Saturday, October 29, 2011

Heaven on a Barge...

After three days in Barcelona, we took a train to Narvonne and then took a car ride to the Canal du Midi for a week long barge ride on the Caroline in the South of France.

We were met by our hostess and host, Uta and Uli, wo were originally from Germany. They had a wonderful bottle of champagne ready to toast us.

 Uli taught us the rules of living on the barge, like "don't put anything in the toilet that does go in your mouth first" and "when you walk on a moving barge, make sure that three parts of your body are touching the barge."

 The Caroline even had it's own goldfish pond with giant Koi!

We passed beautiful houses as we drove on the barge at five miles an hour. The more we rode, the more relaxed we became.

The most beautiful site was the scenery. These trees were called "Plain Trees" and anchored the soil. They were beautiful and were planted uniformly apart.

The skies were blue every single day we were on the barge.

Castle sitings were so much fun!

We also loved going through locks.

At the end of the day, Uta and Uli parked the barge and tied it to the side with a complex set of knots.

As the sun went down, we continued to perfect the art of relaxation on the Caroline.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Beautiful, beautiful cathedral...

At the end of a narrow pathway of stores we found a plaza and a huge church, covered with Gothic windows. This is the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St Eulalia. This picture does not do justice to its size. It was HUGE! We had a hard time getting my scooter in, finally entered at a door in the back and...

...WOW! I am sure this is real gold gilding!

It was incredibly ornate! 

There were about fifty little chapels around the exterior of the nave. They were created in a variety of styles over the 13th and 14th century. 

And here we have...St. Joan of Arc. My eyes were blinded by this time and I appreciated the simplicity.

These two tapestries and crypts were suspended way above our heads on a wall at the side.

A small door led to a beautiful courtyard which contained...

...thirteen geese! There is a legend that the thirteen geese will guard the Cathedral. Thirteen is also the age of St. Eulalia when she was martyred. 

Re-entering the church, there was a (relatively) smaller area where there were simpler chapels. I especially liked this one of the statue of the Virgin Mary against a mosaics of angels.

I also loved the Black Madonna and Baby Jesus. 
Why not?

I never tire of the churches in Europe. Whether they are enormous, ornate edifices or simple country 
buildings, my heart is always touched. Through beautiful art, mankind has always sought to make a connection with the Sacred. 
Me, too. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

We're hungry!!!!

Our friends, Brooks and Karen have arrived in Barcelona and we have had a long, long day of shopping. Help! We are starving! Where can we eat? 
We decide to head back to the market, a half block from our apartment.

Oh, the market! It is huge and it is pristine. It buzzes with energy and you can eat prepared food from most nationalities or buy beautiful fresh food to take home. At this Chinese seafood booth, you can choose what you want and they will cook it right there!

This stands is resplendent will many colors of fruit of the best quality. It is nice to grab a few pieces and put them in out backpack for later. 

I have memories of "odors" at markets I have been at before...and I was pregnant! Not this booth. It smells like fresh chicken. 
These are plump free range-chickens and they are delicious!

This is our friend and traveling companion, Karen, and she is oohing and aahing over the olives. We have never seen so many kinds. The ones we tried were marinated in a liquor. 

Here she is again, showing us the Mexican vegetables. I had some squash with our meal. Fabulous. Served only with a little butter and a little salt and pepper. It was so flavorful in it's natural state. 

Our very favorite, the dried mushrooms. We bought some for our dinner (they were cooked on the spot and fantastic. We had to buy a sack to take back to our apartment. 

Well, I didn't get the before picture because we were too hungry. Here is Brooks. He just ate his whole plate of buttered shrimp. Huge ones. 

And here are the three of us...nice and full. We finish up the last bite and...

...head down the very narrow road that leads to our apartment.

Eating your way through Barcelona is a fun thing to do.
Try it sometime!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Where In The World Are Suz and Jud Reaney?

Today we are in...

It is a land of great croissants...

and fabulous desserts.

There is a ton of energy on the streets. This is La Rambla street. It is like a three-ring circus. And look at the detail on those buildings.

We have a two bedroom apartment right around the corner from this beautiful store.

Needless to say, the four of us are in heaven!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Beady-Headed Tea Fairy...

The Beady-Headed Tea Fairy would like to welcome you to our noontime tea.

I have dressed in my finest outfit and put my favorite linens on the table to invite you for a cuppa.

My beautiful cup has the loveliest shades of leaves and fine lines of red. Can you see the little lines?

It is Haviland China from France, very fine and beautiful.

What a cheerful tray! Even the teabags lend to the festivities!

Please come again next Tuesday. Maybe I will find us some French treats!!!

Linked to Tea Tuesday and Teacup Tuesday at