Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Weekend Get-a-Way to Tarragona

This past weekend we had a weekend get-a-way to Tarragona, Spain.  It is about an hour drive from Barcelona.  We spent Saturday at the beach in Salou which is right outside Tarragona.  And before we headed home on Sunday we stopped in Tarragona to see a bit of the city and we visited an ancient Roman arena.

This was the best beach we have found in Spain so far!  The sand was like powder.  The other beaches we have been to have been a bit more rocky.
 The kids had so much fun playing in the sand and water.
 The water was very cold, but that didn't stop the kids from getting in.  :)
 Neal even ventured in the water with the kids.  

 This beach was nestled in a cove along the coast.
 I told Neal that the mountains in the distance made it look like we were back in Hawaii.  :)

 This is one way to keep Josiah in one place.  :)

 He broke free.

 Neal & I with the Mediterranean Sea in the background.
 This was a fountain we found in Tarragona.

 The Roman Arena.  In the past, a basilica and later a prison were built over this site.  They tore those down and excavated the arena ruins.  
It is pretty amazing to see something that was built around 2-3 A.D.!

 Miriam and Neal down on the arena floor.

 Josiah and Miriam checking out the seating area.
 The royalty/government officials would sit where the arch area is.
 This tree looked fake, but it is real.  

 These tunnels were under the arena floor.  This was sort of like a backstage area where the animals were kept & the gladiators and prisoners would be held until it was time for them to go up to the arena.
 I think this was part of the basilica that was built over the arena.
 This was a mural that they excavated on the wall.  I think it is a picture of the goddess Nemesis.
 Josiah was really interested in seeing the arena after we explained to him how gladiators used to fight here and Christians were killed here for their belief in Jesus.  

Miriam was getting hot & tired.  She didn't find it quite as interesting as the rest of us.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Easter 2016

The kids' spring break was also Easter break.  Last year we went to the Costa Brava region in Spain.  This year we traveled to Madrid on Palm Sunday weekend.  Neal has been there many times for work, but he has never had a chance to see many of the sites there.  We drove to Madrid and along the way we were able to see the variety of terrain that makes up Spain.  We saw fields and fields of blossoming olive trees.  We drove through mountainous areas and more arid type areas.  We had fun counting the number of bull billboards that they have along the highway in the countryside.  We enjoyed a full day in Madrid. And then a full day driving about an hour outside of Madrid to Segovia to see a beautiful castle and one of the few remaining Roman aqueducts.  On the way to Segovia we took the scenic route through the mountains and we saw a lot of snow.  The kids were very excited.  We had to stop at a scenic overlook to get out so the kids could touch the snow.  :)  Overall it was a fun trip!

 March 19 was Father's Day in Spain.  So we got a picture of Neal with the kids for Father's Day.
 Palace where the King & Queen of Spain live

 Guards in front of the entrance to the palace
 Area in front of the palace

 We found a playground near the palace so while the kids played, Neal & I were able to rest.  :)
 Puerta de Alcaiá
 Retiro Park

 Crystal Palace in Retiro Park
It had an exhibition of dinosaur fossils hanging from the ceiling. 
You can see in the picture above a crucifix hanging amongst the bones.  (Not sure why.)

 This was our drive through the mountains to Segovia.
Snow on the first day of spring.

Aqueduct in Segovia

 Cathedral in Segovia
 We happened to catch the beginning of a Palm Sunday processional from the cathedral that went through the plaza outside the cathedral.

 Alcázar Castle in Segovia

 This is the front of the castle.  They were doing renovations so you can't see it very well.

 Statue outside the castle
 View of the cathedral from the castle
 Cathedral in Segovia

Easter Weekend
 This was Josiah and Miriam's first time dyeing Easter eggs.  They had fun!

They only sell brown eggs here, so the dyeing process took a little longer to be able to see the colors.  They turned out beautiful!!

Family Easter picture