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Yesterday, I spoke about the Euro 2008 victory parade (soccer) we were going to attend. Well it was a MAD HOUSE! We were probably a half mile from the middle of the celebration...
Massive crowds with big screen set up...
The Champions riding by us. That is the actual Euro Cup with the red and yellow ribbons on it!
Spanish Air Force flying over creating the red and yellow Spanish flag.
Last night I got about 3.5 hours of sleep because I just could NOT get to sleep. My body is having a hard time adjusting, I guess...although I feel fine during the day. I got up this morning at 5:45 so that I could take the high-speed train to Barcelona!
Here is Atocha Station...the train station in Madrid.
The high speed train ride from Madrid to Barcelona was so awesome! The ride was so quiet, smooth and civilized! It was quite a feeling zooming along at almost 200 miles per hour while having a nice breakfast and listening to classical music. The entire non-stop trip took 2 hours and 45 minutes, but it seemed like less than an hour. I didn't want to sleep because I was enjoying the Spanish countryside so much.
Once I arrived in Barcelona, I took a cab to the Marriott and got settled in. Even though I was beat, I didn't want to waste a single minute! So I headed into the city on the local train and popped up in the middle of the city!
I immediately headed to La Rambla. La Rambla is a very busy main street that is lined with all sorts of shops and stores...
Not only are there stores, but also interesting characters!
La Rambla is part of what is called the Barri Gotic or Gothic Quarter. It is a preserved neighborhood of gothic buildings, medieval squares and atmospheric alleys that date back to the 13th century (although some even date as far back as when the Romans populated the area!)
The centerpiece is the Cathedral de Santa Eulalia, also called the Barcelona Cathedral. I was hoping it looked like this...
Instead it looked like this...
Oh well, I am happy that it is being preserved and fixed. I headed inside to see what was sure to be incredible.
I was so neat inside the church...everything was as you would expect in such an old and huge church. Massive arches, candles burning everywhere and eerily quiet.
I took a TON of photos, and soon I will upload then all, but for now, here are two.
This the crypt of Santa Eulalia, he was Barcelona's first patron saint and it dates to 1327...
I was starting to get hungry and so I stopped off at a restaurant right next to the church. Luckily they spoke english so I was able to order all this stuff! This was my appetizer, gazpacho. Aren't you proud Mom? The beer is Estrella Damm and it is brewed right here in Barcelona.
I was getting real tired and now I was full, so I decided to call it a day, but as I was heading to a main road to catch a taxi I happened upon Barcelona's city hall, called the Ajuntament.
Well, that is it for today, tomorrow is sizing up to be the big day of walking, so I better wrap this up and then put my feet up!