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Home – Reality Bites

Well folks this will be our final post for our Camino 2013 adventure. We arrived home safe and sound late on Friday evening. It’s bitter sweet on many levels, but it is very nice being reunited with our loved ones, both human and furry!

What can we say? It was definitely a trip of a lifetime, one we will cherish and never forget. Although, we were tactfully reminded by a good friend on our arrival home of a missing 20km from our Camino pilgrimage and were asked what are we going to tell our grandchildren in later years? “We nearly completed the Camino!” (Thanks Mark!)

What we can say is that we have thoroughly enjoyed sharing our experiences with all our followers. You have encouraged and inspired us with emails and comments during our trip that has kept us accountable to put up a blog each day that we will now benefit from as a journal of our trip for the years to come.

We do want to thank all our family and friends for your encouragement and kind words via emails and comments. We have had many laughs along the way with you all. We want to personally acknowledge Phillip and Thierry for their fantastic itineraries, maps and support they gave us for Paris, Venice and Rome. We got so much more out of these wonderful places with the information provided acknowledging that some of these were put together in the wee hours of the morning ready for us when we awoke for the next instalment!

Thanks to our avid followers Anne and Daniel for putting up with us for a couple of evenings in Torino. We thoroughly enjoyed your company and enjoyed our personal tour of Torino. Our first real taste of Italy! (Gelato and Alpha Romeo’s!)

To Jeff and Sue, Paul and Jacky, it was great to take some time out in beautiful Tuscany to celebrate Sue’s 50th. We had some great laughs together and are now very jealous of you all as you continue on your holidays while we are now stuck at home in Melbourne winter! We can now only watch the Tour de France on TV and pretend we are there with you. We will be looking out for an Australian flag!

How can we not mention the leader of Blog comments “Mark”. You have made us laugh and we have looked forward to your witty comments. You inspired the 3 Aussie Bums photo to solicit a comment out of you and we weren’t disappointed!

And finally a big thanks to our girls for not killing each other or destroying our house. We are very proud of you both and now know we can take off anytime and know you will survive!

It’s now time to put together our 10,000 photos for a monster slideshow. So watch out, if you are not careful you could get invited over for a private viewing and commentary – a slow and painful death!

But more importantly, it’s time to plan our next adventure. How are we going to top this one off? (Maybe go back and complete the Camino in its entirety?)

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Barcelona – Day 3

Date: Wed 12th June
Temperature: Warm
Mood: Cheerful and relaxed
Highlight: Catching up with Anne & Daniel

We had a little over half a day to kill in Barcelona before flying out to Italy. As we had caught the Gaudi bug it was an easy decision to spend this time at Parc Güell, an open space park designed by Gaudi.

We were able to walk from our accommodation to the park and have enough time to enjoy Gaudi’s handy work once more with the added bonus of spectacular views across Barcelona and out across the bay. The more we see of Gaudi’s work, the more we are able to appreciate his unique style and approach to design.

It was time to say goodbye to Barcelona and to Spain after spending nearly 6 weeks in Spain! We arrived at the airport to find that something wasn’t quite right. As it turns out, France were experiencing some sort of industrial action that meant no flights in or across France’s airspace. Whilst most flights were either cancelled or severely disrupted, our flight appeared to still be on schedule. That was until after we boarded the plane! We were politely informed that we had missed the allocated departure time and that the flight path would now be twice as long to avoid Frances airspace. We considered ourselves lucky to get a flight out even if we arrived a couple of hours later.

The day was topped off by catching up with Anne and Daniel, friends from our Pambula camping days who have been living in Italy for the past 4.5 years. We finally enjoyed some great home cooking prepared by both Anne and Daniel together with some of the region”s local wine. Wonderful company and a delicious dinner shared with Australian friends in the most beautiful Italian country side – only 10 minutes drive out is the city. Did we mention that their view is to die for? We are also expecting to be treated to true Italian Gelato just to fill out and perhaps create more bulges that are appearing on our middle aged bodies!

And so our Italy adventure begins!

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Barcelona – Day 2

Date: Tue 11th June
Temperature: Warm
Mood: Cheerful
Highlight: Gaudi Again!

We woke from a restful sleep to the sounds of Barcelona early morning peak hour traffic. After a pleasant breakfast that included cereal (a nice change), our host assisted us by purchasing online tickets for Gaudi’s “Sagrada Familia”. His unfinished Cathedral. This simple exercise probably saved us over an hour standing in a queue to get in!

3 Hrs after entering the Cathedral we thought we had better get moving to take in more sights of Barca. Oh, and what did we think of Gaudi’s Cathedra? Both now being experts on Cathedrals with particular emphasis on the Gothic style, you would think we’d surely have an opinion! Well words cannot even come close to describing this masterpiece. You simply have to experience it to believe it! So hopefully some of the photos can speak for it instead. This Cathedral alone is worth the trip to Barca!

Time for some serious sight seeing, so on to the popular tourist hop on, hop off bus. Another 3 Hrs later covering some wonderful sights that Barcelona has to offer in glorious sunshine, we thought we had better grab some lunch (5pm) and head over to another of Gaudi’s works “Casa Batlló”. Another awe inspiring building that simply leaves you spell bound on Gaudi’s brilliance.

After dinner we headed back out in a wonderful barmy evening to see Gaudi’s works under lights and to take a few more photos!

Tomorrow we will finally say goodbye to Spain. We have thoroughly enjoyed everything that Spain has had to offer. Tomorrow is Italy. Lets see what Italy can offer!

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Barcelona – Day 1

NEXT➡️
Date: Mon 10th June
Temperature: Warm!
Mood: Apprehensive
Highlight: Gaudi

Flew into Barcelona on a nice warm sunny day. Nice for a change! Pre-arranged to be picked up from airport and dropped off at Ana’s Guesthouse at the north end of town. As it turns out, it’s in a great location (particularly if you want to be central to Gaudi’s work!). Ana has a great apartment and is a great host so a big thumbs up for our accommodation.

After a late start to the day, we headed off to see the main Barcelona strip and the port. We got a couple of hundred meters into our trip when we bumped into a very strange organic looking building. It turned out to be Gaudi’s “La Pedrera” built in the early 1900’s. Our curiosity (primarily due to plain ignorance) got the better of us and we diligently queued up to see what all the fuss about Gaudi is about!

A couple of hours later we came out far less ignorant and in awe of this mans brilliance. Earlier ignorance had judged the fellow a sandwich short of a picnic and at face value it’s not that hard to do. But once we got a deeper look into this one example of his work we were blown away much like our first experiences with the Camino Cathedrals (and of course Barcelona has one of its own).

We will now be rearranging our Barcelona itinerary (not that we really had one) around visiting his other works around town!

We still did manage to see the port and of course the famous La Rambla strip and staggered back home just before 11pm.

Our first impressions of Barcelona are very positive. It’s a great happening city (but there’s something on the nose about their sewerage system!)

Amy – This is a not to be missed city for anyone studying Architecture!

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