Friday, September 1, 2006

Spain - Figueres

An adventure near Barcelona. I suppose not too much of one since everything went smoothly. It took a bit of confusion finding the right train station, but I managed and found myself on the train to Figueres...all because I love Dali and I wanted to see his funky house museum.
Figueres, funky street car
Figueres was a small town, quite charming, but if it hadn't been for the Dali museum, very few would frequent here. There was some sort of festival of sorts when I arrived.
Figueres street
Dali museum was definitely a sight. It was strange to extreme, with courtyard in the middle composed of strange sculptures and arrangements.
Dali museum
That is not to say it was not amusing to me. I always loved Dali, definitely more so than Picasso. 
Dali museum
I loved all the funkiness of the house. There was so much to be distracted by, from floor to ceiling.
Dali museum
I don't think I would quite be able to live at this place though.
Dali museum
I got this brilliant idea to hike up a mile to the largest castle in existence. It was hot, sweaty, but I got to see what few people saw.
The excursion to Figueres was definitely worthwhile, but I was happy to be on the train back to Barcelona.
Castle Franco
Books about Dali and Figueres:

Spain - Canary Islands

I found peace in Puerto de la cruz. As I walked down the cobble stone streets of Puerto de la Cruz right before the sunrise, I, life is beautiful. I know there's talk of island fever and all that, but I thought perhaps I could stay there forever like that. Of course, reality is hard to face. 
Puerto de la Cruz
I found this little angel on top of a house as I walked. Sun has not really come up all the way. I thought it might be pointing me to the paradise. The weather was really perfect. And the food is marvelous. Definitely worth trying are all the mojos and seafood.
Puerto de la cruz streets
There's little chapels everywhere, but this one was quite spectacular. I really loved the bell ringing although normally they would annoy me if I had not been traveling. Grabbing some ice cream composed of multiple fruit flavors and sitting by the square in front of church...that was life.
Puerto de la cruz chapel
The garden on top of the mountain was quite lovely. I guess it is strange to visit the gardens as part of tourist attraction for foreign places since gardens, wherever one goes, are similar to one another, but the tropical flavor to it made all the difference. Besides, I got to read Spanish signs for Do not touch.
Jardin, puerto de la cruz
Compared to Puerto de la cruz, Santa Cruz was relatively a huge city with lots of stores, buildings, parks...

Santa cruz de Tenerife
Santa Cruz had many fountains and squares. One would be hard pressed to believe it was still a part of Spain, but...   
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Quite a famous fish in Santa Cruz. I heard why it was so famed, but I have no clue now...I suppose I should read the explanation at the bottom.
Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz had one giant park in the city, composed of ponds, garden paths, fountains, many different types of trees. After the night of dancing, it was rather relaxing to stroll the parks.  
Garden path, Santa Cruz
Still, I think I would definitely pick Puerto de la Cruz as the spot to go for the peace and loveliness. If I could just spend few weeks, perhaps few months there...
Santa Cruz park
Books about Canary Islands

