Sunday, September 25, 2011

The People on Our Journey

I've talked a lot in previous posts about the sights of Spain, but the thing that will stay with me the most are all of the amazing people we met. Here I am in Barcelona with Diego Garcia Cruz.

This was a typical lunch in Aviles - sitting at a table with people from all over the world. I had a great time talking with Franco Urru from Italy, Mhairi from Scotland (fiance of comic book artist Gary Erskine), Renee Witterstaetter, currently residing in New York, and Ric Meyers of Connecticut.

We made great friends with a bunch of cool people from Malaga in southern Spain. Alberto said he annoys his wife because he cannot take a serious picture.

Melinda Gebbie and I.

Pedro Rodriguez Ruiz and Mamen Reolid. Mamen and I were fast friends and spent the entire week hanging around Aviles.

Juan, Mamen and Pedro.

Willie on the left and Alberto, once again, unable to take a serious picture!

Comic book artist, Tony Harris. We had a great time with Tony and after hearing all about his wonderful wife, Stacy, I wish she could have been there with us.

Mamen, of course!

Me, Jorge and Jason.

Bruno and Jorge.


Jason and comic book artist John McCrea.

Here are Melinda, Renee, Mamen and I after winning awards. Mamen's award was for best fan (or "freaky" as they are called), mine was for best spouse/significant other!!

Guera's wife, Slavitsa, and daughters Maria and Milena.

Lola and Juan.

El Diablo and Mrs. Diablo.

German and Diego.

Me in the park in Aviles. An unforgettable trip to say the least.

Antoni Gaudi

I can't even begin to do justice to what I saw while in Spain. Just one aspect that was truly amazing were the works of Antoni Gaudi, a Catalan architect with buildings dotted around Barcelona. This is Casa Mila. The structures on top are chimneys. Gaudi's buildings defy traditional architectural design concepts.

Diego told us that the woman who commissioned this building questioned Gaudi about where she was going to put her piano since the interior walls are just as wavy as the exterior; he suggested she take up the cello.

The metal work on his buildings is jaw-dropping.

These flats are occupied. I can't imagine living in such a grand building.

This is Casa Batllo. How ingenious that the balcony rails look like masks.

Embedded in this one are colorful mosaic designs.

And the magnum opus of Gaudi's work: The Sagrada Familia. This cathedral has been under construction for over 100 years and it's expected to take another 100 to finish it. When complete, it will have 18 spires and be the tallest church building in the world.

The fruits at the top are representative of the Garden of Eden.

Jason and I are already talking about our next trip to Barcelona!

Taking in the Sights of Barcelona

After our week in Aviles, Jason and I only had one full day in Barcelona. That's like trying to do New York in a day. We were so lucky that our new friend, Diego Garcia Cruz, lives only 90 minutes from Barcelona. Diego was the translator at the Aviles show and speaks eight languages. It was great hanging out with him one more time!!

Diego went to school in Barcelona and showed us some amazing sights.

Click to enlarge this image - it's embellished with umbrellas.

This is King's Square where the last King of Spain was inaugurated.

The Gothic Quarter is the old part of the city and is a vast, twisty labyrinth of narrow streets packed with amazing buildings.

The pock marks on the building in this little square are from the Spanish Civil War. People were lined up against this wall and shot - a strange contrast to the hoards of children we saw playing soccer there after school let out.

Not even the roof drains are run-of-the-mill.