Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fountain of Canaletes by Victoria

 Today we went to a special fountain. Legend says that if you drink from the fountain you will return to Barcelona again. In the past, when we have walked by the fountain it had been swarmed with tourists. Luckily there were no tourists there today. Looks like I will be returning to Barcelona some day, how 'bout that?

Ictineo, the world's first submarine by Harry

 The world's first submarine was made in 1859 and launched in the Barcelona harbor. It was invented by Monturiol i Estarriol. He invented it after he saw a coral diver drown. In 1862, after completing 50 dives the submarine crashed and was destroyed. Monturiol tried to sell his idea to the military but they didnt see any use for it at the time. 
 This replica is at the Barcelona Maritime Museum.
 In 1870 Jules Verne, the author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, made the idea of submarines popular with his creation of the Nautilus. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is one of my favorite books.

The replica of Ictineo was cool to look at, but I wish they would let you go inside.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

fat pigeon by Victoria

Haiku for the fat pigeon 

 When I saw this hole 
irresistible fat bird
 perched inside, oh my!

Museu Frederic Mares by Harry

Frederic Mares was a local Barcelona artist and collector. 
The biggest part of this collection is sculptures.
But more amazing is his collection of stuff from every day life.
His sculpture collection was magnificent to own in a private collection.
Frederic Mares donated his sculpture collections to the city of Barcelona in 1944.

He died in 1991 at the age of 98.
The museum has been completely remodeled and just reopened this summer.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lunch in Barcelona by Victoria

Have you ever had paella? I had never eaten it until I came to Barcelona. Paella is the national dish of Espana. I was very grateful when I saw that the soda sizes at the restaurant were 10 times bigger than a normal soda size. I was wistful when I asked my mom for another soda after Harry and I finished the first. Needless to say, she did not grant my wish. It was a very delicious  meal. 

Mambo in the park by Harry

Today we went to the park and saw a crazy man do a crazy dance to a crazy song. It was fun :) He was dressed in BSU Bronco colors. When we went home my sister and I found the crazy song on youtube. 
It was an amazing day at the extraordinary park :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Correfoc - fire run by V&H

Correfoc means fire run in English. It was the final event of La Merce. There was a 2 hour Correfoc for kids and then a 2 hour Correfoc for adults. These were the longest parades.
This video is a short clip of the Correfoc for kids.

Last night we saw a sparklers show. The people who had the sparklers were dressed up like devils. Sometimes they also had dragon or animal puppets spraying sparklers at people. We watched them run at people and chase them down with the sparklers. We watched the show safely from up in our apartment. When the show was over it smelled like fire works in our apartment. I thought it was really lucky that we got to see the show from our apartment, but my brother & I did run downstairs to the street twice. I liked the show a lot because it is something you would never see in Idaho. 

The show was really cool and I hope you like the video.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Espectacle de projecciones by Victoria

This is the Barcelona City capitol building during the day when it looked normal.
But last night we got to see a light show projected on the capitol building. We took a few short videos that you can see below.
It was cool that their prime source of illusion was shadow and light. We had to wait a long time to see it and my brother & I started saying that we should go. But, in the end, I'm so glad we stayed out late (again). It was worth it.
I hope you enjoy the videos.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Museo de la Historia de Catalunya by Harry & Patty

We went to Museo de la Historia de Catalunya. 
V and I spent hours playing on this old trolley. 
They had a lot of interactive activities for kids.

We dressed up in knights armor. 
You would be surprised at how heavy it is.

Today was a very fun day. 
The museum was more fun than I had anticipated.

This museum was founded in 1996 to inform and educate the public about the history of Catalonia. I was one of the many who needed to be educated.

The military coup d'etat in 1936 was the start of a cruel civil war that lasted three years. Franco's victory in 1939 signaled the beginning of a long dictatorship and the abolition of self-government. Those Catalonians who were able to escape to France then faced the Nazi invasion. Franco's dictatorship was characterized by repression of human rights. Execution by firing squad was common.
Following Franco's death, the new democratic constitution (1978) and the new statute of self-government (1979) signaled the restoration of civil liberties. 

V, H, & I went out to dinner after our trip to the museum. We talked about what it must have been like to live through the civil war and Franco's subsequent rise to power. We imagined that if you were 10 years old in 1936 when the civil war began you'd be 85 years old now. We couldn't help looking at the crowd walking past our table and wondering as we saw grandmas and grandpas walk by... How did you do it? What was it like?
V asked, "What would we do? What if someone took over the US? Would we leave and live in Canada or Europe?" All I could manage was to answer with another question, "...or would you stay and try and help your country?"

Soccer in the park last night By Victoria

 Last night Harry and I were playing soccer at the park. When we were looking for a spot to play, a kid about my age talked to me in Catalan. I had no idea what he said but then it turns out he speaks some English. He asked us if we wanted to play a 2 on 2 game with him and his friend, Anna. It was so much fun because it was the first game of soccer I have ever played where no one argued at all about goals or yellow cards. It was fun to finally play soccer for fun. Their names were Anna and Miguel. We told them that we were going to be here until November. When we played we told them how we liked Messi and that FCBarcelona was our favorite futbol team. It was a really fun time and I hope we get to see them again.

Friday, September 23, 2011

fireworks by Victoria

Last night when we were walking out of Veritas (aka Boise Co-op)  we saw fireworks over the castle, perfect photo op. It reminded me of Lake Lucerne when we saw the coolest firework show I have ever seen. These fireworks were not as good as that but they looked cool next to the castle. 
Where is the coolest place that you have ever seen fireworks?

Palau Guell by Harry

 We went to Palau Guell. Palau Guell was one of the first houses that Antoni Gaudi designed. He designed it for a very rich man who could see talent in Gaudi. We saw a movie that said he was so rich that in today's time he would be worth 70 billion euros (euros are worth even more than dollars. one euro equals approximately $1.50).
 This was the first house I've seen that had its own church in it.

 At this house, people would enter into the house with their horse and carriage. The people would get out and go up the big entry staircase and the horses would be brought below the house. This was amazing.
(the picture above is the place for the horses & the picture below is the fancy staircase)

At this house Gaudi made famous the use of the parabolic arch. A parabolic arch is the inverted shape of a chain hanging from each end.
This house was amazing and it was Antoni Gaudi's big career break.