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Amsterdam (day .98)

Day .98 is because I am technically at a stopover since the time between flights is shorter than 24 hours. Anyway, I will be leaving for the US tomorrow, and I am in Amsterdam right now.

In Amsterdam, I did a bit of a walking tour. I first went from the Airport to Amsterdam Central Station via train. Next, after dropping off unnecessary stuff at the hotel, I first went to Dam square. Dam square is the very center of Amsterdam, and this is where trade took place when Amsterdam was a trading seaport. Today, Dam square is used for political demonstrations as well as being close to government buildings. One of the government buildings was the Royal Palace. Despite the name, Amsterdam was actually a democracy and still is one. The Palace is technically the residence of the current Queen, but most governmental procedures take place in Hague.

After Dam square, I visited the Anne Frank House. Anne Frank was a famous Jew who kept diaries during the German’s invasion of the Netherlands during WW2. The Anne Frank house is where her family hid, and it shows the suffering Jews and the Netherlands overall during German occupation.

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Picture for Barcelona day 4.

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Barcelona (day 4)

Today was my last day in Barcelona. Tomorrow, I will be going to Amsterdam for a day before returning to the US. Today, I visited Montjuïc, meaning Jewish hill in Catalan. Montjuïc is also the site for the buildings for Barcelona’s 1992 Olympics (known as the Olympic Ring). Before entering Montjuïc, I first went to the nearby arena to get a better view of the hill. The arena used to be for bull-fighting, but was converted into a shopping center. The view, however, is very good. Unfortunately, it was cloudy today, so visibility was somewhat obscured. Still, I could see landmarks such as la Sagrada Familia. After that, I entered Montjuïc. Montjuïc was also converted into park after the Olympics. The Olympic Ring has also been opened to the public, and offers much insight into the Barcelona Olympics. Finally, Montjuïc also has La Font Magica, a “Magic” fountain that comes alive at night.

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Pictures from day 3 of Barcelona. Please note the parabolic roof on the schoolhouse. This is one of Gaudi’s famous roof designs.

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Barcelona (day 3)

>Today, I visited several places featuring some of Gaudi’s architecture. Antoni Gaudi was a famous Spanish architect whose has many very well known works. His works have been known to focus on designs in nature, different geometric shapes, and other natural themes in his work. I first visited the Sagrada Familia, a church and the last work that Gaudi started. I say started, because he never finished it. Instead, it’s been worked on since 1882, and it is projected that construction will take another 20-30 years! That’s quite a long time to be building. Unfortunately, Gaudi died in the middle of the building’s construction, though he left behind plans for completing it. At the church, I took a lift to the top of one of the towers. From the towers, you can see a lot of the city. You can also see the top of the spires, especially the “fruit” on the tips. After getting to the top of the tower, the only way to get down is down the spiral staircases. Sounds easy, right? Well, the problem was that there were many different branching staircases, and many people got lost. Eventually, however, everyone got to a very steep spiral staircase that lead down to the ground floor. Next to the Sagrada Familia is a schoolhouse that hosts some more of Gaudi’s architectural design. Next, I went to the Park Guell, another place showing off some of Gaudi’s architecture. The park is on a ridiculously high hill with a equally ridiculous incline. Unfortunately, the Metro stops weren’t very close to it and were downhill from the park. However, the park is definitely worth the climb. The park showcases some of Gaudi’s finest designs in the form of a relaxing park.

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Barcelona (day 2)

Today I first visited the Eglesia de Santa Maria del Mar, a church. The church, however, was in the process in remodeling. Next, I visited the Museu Picasso which holds a large number of Picasso’s works from numerous periods of his life. It also happens to have a lot of his paintings from his “blue” era. Finally, I visited the Museu d’Historia de la Ciutat, or History museum of Barcelona (Catalan is quite different from Spanish). I also visited some other places along the way. Note: No pics for day 2, internet is slow.

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Pictures for day 1 of Barcelona.

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Barcelona (day 1)

Today I went from Madrid to Barcelona. In the morning, I first went to the airport, then I took a plane to Barcelona. After arriving, I took the Aerobus to the Plaza de Catalunya. Plaza Catalunya is right next to La Rambla Estudis, one of the Rambles. La Rambla means “sand” in arabic, and Les Rambles, or, as they are better known, La Rambla (singular) is the busiest street in Barcelona. La Rambla is filled with old buildings that are in turn filled with tons of shops. The street itself is filled with performers as well.

After having lunch, I went to a cathedral, then to the sea side (the Mediterranean is very close to La Rambla).

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Pictures for Day 3 in Madrid.

Note: Not a lot of pictures this time because of photography not being allowed in either the Palacio Real or the Museo del Prado.

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Madrid (day 3)

Today is my last day in Madrid. Tomorrow, I will be taking a plane to Barcelona.

First, I went to the Palacio Real (again, Royal, not Real Palace) for the second time. This time, it was actually open, so I toured it. The Royal Palace comprises of the the Courtyard, where military procedures are conducted, the Palace itself, the Royal Pharmacy, and the Arms Museum. The Arms Museum used to be a military barracks, but now showcases weapons/gifts of weapons of previous kings.

Next, I went to the Museo del Prado, the most famous art museum in Spain. It hosts a wide variety of painting and especially showcases many famous Spanish paintings.