Category Archives: Vacationing

Did you miss me?

That’s right!  I’m officially back in Lebo-land..and still refusing to unpack.  You know how it feels..those 24 hours after you have just come back from an amazing vacation..and are already planning your next trip..when you refuse to accept that you have to get back to reality.  But come to think of it, my reality isn’t all that bad.!  Or maybe it’s the gorgeous weather outside that’s influencing my sunny disposition!

But before I jump back into everything Lebanese, I just wanted to dedicate this post to the last couple of cities I visited on my vacation.  I wrote so much about Barcelona, that I think it would be unfair to continue without mentioning Cannes, Nice, Monte Carlo, Florence, Pisa, and Rome.

So, here are a couple of highlights from the rest of my Eurotrip..in pictures, of course.  :D

France (Cannes, Nice, Villefranche, Monte Carlo)

Cannes, France

Cannes..

Nice, France

Nice...

Villefranche, France

One of the most beautiful views I've ever seen in my life! This is the town of Villefranche,,in between Nice and Monaco, France.

Casino Monte-Carlo

The Casino Monte-Carlo, the casino that singlehandedly put Monaco on the map..

Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Monte Carlo, Monaco.. my first time driving along the Monaco Grand Prix race track (or any race track for that matter)..

Italy (Pisa, Florence, Rome)

Leaning tower of Pisa

It sure is leaning alright! The leaning tower of Pisa, Italy.

Pisa, Rome

And what would a trip to Pisa be without a cliche "holding the leaning tower of Pisa up" picture! That's my bro..!

Florence, Italy

Beautiful Florence..and the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge in the distance.

Duomo di Firenze, Florenc

The front of the Duomo di Firenze..what intricacy! Beautiful! Florence, Italy

Colosseum, Rome

The Colosseum..

Hercules Sculpture, The Vatican

My favorite sculpture in The Vatican - The Belvedere Torso. Ok, so he's missing a few limbs..but check out those THIGHS!...

The Sistine Chapel

The roof of the Sistine Chapel, by Michelangelo..

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica - the largest church in Rome and the world..

St. Peter's Basilica, Rome

Inside St. Peter's Basilica...

Trevi Fountain, Rome

Trevi Fountain - one of the most famous fountains in Rome..of which there are thousands!..

and here’s my favorite..me, my Mom, and my brother..with two “past their prime” Gladiators outside of the Colosseum in Rome!

Colosseum, Rome

This isn't SPARTAAAAAAAA!!!

This trip was really one to remember.  And although it was especially difficult saying goodbye to my family (it keeps getting harder!), I am happy to be back home in Beirut!  (Yup, I said it!  Beirut is home!)

Now, let’s see what this crazy city has been up to..

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Gaudi’s Barcelona

Disclaimer: For all of you who are tired of hearing about Barcelona, I apologize!  This city is just too fascinating not to talk about!.. That being said, I promise that this is the last post about Barcelona until I move onto other as intersting material..

To mention Barcelona, and not speak more of Antoni Gaudi, is to commit sin.

Gaudi is Barceona, and Barcelona is Gaudi.  I’m not shy to say that Gaudi’s work is one of the big reasons Barcelona is what it is today.  His work, to put it simply, is not of this world.  When he graduated from architectural school, his professor is documented to have said, “I do not know whether I am giving a degree to a madman or a genius.”

So, to build on the brief introduction I made in my last post , “Antoni Gaudí was a Catalan architect and the best-known representative of Catalan Modernism.  He produced architectural works that are a perfect symbiosis of tradition and innovation.  At the same time, all of his work is marked by the four passions of his life: architecture, nature, religion and his love for Catalonia. 

Gaudí’s work has widespread international appeal.  There are innumerable studies devoted to his way of understanding architecture.  Today, he is admired by both professionals and the general public: his masterpiece, the Sagrada Família, is one of the most visited monuments in Spain.  Between 1984 and 2005 seven of his works were declared World Heritage Sites by Unesco.” source: wikipedia

So, without further ado, I want to introduce you to a few other works by the architectural genuis, Antoni Gaudi.  (His most famous work, La Sagrada Familia, was mentioned in my last post.)  Because I don’t want to bore you, (and also because the internet on the cruise ship I’m on is costing me .65 cents a minute), I shall keep it brief.  I trust that you will look further into these architectural marvels if you feel so inclined.

Park Guell – was initially a residential development commissioned by Gaudi’s beneficiary, Eusebi Guell and built between 1900 – 1914.  The project ended up proving unsuccessful, and Mr. Guell donated it to the municipality of Barcelona, who turned it into a public park. 

Park Guell, Barcelona

The entrance to Park Guell..

Park Guell, Barcelona

Me, my bro, and sis leaning on the famous lizard at Park Guell..

Park Guell, Barcelona

the view from the top of Park Guell..

Park Guell, Barcelona

The ceiling in Park Guell..all of the mosaics are hand made with ceramics..WOW!

Park Guell, Barcelona

Gingerbread houses in Park Guell

Casa Batllo – A residential apartment building built by Gaudi in1887 for the Batllo family. 

Casa Batllo, Barcelona

The exterior of Casa Batllo

Casa Battlo

My favorite part of Casa Batllo..the marine-like ceiling feature..

Casa Batllo, Barcelona

Inside Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo, Barcelona

Me, my Mom, and my Sister on the rooftop of Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo, Barcelona

Beautiful doors inside of Casa Batllo

La Pedrera (Casa Mila) – Another residential building built by Gaudi for the Mila family between 1910 – 1912.  This was the last residential building built by Gaudi.

La Pedrera, Gaudi, Barcelona

La Pedrera

La Pedrera, Gaudi, Barcelona

The iron detail is my favorite part

La Pedrera, Gaudi, Barcelona

On the roof of La Pedrera

La Pedrera, Gaudi, Barcelona

On the roof of La Pedrera

I really hope I haven’t bored you with my trip to Barcelona..and that you (or at least some of you) share the same admiration for Gaudi’s work as I do!

Now,,onto Cannes, Florence, and Rome!!

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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

To celebrate this special day, my family and I had a delicious seafood lunch at the port of Barcelona (Port Olimpico)..and paid a visit to the most famous church in all of Spain, La Sagrada Familia.  Conceived by world famous Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi, La Sagrada Familia has been under construction for 128 years.

Gaudi devoted 40+ years of his life to La Sagrada familia, which, along with his 6 other buildings in Barcelona, was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, “as testifying “to Gaudí’s exceptional creative contribution to the development of architecture and building technology”, “having represented el Modernisme of Catalonia” and “anticipated and influenced many of the forms and techniques that were relevant to the development of modern construction in the 20th century.” source

Progress on its construction has been slow as the church relies solely on private donations as well as entrances fees from visitors – La Sagrada Familia receives no funding from the Spanish government nor from official church sources.  If you see anything in Barcelona, you MUST see Gaudi’s greatest work – La Sagrada Familia.  It is the most visited monument in all of Spain – welcoming thousands of visitors daily.

How did you celebrate Easter?

Easter Lunch

This was my Easter Lunch.. What was yours like?

Port Olimpico Barcelona

Yachts at Port Olimpico, Barcelona..

Barceloneta Beach

Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona..

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Isn't it spectacular?

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Me and my sister in front of the (newer side of) La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

The much older side of La Sagrada Familia..this side was built in the time of Gaudi..(who died in 1926).

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