Familia, Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí,  Sagrada Familia, Exterior

When Gaudi was asked why it was taking so long, he is reported to have replied: “My boss (God) is in no hurry.”

Plaça de Gaudí Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí,  Sagrada Familia, Exterior

Visitors are welcome since their entrance fees are helping the private contributors to pay for the construction.

Plaça de Gaudí Exterior

Plaça de Gaudí,  Sagrada Familia, Exterior

– Where do you want to go today? –

When will it be finished?   http://www.curbed.com/2016/10/20/13333648/sagrada-familia-gaudi-construction

Who will pay the taxes?   http://therealdeal.com/2016/10/22/barcelona-demands-building-permits-from-gaudis-la-sagrada-familia/

National Geographic says: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/11/151105-gaudi-sagrada-familia-barcelona-final-stage-construction/

 

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Barcelona 2

Barcelona 2

From our hotel in the north end of the Gothic Quarter, we were able to walk to the famous La Seu Cathedral of Barcelona. This is only one of several cathedrals in the quarter.

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La Seu Cathedral of Barcelona

beginning a morning walking tour in the rain

beginning a morning walking tour in the rain

when it is raining you do not need a fountain.

when it is raining you do not need a fountain.

Refugees Welcome - May 2016

Refugees Welcome – May 2016

Gothic Quarter

Gothic Quarter

On the way through some narrow streets we found the “happy pill” outlet, and our first glimpse of the spires of the cathedral.

 

did you get your happy pills?

did you get your happy pills?

down one of the narrow streets we were led to this popular landmark.

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This is the picture-postcard bridge over the Carrer del Bisbe (Bishop street) that connects the Palau de la Generalitat with the Casa dels Canonges. The tiny covered bridge was built in 1928 by the Modernista architect Joan Rubió. It was around this time that the term ‘Gothic Quarter’ was coined.

You have to be good neighbours to do this

You have to be good neighbours to do this

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Cloister of La Seu Cathedral

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13 Geese in the cloister

There are always thirteen geese in the courtyard of La Seu Cathedral. Each goose represents one year in the life of the martyr Santa Eulalia, a young girl allegedly tortured to death in the fourth century by the Romans for her religion. The cloister also contains a small museum with precious liturgical artifacts.

Next on our tour was a bus ride to the hill top to see an overview of the city.

Port view from on high

Port view from on high

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Port Vell

Public Dock on left

Public Dock on the right.

Morning fog

Morning fog

Landmarks in the photo above are the bullet shaped Torre Arbar, the 34 floor office building built by the water department. It is in the upper right. In the mist, just to the right of center is the spire of  La Seu Cathedral. In the upper left is Sagrada Familia.

Morning rain

Morning rain

Next stop will be the construction site of the Sagrada Familia. The cranes are still working, there are more spires to build.

– Where do you want to go today? –

 

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Barcelona

Barcelona

There is so much to see in Barcelona. This is difficult, I have 125 pictures, 21 movie clips to select from. Decided to make three posts out of them.

Public Dock on left

Public wharf is on the right.

Agullana. Catalonia, Spain

Agullana. Catalonia, Spain

The bus ride from Carcassonne to Barcelona was a little long. The bus driver had to make a mandatory stop for a specific amount of time. GPS was watching and keeping track. The roadside stop was interesting. With the restrooms and food outlets on the opposite side of the highway, a pedestrian overpass was built to cross from the parking lot on one side to the kiosks on the other.

Agullana. Catalonia, Spain

Agullana. Catalonia, Spain

The economic king of the world,  overlooking the Pyrenees Mountains which separate France and Spain. While looking at the map last night I learnt of a small independant county in the mountains between the two countries. Look up  Principality of Andorra.

Friday was a beautiful day. It was nice to have free time after checking into the hotel to walk down to the wharf.

When you have the whole Mediteranian, you need a boat.

When you have the whole Mediterranean to sail, you need a boat.

Imagine this, all of the buildings below face onto one of the four streets that define a city block. Inside the city block is this courtyard with the hotel Indigo Barcelona on one side.

courtyard behind Indigo Barcelona Hotel

courtyard behind Indigo Barcelona Hotel

looking down from room onto courtyard.

looking down from room onto courtyard.

