Showing posts with label Spain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spain. Show all posts

WW: Whimsical Parc Güell, Barcelona

Some lovely mementos from our road trip to Spain, including the amazing city of Barcelona.

And Parc Güell is indeed one of the highlights (of so many incredible landmarks we visited here) of our 3-day trip in Barcelona.

Gaudi, parc Guell
some mosaics at the Greek Theater, Parc Guell, Barcelona
With its whimsical, out-of-this-world design, Antoni Gaudi is indeed genius!
And even when we came down here quite early, the park was already packed by admirers and tourists like us, taking pictures in many corners of this lovely park.

I love this gingerbread house :)

Near the Gecko statue..

some details from the Greek Theater roof

more details from the park
looks like the hunch back of a dragon

Happy Bo at Parc Guell

I have written more stories and details on our half-day visit to Parc Güell, Barcelona on the next post. So don't miss it :).

Join us (almost) Wordless Wednesday and enjoy the linky party

The Frakarsas on the road: Hola Espana trip - Barcelona

It all began with our dream to visit La Alhambra...

Alhambra, Granada, Spain....

Warning: This is a throwback story. I realized we have been traveling to so many places yet haven't really got a chance to write the stories on the blog. So, bear with me as I spill some beans from trips back in 2008 - 2011, while we were living in Geneve , Switzerland and making trips to around 20 countries and countless cities. Most of the information are still up to date but feel free to correct me. 

To be able to visit this amazing place is one of the highlights of our live!

Spending some times in Europe made us pretty well exposed to the typical European cultures, including their heritage buildings, cultures and vibes. It's incredible of course. But after quite an intensive period of time visiting various cities in Western and Central Europe, we crave for something else,

No wonder, Rudi and I were intrigued to explore another exotic face of Europe.
And Spain was on top of the agenda. 

So, after browsing here and there, calculating this and that, asking people  we finally decided, in 9 days, to start the trip from Barcelona, heading to Zaragosa et Madrid, top for a while before hitting the road again to Toledo, Cordoba et Granada. Another stop was added et we continued to Valencia, before going back to GE from Barcelona..

Ambitious, huh :D.
Indeed it was.
And we made it!

Preparing 8-day roadtrip for three, involving a 3.5-year-boy (at that time Obi was not born yet), was not easy. You know the fun and drama traveling with toddlers. Meticulously, I managed to contact  the hotels (many stopovers, many hotels indeed) through online booking, browse the highlights of the cities plus their hidden 'treasures', book our car (free upgrade and we got the latest smart Peugoet, yaaay), and  this and that.

Senangnya traveling jaman sekarang adalah banyaknya kemudahan yang diperoleh lewat internet. Semua perjalanan di Spanyol saya siapkan dari hasil browsing sana-sini. Berhubung kita akan berhenti di sekitar 8 kota, ada 6 hotel yang saya book di Barcelona, Madrid, Granada, dan Valencia. 

Untuk mobil, pilihan kita saat itu adalah Alamo rent-a-car yang diambil di bandara Barcelona. Untuk trip 9 hari, kita membayar kurang lebih 300 Euro, cukup murah untuk hitungan mobil sewa. But that was back in 2010 dan kami melakukan perjalanan di awal tahun alias bulan Januari yang notabene adalah low season. Jadi, japan ke mana'mana pas dan ramah di kantong, plus perfect weather karena tidak terlalu panas or dingin.

And we did make a great choice.


Yet it was a very pleasant trip, except for the final twist at the end thanks to never-ending pouring snow in Geneva at that time. Well, that made us have to stay longer (yaaay...we didn't mind at all) in Barcelona while waiting until we could fly back to Geneva.
It was 3 extra days all paid by EasyJet. No complaint, just enjoy it!

So, where to start now.
For sure, no need to introduce Barcelona I suppose.
This colorful and vibrant city has so much to offer! 
Great architectures, wonderful food, colorful night scene, lovely cultures and friendly people! Almost everything we ask for while traveling.

We read though that Barcelona was a bit high in terms of street crime so we tried to be extremely vigilant and cautious during our trip. And I have to say, we almost had the incident when to pickpockets came near us on one of the subway stations! Good thing my hubby saw that and warned me before the two young men tried to open my backpack while I was busy with Bo and his stroller, and snatch something. When they saw that we fully realized what they were trying to do, they fled. So, just be careful when you happened to be around the city.
Anyway, let us start by enjoying some of the colorful records of our time down there.

As we arrived in Aeroport de Barcelona  - El Prat, we took the bus to the city.

It was very convenient to take the Aerobus, the bus from airport to the city center, for only 6 Euro per person. And the ride took less than an hour.

We walked from Plaça de Catalunya our hotel in La Rambla. It was not that far and as we only traveled with one big bag and backpacks, it was very manageable even with Bo and his stroller. We chose this place because it is one of the landmarks of Barcelona filled with so many attractions, including museums, Antoni Gaudi`s works, good restaurants, and more. We also walked around to see the beautiful Baelaric Sea near the promenade.

