Sunday, November 15, 2015

Camp Nou and Park Guell

Hello everyone! In Barcelona, we went to two awesome places, Camp Nou and Park Guell, and we'd say they were excellent. Park Guell was designed by Antoni Gaudi, the famous architect who built the Sagrada Familia. Park Guell was intended to be a residential community, but work was unsuccessful. It became Barcelona's property in 1923. Below, you can see a mosaic at the entrance of Park Guell.
Below, you can see Park Guell's entrance, truly magnificent. You can see that Gaudi did many mosaics. In the entrance, there is a divided staircase with beautiful fountains and plants in the middle, and a pretty cool looking 3d lizard mosaic. Then you can see a raised platform by doric columns, with an intricate mosaic bench going around. Park Guell only has two of sixty intended houses. One of the houses Gaudi lived in for the last 20 years of his life.
After Park Guell, we took a tour bus up to Camp Nou, FC Barcelona's stadium. There, we took a tour of the stadium. Did you know that camp nou means new stadium in Catalan? FC Barcelona is called Barca by the locals. Below you can see a picture of Barca's logo, with St. George's Cross, the Catalonia flag, and a football. St George's Cross is in the logo because St. George is not only the patron saint of England, but also Catalonia!
Below you can see Barca's huge stadium, which holds around 100,000 people, making it the biggest stadium in Europe, and the 3rd biggest in the world. The time spent building the stadium was 3 years, with over 3 times the budget spent! In 1982 Camp Nou hosted the World Cup.
We'd have to say that Park Guell and Camp Nou were EXCELLENT!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Hi everyone! Last weekend we had an awesome time at Greenwich that we can't wait to share with you. The first thing we did was tour the Cutty Sark, a massive tea trading ship used about a century and a half ago. The Cutty Sark was built in 1869 for the Jock Willis Shipping Line. During it's 85 years of service, the Cutty Sark covered enough distance to travel to the moon and back 2 1/2 times! The Cutty Sark was the fastest Tea Clipper and we can see why.

After that we saw the Old Royal Naval College. The Old Royal Naval College was designed by Christopher Wren, and constructed between 1696 and 1712. The original purpose of the building was to be a hospital for seamen.The hospital closed in 1869 and was reopened in 1873 as the Royal Naval College until 1998. In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful buildings we've seen yet on our trip. The building on the left is a chapel, and the right is the painted hall.

The painted hall was incredible! It is recognized as the greatest piece of decorative painting in England, and is sometimes called, "the Sistine Chapel of the UK." It was painted by Sir James Thornhill between 1708 and 1727. It uses symbolism to deliver a strong message on subjects like monarchy, religion, maritime power, navigation, and trade. The Painted Hall is some of the most beautiful painting we have ever seen!
After the Old Royal Naval College, we went to the Maritime Museum. Below is a picture of the jacket Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson was wearing when he died during the Battle of Trafalgar. He died when a piece of shrapnel impaled him and his bones shattered. You can see the hole in the upper right hand corner. The Battle of Trafalgar was one in a series of wars called the Napoleonic Wars, against Napoleon.
After that we went to the Royal Observatory to see the Prime Meridian. The Prime Meridian stands at the border of the East and Western hemispheres. It was so cool to stand in 2 hemispheres at the same time.
We'd say Greenwich was EXCELLENT!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Hola everyone! We just got back from an exciting trip in Barcelona, the center of Catalonia, a North-East region of Spain. In Barcelona, the main language is not Spanish, but Catalan, a similar variation of Spanish. In Barcelona, the food was incredible! We ate lots of Spanish tapas, which are small dishes that you order multiple of. Also, like in France, we ate enough bread and cheese to last us a long time.
 At the heart of Barcelona lies the Sagrada Familia, or Sacred Family in English. Designed by Gaudi, it is one of the most modern cathedrals in the world. (You will hear more about Gaudi in a later post.)  Did you know that the Sagrada Familia is still being built, and wont be finished for another 2 decades?! Surprisingly, the above and below pictures are both of the Sagrada Familia. It is very different depending on which side you look on. The picture above is the Passion Facade, depicting Jesus' death. Behind the tree are many sculptures, very plain looking, showing the passion of Christ. Here is a closer look...
The picture below is the Nativity Facade, showing Jesus' birth. Unlike the Passion Facade, the Nativity Facade is very ornate and decorative.
The picture below is of the inside of the Sagrada Familia! Amazing, right! It is just so different from any other cathedral we've ever seen. Gaudi designed the inside columns to appear to be trees in a forest, branching out from one another. The central nave vault goes very high, 150 feet into the air! The columns are placed in a grid, and are angled. 
 In Barcelona, we also saw a very large monument to Christopher Columbus. At nearly 200 feet tall, this monument is very visible at the lower end of La Rambla, a busy street, and not far from the sea. It was constructed to honor Columbus' voyage to the New World, and for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona. You can actually go up to the top, and get a great view of the city.
 Also in Barcelona, we saw the Arc de Triomf. The Arc de Triomf was built as the main entrance for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. It contains many sculptures and ornate decorations. It was built by many different people. This structure is very similar to others found in London, Paris, and New York, and many others.
In our opinion, Barcelona is EXCELLENT.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Four Countries in One Day!

Hello everyone! On our trip to France, we went to four countries in one day! We woke up in France, country number one. We were so excited to go to Germany that day.

We drove off to Freiburg, Germany, known for its reconstructed medieval town. We went to Munsterplatz, a little plaza which houses Freiburg's cathedral, the Freiburg Minster. We had lunch at a restaurant in Munsterplatz, then went off into the cathedral. The building of the cathedral started in 1200, then continued on to 1230. 

At lunch in Germany, we decided one thing, and that was to go to Switzerland. We went to Basel, Switzerland, and saw their cathedral, the Basel Minster. The main part of Switzerland was eating some delicious ice cream in front of the Basel Town Hall. The crazy thing about Basel was that trams drove in the same lane as you! It was truly crazy.

Sadly, we had to go back to Strasbourg to catch our flight to England. So far we had been in three countries in one day. But when we got back to Stansted Airport in England, we had been in four countries in one day!

Picture from
I'd have to say our whirlwind day in France, Germany, Switzerland, and England was EXCELLENT!