In the top right corner is a glass cubicle that enclosed the fitness equipment for the hotel. The pool is on a lower level.

Flamenco dance

Flamenco dance

After a farewell dinner at the wharf restaurant, we went to a club to watch authentic Spanish Flamenco Dancing. The dancer moves so fast to the live band that his motions are a blur.

Flamendo dance

Flamenco dance

 

– Where do you want to go today? –

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Carcassonne

Carcassonne

This place has been inhabited since Antiquity. When was that?  The Neolithic period around 3500 BC. UNESCO says it was constructed on walls dating from Late Antiquity.

It was on the crossroads of trade routes between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.  The Romans saw it as a strategic location so built up the fortification. A French architect, Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, restored the site in 1853. When UNESCO added it to the list in 1997, tourism became another source of income in addition to manufacturing and wine production. It hosts a wine exhibition each year.

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

 

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

 

What's beyond the walls of Carcassonne?

What’s beyond the walls of Carcassonne?

The Pyrenees mountains are to the south. Carcassonne is in the center of a triangle made up of the cities of Toulouse, Montpellier, and Barcelona.

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

Within the walls, the streets are narrow and many shops provide everything needed by the visiting tourist. Many of the shops are international brands.

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

Within the ramparts of Carcassonne

The bridge above is the main way in and out of the city walls. The mote has been drained and turned into a garden.

the country outside of Carcassonne

the country outside of Carcassonne

Spring beyond the ramparts of Carcassonne

Spring beyond the ramparts of Carcassonne

The video below is worth a few minutes.

Our stay at the hotel in the walled city was very memorable. Cars are not allowed in the walled city. This hotel had a back door that they used to bring our luggage from the bus to the hotel. We were responsible for our carry on stuff that we had to carry through the cobble stone streets. The streets were very busy with tourists. Fortunately the day tourists had to leave about 5:00 PM. After that only those staying overnight inside the walls were able to wander the streets and take pictures. Unfortunately most of the shops had also closed and the staff probably left for their homes outside the walls.

The Hotel is Mgallery Hotel de la Cite. The link below will let you see the pictures of their lovely hotel.

http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-8613-hotel-de-la-cite-carcassonne-mgallery-collection/index.shtml

Wikipedia  link is :  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcassonne

– Where do you want to go today? –

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Nîmes

Nîmes

If we could follow the water from the Pont-du-Gare aqueduct it would lead us to the city of  Nîmes. There it empties into a large fountain in the center of the city. The fountain is surrounded by a lush green garden.

Nîmes, France

Maison Carrée, Nîmes, France

One of the landmarks of Nîmes, is the Maison Carrée (Square House). It was built around 19 BC by the Romans and dedicated to the sons of Agrippa. It is one of the best-preserved Roman temples anywhere.

Nîmes, France

Maison Carrée, Nîmes, France

Nîmes, France

Maison Carrée, Nîmes, France

Nîmes, France

Nîmes, France

Another famous landmark is the Roman Arena. It is still used today, and hosts a French form of the bull fight in which the bull is not killed.

Nîmes, France

Roman Arena, Nîmes, France

To get a sense of how large this ancient building is, look at the woman in the yellow jacket standing on the second floor, second arch from the left.

Nîmes, France

Nîmes, France

Notice the reflection of the arena in the windows of the Justice building. The morning sun gives it a lovely golden glow.

As I enter the arena, it reminds me of some of the hockey arenas in Canada.

Nîmes, France

Roman Arena, Nîmes, France

Nîmes, France

Roman Arena, Nîmes, France

Nîmes, France

Roman Arena, Nîmes, France

Nîmes, France

Roman Arena, Nîmes, France

Nîmes, France

Roman Arena, Nîmes, France

Nîmes, France

Nîmes, France

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N%C3%AEmes  for more information about the city.

