Hola – the countdown for Barcelona has begun. My passport was renewed in record time. I have the luggage ready to be packed. Thanks to my Mom a new beautiful red travel purse. Matt has even picked up our European travel plugs. With the help of a few friends and a very informative Spanish CD from my step sister Lisa, I can communicate a little in Spanish. I don’t even attempt the Catalan and just stay with Spanish. If I need to get to the bank or bathroom or need a doctor, I am all set!
Tomorrow, I am going to order a few Euros. Wachovia doesn’t keep them on hand, they have to order them 1 – 2 days in advance. The exchange rates will hurt a bit but we are expecting it. At present, my US dollar will get me about .69 Euros (or if you prefer 1 Euro costs $1.44 US).
One of my last errands involve hitting the art supply store. Keeping a sketch journal has been a wonderful way of remembering a place the way my brain sees it. Don’t get me wrong, I plan to take a boatload of pictures but actually taking to time to sit and study a facade or detail, allows my head the time to understand the thing. My best example is one of the faces in the Walk of 100 fountains at Villa d’Este just outside of Rome in Tivoli. When I look at this sketch on the left, I can remember so much about that very special place – the moss, little plants and lichen growing on the faces the textures, the symphony of the water and the detail in the faces with no two being alike. The picture to the right is the actual fountain. Some of the little faces poke out of the greenery. I hope Barcelona holds treasures like this one.