Amanda Bennett: A Year in Zaragoza, Spain

Christmas Day: Gargoyles and Parc Güell December 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — psychohistoria @ 10:19 am

As soon as I woke up and showered, I headed to the kitchen to check on my pancake batter. It looked great; I stirred in the remaining two eggs and salt and found a cast-iron skillet. Due to our lack of maple syrup but an abundance of bananas, I put some bananas in a saucepan with cinnamon to make a bit of a fruit topping for the pancakes. I think everyone liked them – at least I did, and there weren’t any left over!

Flipping through George’s “BarcelonaWalks” book, we decided to head back to La Rambla and the Gothic Quarter, first to see if anything was open, and if not, to explore the area in daylight.

Walking through the Barrio Gótico, we came across the Cathedral of Barcelona.

The mascots of the Cathedral de Barcelona.

The courtyard had a nativity scene, a pond, and geese – just make sure you are appropriately dressed!

No sleeveless shirts! No hats! No short skirts!

We walked around the perimeter of the cathedral, discovering little bridges, elaborate carvings, and oodles of gargoyles!

The carvings on the overhangs, the ironwork on the bridge...everything so intricate and beautiful!

St. George killing the dragon

Definitely the creepiest unicorn I have ever seen. Ever.

Probably the most anatomicaly incorrect elephant I've ever seen...as well as the creepiest.

Heading back to La Rambla, we stopped to grab a bite to eat in a small bakery. Spinach seems to be a mainstay in Catalonian cuisine, so I had to get the tortilla de espinacas sandwich.

Our next stop was the Parque Güell, a park designed by Gaudí on the outskirts of Barcelona. The park is famous for its bench, undoubtedly Gaudí – a winding structure decorated with shards of ceramic and tile. However, the other aspects of the park are just as unique and wonderful: the entrance gate, the two buildings next to it, a lizard sculpture, a column-filled porch…

(photos to come, I promise!)

With a couple of hours of daylight left, we decided to go down to the beach. Although the rain from the day before had stopped, it certainly wasn’t swimming weather; but we enjoyed the sand sculptures, sound of the waves, and Gehry’s fish.

 Back at the apartment, we added noodles to the carrot and cheddar soup we’d bought, and finished up the leftovers from our lunch the day before, with Christmas cookies for dessert. Since neither Heather and I had ever seen Casablanca, we decided to watch it after dinner.

My first Christmas away from home, but it couldn’t have gone any better. I love Heather and her parents, we ate wonderful food, and although I didn’t get to hunt for a stocking with my genius sister, exploring Gaudí’s park and seeing a creepy unicorn gargoyle were pretty fun in their own rights, if not typical Christmas fare.

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