Did you know that Denim Jeans are a creation of Nîmes?  When the fabric was shipped they contained the package label “de Nîmes” meaning from Nîmes. They were shipped to the world through Genoa, (Gênes) Italy were tailors used the fabric to create the well know clothes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denim   for more information on your favorite Jeans

– Where do you want to go today? –

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Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard

Between the cities of Avignon and Nimes in France is an aqueduct that was built by the Romans to bring water to the city of Nimes.  The Pont du Gard is the highest elevated Roman aqueduct and one of the best preserved. Therefore one of the most well known.

Pont du Gare , France

Pont du Gard , France

From Avignon 25 KM. From Nimes 25 KM.

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It is a scenic drive.

Pont du Gare, France

Pont du Gard, France

Pont du Gare, France

Pont du Gard, France

Pont du Gare, France

Pont du Gard, France

There is a tent camping ground near by.

pont-du-gare-s

Google satellite view

The pictures below were taken from the right bank  near the pin drop on the satellite view above.

Pont du Gare, France

Pont du Gard, France Looking to Les Perrières.

Pont du Gare, France

Les Perrières from Pont du Gard, France

Pont du Gare, France

Pont du Gard, France

Pont du Gare, France

Pont du Gard, France

Pont du Gare, France

Pont du Gard, France

In addition to carrying water in the upper level, the bridge also served as a toll bridge  across the Gare River.

Pont du Gare, France

Pont du Gard, France

Flat stones were used at the top to cover the water channel to keep out seeds, dropped by birds, from growing in the aqueduct.

Pont du Gare , France

Pont du Gard , France

The construction is believed to be from 19 BC. The sign above is in French and describes  the restoration dates. Only the numbers are Roman.

Learn more from Wikipedia :  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pont_du_Gard

Pont du Gare, France

Pont du Gard, France

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOyuFF7Xwk4&feature=youtu.be

 – Where do you want to go today? –

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Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

 

What have you heard about Châteauneuf du Pape? It has been described as a commune and as a medieval village. With a population of a little over 2000, it is located on a hill about 18 kilometers north of Avignon.  On the top of the hill stands the remains of an ancient medieval castle. You may associate the name with a very nice bottle of wine.

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After our visit to the Palace of the Popes, we checked into the Avignon Grand Hotel. It is located just outside the south wall of the town. We had an appointment for an evening tour of the Fines Roche winery in the Châteauneuf du Pape region.

Old Castle, new chariot

Old Castle, new chariot

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img_2279-1280x634The cypress trees are planted to moderate the winds coming off of the Rhone river and the Mediterranean Sea which is about 80 kilometers to the south. The soil around the vines is covered with limestone to moderate the heat of the soil; gathering warmth from the sun during the day and keeping the soil warm during the cooler evenings.
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After sampling several vines and a little food, we returned to our hotel in Avignon with a few bottles of the region’s finest wines.
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– Where do you want to go today? –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%A2teauneuf-du-Pape

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Inside Palace of Popes

Inside the Palace of Popes

Inside the walls of the Palace are two main courtyards. The first and largest is used for concerts and other events. The stage is still set up. In July Avignon hosts the Avignon festival of the arts.

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the main courtyard

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The main courtyard

courtyard in front of Palace of the Popes

Rose Exhibition

Palace of the Popes church courtyard

Palace of the Popes church courtyard

BENOÎT XII CLOISTER is being set up for a rose growers convention and exhibition. It is the smaller of the two courtyards.

Palace of the Popes church courtyard

Palace of the Popes church courtyard

Palace of the Popes Church courtyard

Palace of the Popes Church courtyard

Palace of the Popes

Palace of the Popes

Palace of the Popes ongoing restoration

Palace of the Popes ongoing restoration

Palace of the Popes

Palace of the Popes

Palace of the Popes

Palace of the Popes

The hall above is called the Grand Tinel. It is often used to host banquets.

Palace of the Popes

Palace of the Popes

The tour includes viewing more than 20 rooms. Many of the rooms are decorated with frescoes, however, photographs are not allowed in these rooms.

Palace of the Popes

Palace of the Popes

Palace of the Popes

Palace of the Popes

Palace of the Popes door to Pope's Quarters

Palace of the Popes door to Pope’s Quarters

Palace of the Popes door to Pope's Quarters

Palace of the Popes door to Pope’s Quarters

– Where do you want to go today? –

 

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