SUNDAY’S SPECIAL SPOT – LA SAGRADA FAMILIA


Today is the final installment of “Sunday’s Special Spot”. I hope you have enjoyed the snippets provided and that it has stirred up a longing to see the world yourself. As an old proverb rings true, It is better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times, I am taking that to heart. Time to step forward on a new adventure and I hope that you find yours as well. 

It is fitting that this final post is of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain – one of my stops on my European leg. This yet unfinished basilica was Antonio Gaudi’s life’s focus. He worked on it from 1883 (construction began a year prior) until his death in 1926. Taking on a mix of styles such as late Gothic and Art Nouveau, some have speculated that it may be completed in 2026 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s passing. Others estimate both sooner and later time frames. Despite its completion it is unique and fascinating architecture.

Sagrada Familia facade

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

Photo credit – Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain (as granted by Mok9 – own work)

Interior columns, La Sagrada Familia

Interior columns, La Sagrada Familia

Photo credit – Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain (as granted by user Hgoerz – own work)

All Over the Map


The most asked question of me lately has been “Are you getting excited?”. Natural question to ask. The answer is, of course, yes I am excited. However I am also a jumble of other emotions. I suppose it is fitting that my desire to go ‘all over the map’ also coincides with me feelings. I am up, down, sideways and various degrees of spirals when it comes to my emotions regarding my RTW trip. I sometimes wonder if I am bit cuckoo! What I mean is that I have known a number of people who have picked up and gone on their world adventures with what appears to me to be ease and finesse. They pack up and bid adieu with a that spark of adventure in their eyes. Meanwhile my knees are knocking, hands are shaking and inside my head I am screaming how are you going to do this Eeva?!  Round the corner and I am jumping for joy and doing a happy dance. Then contentment walks in.  Next thing I know I am overwhelmed with what I need to do and want to bury my head in the sand like an ostrich. I wish for that ease that I see in so many of the travelers I know. Now don’t get me wrong – I am thrilled for this incredible trip. It’s just that I have never done anything like this before, being on the move for an extended period of time.  It is an intrepid thing to do yet at times overwhelming in its newness. It is not a wonder that I am ‘all over the map’. Oh then add the downright ridiculous thoughts that meander in and out of my brain. Ya know, the ones where you logically know are untrue but you entertain them for a moment or two. Things such as “you’re way too old to backpack” and “OMG! I’m too fat and outta shape for this!” or what if, what if, what if…even when I know these ideas are of no consequence.  Silly really.

There you have it, my flurry of emotions. Excitement and contentment are my favs. I’m sure they will become prominent as the day of my departure nears. Perhaps all this is natural for one’s first extended solo trip.  I hope it is. Someone please tell me it is. :-)

SUNDAY’S SPECIAL SPOT – TORONTO


***ANNOUNCEMENT: Sunday’s Special Spot will be have its final posting at the end of October 2014. As my departure day approaches I aim to write about my plans and after that I will post of where in the world I am***

Today’s destination is the second stop on my RTW trip. I will depart my home town of Thunder Bay to Ontario’s capital city of Toronto. It has been years since I have been to Canada’s largest city. My only touchdowns there as of late have been stopovers at Pearson International Airport. This time I will return to visit friends in the area and re-acquaint  myself with this thriving metropolis (led by its infamous mayor, Rob Ford).

Toronto has much to offer – major league sports, first class shopping, mouthwatering dining options, arts and culture – well, the list goes on and on. My past travels have taken me to the top of the CN Tower (at one time it was the world’s tallest freestanding structure), watching a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game at The Skydome (now know as Rogers Centre) to shopping and mouthwatering dining experiences. My next sojourn to this fun city will be mainly to catch up with some old friends, though I do hope I can take in some fun activities. Perhaps going to the Toronto Islands or checking the Bata Shoe Museum or the Hockey Hall of Fame. Maybe I will check out the extensive music scene while enjoying a craft beer. How about theatre productions? Or visit North America’s only Castle, Casa Loma. And then there is the food – Korean, Italian, Japanese, Indian, Fusion, BBQ, Spanish, Food Truck specialties, Vegetarian delights….okay now I’m hungry! Regardless of what I do, I know I will have fun and enjoy this very cool Canadian city!

Toronto - ON - Toronto Skyline2

Aerial view of Toronto, Canada

 Photo credit – Wikimedia CommonsUser/Owner – Taxiarchos228

 

SUNDAY’S SPECIAL SPOT – ALCOBACA MONASTERY


Historic, gothic and the resting place of royals, Portugal’s Alcobaça Monastery is found 121 km/75 mi north of Lisbon. It is the earliest example of gothic style churches in the country. King Afonso Henríques (first king of Portugal) established it 1153 C.E. to honour the victory of Santarem during the Crusades and presented it to Cistercian abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, a staunch supporter of the Crusades. Construction began years later in 1178 and became the home of this order of Cistercian monks. With close ties to the Portuguese monarchy it houses numerous tombs of past kings. In 1989 UNESCO recognized Alcobaça Monastery as a world heritage site.

Personally I find this building very beautiful and admire the gothic style, so I chose two photos to showcase it.

AlcobaçaCloister

Cloister at Alcobaca Monastery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – By Flávio de Souza (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Mosteiro de Alcobaca 27a

Interior of Cloister of Alcobaca Monastery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons – By Waugsberg (Deutsch: eigene Aufnahme English: own photograph)  via Wikimedia Commons