So, once we settled our stuff at the hotel, we walked back to the middle of the city and enjoy Plaça de Catalunya.

 Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona...
 We took some photos and walked around, as the surroundings were lovely as well.

Another side of  Plaça Catalunya...
Plaça de Catalunya is the big square in the city center of Barcelona, surrounded by shopping malls, restaurants including Hard Rock Cafe, boutique, tourist informations and more.

We stopped at El Corte Ingles, the big shopping mall here. Just doing some window shoppings. Good thing we came in January, so that we had a lot of sale. Lucky me!
For sure we took a lot of photos.

Bo et maman happy posing for bapak...tho' it was quite freezing :D...

lovely architecture, in one of the busiest corner of Barcelona :D...

In La Rambla, we strolled around this long street and really enjoying the view.
What strike me most are those elegant apartments along the way.
And yummy seafood Paella we ate here. 

Don't you just love it!
As the day was already long after our flight from Geneva, we called it a day after our early dinner.

Again, be careful when you are enjoying La Rambla.
The pickpockets here are quite famous.
Alhamdulillah we didn't have any issues besides the one I share up there.

Well, next on our agenda is Parc Guell, designed and built by one and only Antoni Gaudi.
Ring a bell? will talk more about him and his fantastic works on the next post. 
Stick around!

WW: The Amazing Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain

A little #throwback trip to the amazing Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain

Our 9-day-turn-to-12-day in Spain surely brought a lot of fond memories, unforgettable experiences and photos. Here are some of them, took around 7 years ago during one of our road trips in Europe.

I know I should come back with more stories from those trips, because the historical background of all these amazing places are astonishing indeed!
And our trip to see the trace of Islam in Europe was so rewarding.
Not only we witnessed the grandeur Islamic architecture in this continent, but also read and know more about the history of Islam and how devotion can be amazingly showcased in various forms. 

Here are some examples of those beautiful architectures, the amazing Mezquita (or mosque, in English and masjid in bahasa Indonesia), Cordoba, Spain

The Mihrab
The alley

the amazing details from one of the mihrabs

One of the doors..with elaborate details

The tower and the gate

Stick around for more stories about the amazing Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain

Join us on (almost) Wordless Wednesday and enjoy the link party!

Homey Casa Battló, Barcelona, Spain

"What is that, maman?" asked Bo, pointing to the façade outside of the famous apartment redesigned by Gaudi.
Those windows are indeed extraordinary.
"It looks like bones! Like fish bones!" exclaimed Bo. 
"You're right! Those windows remind me of fish bones," my hubby said.
That morning, we were stepping into out-of-this-world architecture situated in one elegant corner of Barcelona, Spain.
And our trip to Gaudi's world has just started.

So, it's time for #throwbacktuesday.
I kind of miss a few posts for these series due to the crazy schedules of meetings at UNGA High Level Week.
Let me now, take you to Barcelona, Spain, then.
To be exact, another trip to Gaudí's out-of-this-world creation.
And what I have here is Casa Batlló.

inside the fish bone hall :)

We visited beautiful city of Barcelona back in 2009.
Flying from Geneva with Bo et Udi (Obi hasn't been born yet), we stayed for 10 days in Spain and our road trip started in Barcelona. It was our end-of-winter trip, escaping the cold weather Geneva and heading south to Spain.
We had planned 9-day road trip starting and ending in Barcelona, exploring Madrid, Toledo, Zaragoza, Sevilla, Granada, Valencia, and back to Barcelona.
Quite ambitious but my hubby and I were super excited!

The cute roof we have here..
So, any of you are familiar with Antoni Gaudí?
Or you have visited Casa Batlló yourself?
 Who's Gaudi?

To me, Gaudí's brilliant, one-of-a-kind technique is a vivid example of his incredible imagination. This architect was born in 1852 in Reus and has long been famous for his indigenous creations. Claimed to be 'prodigious' on his era, Gaudi had been presenting unique works of art which beautifully blend into functioning designs and details inspired by nature. His original works in creating those concepts and spaces have won the hearts of many important figures in Spain and his works can now be enjoyed in many forms.
 The first time I saw his work in many parts of  Barcelona, including the one-and-only Parc Güell, Casa Millà dan Sagrada Familia, I can't help but admire his works.

The windows! super cute right...and look at the 'bones' structure

Only a few blocks from La Pedrera,
Casa Batlló ,- a lavish yet unique apartment, is another proof of Gaudi's amazing interpretation of Art Nouveau.
And this time, it's reflecting the 'underwater world' in a broader sense.
Underwater world.
My fave!
Underwater world duly applied to the apartment design.
Well, at least that's what I heard on the audio guide .

the lights...
The roof has a lot more interesting shapes, colors, and textures

So, I wouldn't mind at all to stay in this wonderful apartment.

And of course, the details are amazing.
Still with Gaudi's signature, no straight lines.
Can you incredible building with no straight lines!

