"Down here at Cape Spartel is the celebrated cave of Hercules, where the hero took refuge when he was vanquished and driven out of the Tangier country. It is full of inscriptions in the dead languages, which fact makes me think Hercules could not have traveled much, else he would not have kept a journal."

-"The Innocents Abroad," Mark Twain

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Seeing Europe in 17 Days: Part 2

So, I left you last in Paris! On Monday, we had a long drive to Toulouse, where we spent the night. We did not see any more of the city than the restaurant we walked to for dinner - and even then it was hard to see. It rained so hard that we were completely soaked through both the way there and back; I was glad to have a rain jacket!

The next day we shoved all of our wet things into plastic bags and drove to Andorra, where I again did not take pictures. However, it was our first time entering into mountains, and I had not realized how much I missed them! We drove through clouds on our way to this tiny country, were we stopped long enough to eat and do a little shopping (it's inexpensive and tax free).

Last stop of the day: Barcelona! We ate, walked around the city, went to the hotel to sleep. Wednesday, we took a day trip (about ah hour's drive) to Montserrat:

Afterwards, we went down back to Barcelona, where we walked around the main harbor area and saw the famous Columbus statue:

Day 2 of Barcelona was spent, naturally, exploring the city. And the beach :) Among our activities were seeing the famous Park Guell from Gaudi (who inspired Hunderwasser, in case you didn't know) and one of our favorite (rather random) findings, a fresh fruit market! In the evening, we went as a group to see the fountain/light show in front of the grand palace (which is an art museum today).

On Friday, we loaded the buses (I'm getting tired of saying that now) and spent the night in the ancient city of Avignon, France.

The next day was our last before we entered Italy - we were headed to Monaco! It was beautiful, appeared as rich as you hear, and there were a lot of people. Probably due, at least in part, to the fact that it was the day before the Grand Prix! There were tents set up everywhere selling official goods and advertising.

In the afternoon, we were taken quickly to Grasse, France, which is considered to be the perfume capital of the world, to visit a perfume making shop (not sure what you would call that).  Needless to say, it smelled very strongly! We were giving a little bit of background - and I had not realized how complicated it is to be able to make perfumes! There are certain schools to be trained to differentiate between scents and many restrictions so that you are able to keep it up. And then we drove...

Italy: coming soon to a computer near you!

mary beth

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