Thursday, November 22, 2012

Celia's Birthday Dinner

It was lovely to just walk downstairs to dinner. We had all had a nap or siesta after returning from the picnic with time to dress up 
Celia wore her beautiful new shirt made from kimono fabric that Sharan and Anne-Marie had given her and looked great for 60 years! 
Sharan and the hosts discussed and chose wines and we started a beautiful 5 course meal that was truly superb! A great way to end a celebratory day.
Celia in her beautiful shirt
barry and Peter and wine glasses!
a smooth thick pumpkin soup Delicious
Fish and mushrooms 

Smoked salmon
Dessert A birthday cake .Lovely crisp base 
Cheese. Actually came  before dessert

Sue and Deb

Celia's Day Picnic Lunch

We headed off in our car, following Barry et al in a red car with a luggage pod on top, easy to follow. 
A surprise was the Autumn colour on all the Grape vines, not an aspect we had considered in the time of year. Views of villages, hills and coloured vines made for a great drive and we arrived beside (admittedly it was low down and not near us )  a river and a spot with a table. 

Unpacking the pod car
Celia off getting a picture of something 
Gathered around the table. Sue in a dinky hat she had bought
Food Glorious food!

Tapenade various
Glasses for the wine 
Sharan and Bernadette
A Toast!

Celia's Day. A.M. Later

Beautiful asymmetrical cups and plates 
After  a fabulous breakfast we headed down town to the village market, to not only browse, shop or gape but to use our hunter gather skills to buy supplies for the planned picnic lunch.
Walking down to the Square
Baskets for Sale 
CHEESES!! and Ham
Hadn't realised that almost everyone but me was in a leather jacket!
The leather jacket brigade poring over the seafood displays 
Celia and Deb at coffee break (more leather Jackets)

The hills and Autumn colour
The weather was mild and not windy so we had a good stroll around, meeting for coffee mid way and then back to the cars for the drive to a  'yet to be found' picnic spot

Celia's Day AM

The day started with a late breakfast (for the hotel). I gave her the gift of the Blue Wren in our room then we joined the others for breakfast and gifts.
Oh Happy Day!!
Some gifts with an Aussie Flavour
Our great Continental breakfast French style 
Listening to the decisions behind the gifts
The japanese shirt (seen again at dinner)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Off to France

To celebrate Celia's birthday we travelled on to Nyon in France in the Drome region.
The  5 seater.
Sue organised a splendid car for us and after much cursing and laughing at the GPs (christened Kylie) we made it out of Barcelona 

We saw the Barcelona Arena on many roundings of the roundabout and learnt that if we were in a side service  lane rather than the main drag, Kylie thought we had turned. When we worked that out we had  a smoother drive and eventually hit the motorways, at times a nail biting experience.

trucks on the Motorway
We arrived in France (no border crossing or passports needed)
The trees made me think of Van Gogh (not that he was French)
and ignoring Kylie found the Hotel in the small village of Nyon.
Kylie provided us with huge entertainment with her straight Aussie accent of French street names and places. We would hoot with laughter and ask "Lets see what that one is" the classic was a long one, rue de la ?th  June 19 something.

We met up there with Sharan and Peter Burrow from Belgium, Annemarie and Barry from Melbourne,
Travelling form Barcelona were Celia, Sue and Bernadette from New York,  Deb friend of Sue's from Beaumaris (and ex Girl Guide with Celia!) and myself.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Barcelona 5. Palau de la Musica Catalan

Now this one was a surprise and thrill. A beautiful place reminiscent, to me of Mucha decorated Municipal House in Prague 
Mucha Art Nouvea artist was 'discovered' when in 1894, he happened to go into a print shop where there was a sudden and unexpected need for a new advertising poster for a play featuring Sarah Bernhardt.
Inside Municipal House Prague 
The Palau de la Música Catalana is a concert hall in Barcelona. Designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, it was built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó  Catala,  a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement that came to be known as the Renaixenca (Catalan Rebirth)
It took only 3 years to build, and in 1997, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site 
The amazing central glass light on the roof was made by Rigalt and Granell.  (Saw this on the screen for a few minutes in  film "Mirror Mirror:" an otherwise unmemorable film) 
The façade is made in red brick and decorated with mosaics from Lluís Bru.
Themes are of nature so flowers and trees. 

The Palau is located on a cramped street, the Carrer de Sant Francesc de Paula, in the section of old Barcelona known as La Ribera. It stands out there not only because it is such an exuberant building but also because the buildings that surround it are rather dull. Most of the other prominent modernista buildings, those designed by Gaudi , for example, are located in the chic 19-century extension of the city known as the Eixample
in a narrow street. Hard to get a total view 
The stage and side murals 
A ticket window 
the amazing light well 

view from balcomy

as the Guide said The 'busy patron'  St George 

Side pillar in the Foyer. the exterior is surrounded by a clear wall 

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