Countdown to wheels up
It is hard to believe that we are so close to taking off on the first leg of our travels. In a few days we will be on to the next phase of our adventure. Starting in Barcelona for 2 months. We are looking forward to many sights, sounds, tastes and adventure in the capital of Catalonia. Here are some things we plan on checking out:
- Festes de La Mercè – lasts for around 5 days and is a festival held in honour of Mare de Deu de la Mercè, the Patron Saint of Barcelona. Starting September 22, 2017.
- Architecture of Antoni Gaudí, including Sagrada Familia the unfinished cathedral, Casa Milà or La Pedrera – a modernist building, as well as Casa Batlló.
- Font de Canaletes – those who drink from the fountain, “will fall in love with Barcelona and always return”. Monument a Colom – a 60 m (197 ft) tall monument to Christopher Columbus, where you can get amazing views from.
- Mercat de la Boqueria – is a large public market and one of the city’s foremost tourist landmarks, a very diverse selection of goods. Mercat de la Llibertat – in the neighbourhood of Gràcia.
- Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya – is the national museum of Catalan visual art and one of the most important medieval art collections in the world.
- Parc Güell – is a public park system composed of gardens and architectonic elements designed by Antoni Gaudí, a renowned architect and the face of Catalan modernism. Parc de la Ciutadella has a cascade fountain designed by Gaudí as well as a lake to rent rowboats.
- Museu Picasso – houses one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th-century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.
- Museu Marítim de Barcelona – dedicated to shipbuilding between the thirteenth century and eighteenth century.
- Museu de la Xocolata – a museu dedicated to the cultural history and significance of chocolate, including educational workshops. I know a girl in our house who would like this!
- Museu del Disseny – a design museum covering clothes, architecture, objects and graphic design.
- Parc del Laberint d’Horta – including a the hedge maze that gives the park its name, made up of 750 metres of trimmed cypress trees.
- Beaches! Castelldefels, Premià de Mar and El Masnon.
- The seafront, which is steps from our rental, includes Museu d’Història de Catalunya – overlooking the marina with a rooftop terrace bar. L’Aquarium de Barcelona is an aquarium which is home to 11,000 animals representing 450 species, as well as an 80m long underwater tunnel.
And so much more, as I go through my notes. In our 2 month stay, we will likely have to prioritize what we will be able to take in. Luckily we are not tied so closely to a weekday versus weekend schedule. We can take advantage of off-peak visiting dates and times. Not to mention that after Festes de La Mercè, the city will be slowing down a bit. The summer rush will be winding down as the weather starts to cool.
Then again, we will be chasing summer for our whole year. After our time in Barcelona we head down to Asia, stopping in Bangkok. Just a week, to get situated down in the tropics. A quick hop over to Siem Reap in Cambodia for 3 weeks, exploring the whole Angkor temple area. Then a bus ride through the middle of the country to spend a week in Phnom Penh.
That takes us to the month of Christmas and New Years, at least our month of mid December to mid January. For this time frame, we will enjoy Bali. None of us have been south of the equator. This part of Indonesia takes us 20 degrees into the southern hemisphere. Before we head down there, we need to confirm our plans, as a departure flight within 30 days is required before arrival. As of yet, we don’t know what the next stop will be, or for how long we will stay down in SE Asia.
Some ideas are:
Then heading up to Hong Kong for a few days. It is expensive in the hub city, but we save so much by flying out of there. I don’t think a trip to Asia is complete without taking in the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong.
After that, we are still deciding where to go and for how long each stop will be. The list includes:
- Canary Islands
- The UK
At some point in late June, 2018 – we need to be in London to catch a return flight to Calgary from Heathrow. That is a direct Air Canada flight and by that time, I think we will be really happy to see the maple leaf symbols all over that airplane. I know that has been the case for me, in the past, when my travels were only for a week or two.
It will be quite a year. Follow our journey here by subscribing to this blog with your email address. Each time a new post is created, you will get an email containing the whole thing. A great way to never miss a stop on the journey.
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” -Pablo Picasso
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