Spain - Barcelona

Barcelona is definitely one confusing place of languages for me, especially since I do speak moderate Spanish and I feel as though when they are speaking Catalan, I should understand it somehow.
After landing in Barcelona airport, I found myself a cab and headed into the city. Little difficulty finding what is to be my home for a week, but I managed. Then immediately, I took the subway to the Gothic area, the oldest section of Barcelona.
Barrio Gothico
Barcelona streets were slightly different than either Madrid or cities of Andalucia I had visited few years back. I can't quite put my finger on it as to why. Perhaps it was just the atmosphere. After a long wandering walking tour (by myself of course) or barrio gothic, I found myself near the Musei Picasso, munching on some sort of cheesy concoction with gelato.
Barcelona street
Picasso museum was first I went to in Barcelona. There was a bit of wait as usual, but it was quite worth it. I am not the biggest fan of Picasso, but I figure I should give him a chance. Museum was composed of probably 3-4 different structures or houses combined. There was a very nice little courtyard in the middle.
Musei Picasso
Musei Picasso
As always, in Spain or in Italy, Cathedrals are not to be missed. I purposefully go see any and all Cathedrals in my path and this one was no exception. I guess in translation, this is a Cathedral of Saint Maria of the ocean. Regardless of in whose honor this church is, it was a small, yet beautiful cathedral.
Iglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
Of course, nothing is simple. In order to get in, I had to sit and wait until 5 or 5:30 pm. In between, I found myself walking narrow streets, licking my gelato ice cream. I also must have written about dozen postcards on these streets. It was definitely worth the wait. I think I found myself more endeared by it than the Picasso museum.
Iglesia de Santa Maria del Mar
This is the central Cathedral of Barcelona. There is no other name attached to it. It has beautiful large Cathedral and the courtyard in the back. The front of the Cathedral was under construction, but it was nonetheless beautiful inside.
Make sure to sit yourself inside and enjoy the atmosphere surrounding you. It doesn't matter if you are not Catholic!
Cathedral of Barcelona
Gothic quarter has some beautiful buildings. I found myself aimlessly wandering the narrow streets, finding some random architecture to admire. I took so many pictures, but I only put very few on here. There's just something about the narrow streets that sometimes never see the sun.
Barrio Gothic
I could not believe it when I read the plaque introducing this old structure. Who would have thought Romans influenced the Spanish so much? But then of course it makes sense. Didn't they conquer all the way to the British isles? I got a chance to explore the inside of this aquaduct structure. If you are into archeology and history, it's definitely worth a visit to the archeological museum of the city.      
Roman Aquaduct gate
The courtyard of Cathedral. This is really the courtyard and the geese are supposedly holy. They are everywhere in there. I found it highly amusing to see them inside the cathedral courtyard. I had not believed it when I read it in the tour guide books!  
Cathedral Courtyard
This is the start of Las Ramblas. It's basically the main street of the city. I don't care if it is the tourist thing to do, it's definitely worth a visit, more than just once. Don't forget to start the journey with a cone of gelato in your hand. All walking starts at placa Catalunya!
Placa Catalunya
Tourist trap again, but worth a visit. As you ramble down Las Ramblas, you will see La Boqueria. It is full of little stalls of shops...sweets, sandwiches, can get anything here. I can't guarantee the price will be cheap, but definitely worth stopping by.
La Boqueria
This is the famous unfinished Gaudi architecture. This probably won't be finished for at least another 50 years or so. I at first thought it was some sort of Cathedral, but it really actually wasn't. It has some religious undertones, but this is more of a monument.
One of those things not to be missed in Barcelona of course.
La Sagrada Familia
Inside La Sagrada Familia
Everything was under construction inside the structure. Yet I could envision the future of the structure. I wondered though, how will this look like in the future? I could not see it as something similar to any of the beautiful cathedrals I've seen.
La Sagrada Familia
I took the subway, hiked over a mile to get to this park. This is one of the few free Gaudi architecture one could see. Situated on top of the mountains of Barcelona. If you don't mind a bit of a hike, a must see. I loved the mosaics and nature themes that occur throughout the architecture.
Parc Guell
Although I went inside few of Gaudi houses, it is really not necessary to do so. The beauty is all outside. Of course, some of the inside beauties still are worthwhile, but the focal points are the beautiful mosaics and lines of outside. I'd definitely recommend, if you only can choose one, to go to the stone mansion.
Gaudi mansions
Books about Barcelona

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Performance in July 2006

July 15 (Sat) - Medfest
2700 California Ave. SW
West Seattle, WA
*Dancing Starts at 11:45am

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Performance in June 2006

June 17, 18 (Sat, Sun) - Peña Flamenca de Seattle
Ethnic Cultural Theater
3940 Brooklyn Ave NE
seattle, WA *Dancing Starts at 8pm


Sunday, January 1, 2006

Performance in January 2006

January 6 (Fri) - Caravanserai
Solstice Cafe
4116 University Way NE
seattle, WA *Dancing Starts at 8pm