It took us around 1.5 hours to see many parts of this apartment.
From the main hall, the Noble Floor, bedrooms, kitchen, staircases and ceilings, to the laundry room and the roof!
I have to admit the great attraction was the roof, with  a lot more intereting shapes, colors, and textures.
Somehow the chimney and the top of the roof reminded me of garlic and the dragon!
Weird combination, I know, but it's strikingly reminding me of these 2 items as we spend some times and take tons of pictures on the roof of Casa Battló.

Let's take a look at it closer.

the lights on the ceiling.. you see the ceiling is nothing ordinary

Bo having fun at the roof..

The chimneys :)..with garlic-inspired cross.
Don't miss Casa Batlló if you get a chance to visit Barcelona
Its address is

Have you seen Gaudi's works before?
Do you like them? 

I hope you enjoy traveling and happy to share #myitchyfeet story.
Bon voyage!

MyItchyFeet: Hola Espana: La Alhambra #4 Palace of the Lions

Holaaaa mis amigos...

Having my recovery started, I remember that I haven't finished my traveling notes in Spain, particularly in Andalusia..

Aaa, the land of wonder..

Filled with ancient whispers and tempting signs waving at you, I have to say. 
It feels like when you hear the sirens coming and calling your name, but this one is not going to crash you. 

Yuup, the legend of La Alhambra is still waiting to be told..and shared.

Rasanya seperti punya hutang...karena belum menyelesaikan tulisan rangkaian perjalanan yang buat saya dan keluarga sangaaaaat mengesankan ini...

Okay, where were we?

Kita udah sampai mana yaaa..
Yang pasti saya sudah ngajak temen-temen jalan ke Alcazaba the fortress (you can always click it here, Nasrid et Comares palaces, where Kings and Sultans lived with their families ...dan sekarang, saya masih punya Palace of the Lions :).

Ini salah satu jewelnya La Alhambra juga lhooo......

And the Palace of the Lions is pretty famous for its ingenious fountains.

Too bad the fountains were under reconstruction when we visited this place but we still enjoyed the beauty of this palace by strolling around.

the ceiling with all its intricate details...

pillars and facades are everywhere...
One thing for sure, all the intricate details you find here will take you imagination beyond ...and questions....
How did they do that..
What does it mean..
Why it takes that particular shapes...
And more questions that are not always answered...
At least not from my audio guide or my handbook :)

Saat menyaksikan semua keindahan ini, saya harus mengakui kalau hati begitu tergetar akan keindahan hasil karya manusia yang didedikasikan penuh untuk Penciptanya. Begitu menyentuh, begitu indah...
Kaligrafi dengan cantiknya terukir di setiap sudut dinding, pilar, hingga langit-langit...mengingatkan kita akan Sang Khalik yang memang ada di mana-mana...

The ceiling....look so fragile, yet tranquilly beautiful...

Then as we got nearer to the fountain site, we had more people flocking...
But again, as I said, the fountain was temporarily closed for refurbishment...
We still managed to enjoy the beauty of it and adores its ingenious design...

Patio of the Lions, tempat pancuran singa yang begitu terkenal ini, menggunakan teknologi tradisional yang mengandalkan grafitasi, tata letak, dan alam. Jangan tanya detailnya dengan saya ya :)...yang pasti, pancuran ini begitu natural dan bahkan recycled sendiri tanpa bantuan mesin satu pun...naturally mechanical, I can say...

one of the corners near the fountain...

getting nearer...

similar details can be found...

And here's where the fountain is supposed to be...
If you noticed the basin in the photo down here, it originally homed the famous lions whose mouths flowed the water constantly ..
Such a perfect harmony between the geometric architecture, ancient technology, yet again ingenious design..
You can feel it...the air, the light, the space..the water...all perfectly display the beauty of harmony..
I can say this is the most beautiful part of the Palace...

it was temporarily closed when we the surrounding hall was closed as well

Palace of the Lions was built by Muhammed V.
Not only successfully completing the previously built parts of the Palace, but amazingly add this most-loved palace adorned with the highest level of artistic touch and harmony.
Well, I'm not very good at describing it, but once you're there, you can simply feel it...
From the lovely patio, to the amazing halls and galleries..
Truly feast to our eyes ...and soul...

one corridor taking us to the Hall...

the ceiling on one of the Halls...

can you feel the harmony...from floor to the ceiling...the air and the light...

Jadi jangan salahkah saya yaaah kalau jadi nyuekin kamera di leher dan minta difoto terus dengan hubby tersayang yang sabaaaar menanggapi permintaan istrinya Bo (sedikiiiit :) )..

Another amazing details are the calligraphs ...
All hand-made, truly labour of love and affection to our one-and-only Creator.
Depicting gracious verses, we can't help but admire each and every one of them...

Dan ini beberapa foto di sekitar Patio Utama di Palace of the Lions, menuju Halls maupun galleries yang berada di sekelilingnya...

Well, I have to warn you....
I still have Generalife beautiful garden which is not yet told here. 
Mind if I come back again soon?

Happy #itchyfeet and I hope you enjoy these photos...