Sunday, January 31, 2016

Stop Holding My Breath

So much for the end of year - again. You'd think that I'd have lots to post about, since I'm a fan of sending holiday cards, but this year was, in the words of my grandmother, a "clutter-f".

I sent far fewer cards this year, in part because I took a trip in the middle of the month. I spent 5 days in Barcelona, a city I'd visited before, to watch the Grand Prix Final of figure skating. Yes, I traveled to Europe for less than a week to sit in an ice rink. That's what I do. I did get some exploring done, however, and I was so proud of myself for writing and mailing postcards while I was there. I made sure that the stamps I got were for international mailing, and consulted my travel book (and the maintenance guy at my hostel) to find a proper post box. I was already envisioning the post I would write once they were received.

Well, it's been 6 weeks, and I'm ready to admit defeat. No one has received any postcards from me from Spain, despite my best efforts. I was holding on to the outside hope that mail from Europe is just sloooooow, but I'm pretty sure the postcards from Beijing only took about 2 weeks. Sigh.

Here are the postcards that people would have received, had any arrived in the US:

This is the pier at the end of La Rambla, a bustling tourist destination. In 2011, I stayed in this area (mistake!), and spent way too much time in the mall on water in the modern photo, because they had free wifi and very few other places did. I was relieved to find that wifi is now plentiful in Barcelona. The smaller tower in the back is the start of a cable car up to the Parc de Montjuïc.

Posing the postcard on my Barcelona travel guide is a nice touch, no?

Another sight that I visited in 2011 but not on this trip - Antoni Gaudí's beautiful Parc Güell. If only all urban public spaces were so gorgeously designed!

This is more indicative of December's trip. I spent quite a lot of time in the Barri Gòtic, Barcelona's old quarter. This warren of curved streets, old buildings and interesting shops is a wonderful place to get lost. I have a pretty good sense of direction, and I always end up turned completely around here. A word to the wise: if you see something interesting, stop and look at it right then and there, because the chances you'll find it again later are slim. 

I found myself on this street several times and kept trying to get a good shot of this bridge - always too crowded or too dark for my sad little camera to do it justice. I was glad to find a postcard of it. 

Also nestled into the Barri Gòtic is La Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia, or La Catedral. Not shown: the Christmas market in the plaza out front that was teeming with Barceloní and tourists alike. The markets, which popped up all over the city, were the highlight of my visit.

Yet another lament about my lost mail - check out these cool Gaudí stamps!

Not that I'm bitter or anything...

HEY! It's the last day of January, which means that the annual Month of Letters challenge starts tomorrow! It may seem like I've been slacking, but I'm well stocked up on postcards and stamps and ready to go! As always, if you want a postcard, let me know!

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