Sonntag, 19. Oktober 2008

Barcelona (2)

Today I visited Park Güell - another of Gaudi's masterpieces. To reach the park I took the metro to Lessepo and walked from there a bit more than a kilometer. I first walked to the calvary at the top of the park from where I had a nice view on the city.

At some distance you can see Sagrada Familia and the sea in the back.

I then explored the pathways in the park and walked by Casa Trias and the viaducts. Unfortunately, the limits of my lense showed very cleary today - I would have needed a better wide angle.

The Rosary pathway brought me to the center of the park where Gaudi built a large square with benches.

From there I walked down to the Market Place ...

and further down the staircases

to the main entrance of the park.

Samstag, 18. Oktober 2008

Barcelona (1)

After having prepared the slides for my first presentation I spent the afternoon sightseeing. I first walked from my hotel to the Sagrada Familia, which was originally designed by Antoni Gaudi. The church is Gaudi's major work and he spent the last 12 years of his life entirely on the Sagrada Familia.

The Passion facade has been devised by Gaudi to reflect the suffering of Christ (The Passion). The scenes of the Passion facade follow an "S" shape starting with the Last Supper and ending with the Burial.

This picture shows Judas kissing Jesus; the serpent on the right is a symbol of the evil. The cryptogramm on the left contains 16 numbers which can be combined in 310 ways always resulting in a sum of 33, the age of Christ when he died.

The flagellation

This picture shows the crucification of Christ (topmost scene) and Christs second falter on the Calvary path (secene at the bottom).

The interior of Sagrada Familia is not less amazing as the Passion facade.

After the visit of the Sagrada Familia I was quite hungry and looked for some nice place to have lunch.

I continued then with a visit of Casa Mila (also known as La Pedrera), which provided again great insights into Gaudi's work. The building was declared an UNESCO world heritage site in 1984. I was especially facinated by the sculptures at the roof of La Pedrera.

My sightseeing tour ended with a visit of Casa Battlo which belongs since 2005 to the UNESCO world heritage and is one more of Gaudi's masterpieces.

Montag, 29. September 2008

Day 21 - Bryce Canyon

We stood up at sunrise and walked along the North Rim of Bryce Canyon to take pictures. It was really beautiful :-).

After having removed our tent we drove into the park and stopped at the Sunset Point. We really had good light there and it just was amazing. From there we did the Navajo Loop Trail and parts of the Pikaboo Trail which both were really well worth the effort.

Afterwards we visited the remaining viewpoints in the National Park, however, none of them could compete with Sunset Point and the view we could get from our campsite. We concluded our visit of Bryce Canyon National Park by watching the park movie.

At around 1pm we started our way back to Salt Lake and stopped at Provo for shopping and had all-you-can eat buffet at Sizzler's :-).

Day 21 - Zion Canyon

In the morning we drove from Page to the Zion Canyon National Park. We entered the park via the East Enterence and took the scenic Zion Mount Carmel Highway to the Zion Canyon Visitor Center.

There we had to park our car and take the shuttle bus into the canyon. As the bus operate every 6 minutes it was quite convenient for us. We left the shuttle at several stops to do short hikes. We stopped at the Court of Patriarchs, did the Emerald Pool Trail and a very short hike to the Weeping Rocks.

We had not much luck with the weather in the park as it was cloudy most of the time and there were local thunderstorms. But still the visit of Zion National Park was well worth. However, much more time would be needed to really explore the park in detail.

In the afternoon we left the park again via the east entrance and drove to Bryce Canyon National Park. We got a really gorgeous campsite there at the North Campground right next to the North Rim of the Canyon. Havind such a well located campsite we could really enjoy the beauty of Bryce Canyon at sunset. When it got dark we made a campfire and grilled some meat and corn. It was awesome.

Sonntag, 28. September 2008

Day 20 - Grand Canyon

Today we stood up at 4:15 in order to be at the Bright Angel trailhead at sunrise. We took the first shuttle bus to the trailhead and arrived there at around 6:00. So early in the morning the temperature was still quite nice and we progressed quite quickly. It was still too dark for making nice pictures and we therefore did not make many rests on our way down. At Indian Garden which is a bit more than half the distance we filled up our camelbacks and made a short pause to eat. Hiking down the canyon we met quite some people who were already on their way up. They were either backpackers who have stayed the night at Phantom Ranch or one of the few day hikers hiking to the Colorado River and back on one day.

When we reached the Colorado River after about 13 kilometers and 2 hrs 30 we have lost about 1400 meters in elevation.

The temperature at the river was surprisingly pleasant. We ate a bit and jumped then with all our clothes into the river in order to have it less hot when hiking back.

The first part of our hike back was still in the shadow, but the temperature increased steadily and hhiking got more exhausting. It only took as 1:15 to reach Indian Garden where we filled up our camelbacks again. However, I got a bit tired from the long hike and the heat and we slowed down a bit and reached the canyon rim safely after about 2 more hours of hiking.

Bright Angel Trail - Indian Garden is where the dark green spot in the canyon is

Warning signs can be seen everywhere on the trail. On hot days around 60 hikers have to be treated with heat related problems.

After being back at the rim we got us something to eat and waited for Regina who did not join us for the hike. We then drove to Page where we stayed overnight. On our way back we stopped at several of the view points to take pictures.