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Out with Reading History Books and in with Traveling to History  
By Dian Thomas

For me reading is and has always been a challenge. I can remember when I was about seven, I was out feeding my pet lamb a bottle of warm milk. I loved watching my baby lamb as she eagerly drank the warm milk I prepared for her out of the small rubber nipple on the bottle. Bubbles of milk were popping everywhere as she drank the milk. Then I heard my mother calling me to come in and read a book about Dick and Jane. I could not imagine going in the house to read, "Run Dick run, run, run. Run Jane run, run, run.” That was about the most boring thing that I could imagine. Do I need to tell you which one won? That is right--feeding the baby lamb.

For me what I have learned is that I seem to be able to take in information at the speed of light when I am out experiencing it. Reading for me is like the slow trickle method. I remember when I was growing up my brothers would say, "She can write reading, but she can't read writing." It wasn't that I couldn't read it; it was just the slow way for me to take in information and retain it.

This week I am learning the way I like to by traveling. Today, I am on one of my dream trips. In less that 24 hours I covered the same ground that the Mormon pioneers did when they crossed the plains, and I also crossed the Atlantic, same as Columbus did, all in less than 24 hours. What took them months to do and lot of challenging days without the help of modern inventions, I sat back and rested while I covered the same ground in just hours.

After my relaxing journey, I ended up where Columbus did at the end of his journey when he went back to report to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in Barcelona, Spain that he had discovered a new land. This information came into my brain in the "speed of light" and I think that this time it will stay there.

Barcelona


Beautiful streets of Barcelona


Statue of Columbus


Where Columbus went to report to King and Queen

When you travel you not only see the events of history, but you also see and learn about the amazing people that have come since the events. One of those people was Antoni Gaudi, an architect I will not forget. He made his mark on the city of Barcelona in many ways, but the one that stands out most is the church called Sagrado Familia. The Church is still in construction and will be for years. It was a project he started in the late 1800's, and it has been in construction ever since. People line up to see this amazing and unusual building, while cranes are busy moving material and constructing more on the building.


Sanrado Familia Church

If you have ever used the word "that is gaudy". It came from this man Gaudi of Spain because his works which are amazing but really "gaudy."

Barcelona has a climate much the same as Southern California . I loved seeing the streets lined with palms. Just as you find the Pacific Ocean lining California the Mediterranean Sea borders one side of Barcelona.


City Streets lined with Palms

Like many cities in Europe, the Romans were here. They left their mark which can still be seen by the Roman arches and columns in the old city.


Roman Arches


Roman Columns in Old City

Barcelona today is a busy city with people using every means on transportation that you can imagine. The two that caught my eye were all the motor bikes which seem to line every street down town. When I learned that gas today is about $6.00 a gallon, I could see why motor bikes were everywhere.


Rental bikes on the street

As we drove though the city we keep coming upon stands of white and red bikes. I finally asked the guide what that was about. He said that residents of the city can pay a fee of about $35.00 a year and then they have a card which will let them use a bike for 30 minutes. When they are finished, they just put it in another stand, which are found all over the city. You can find about 200 locations throughout the city. Then there are a couple of trucks that drive though the city shifting the bikes so one location does not get an overload. What a great idea.

For the next two weeks I will be traveling as the leader of a cruise.. I have a group of 20 and we will be both taking in the old and the new as fast as we can as we board the cruise ship this afternoon and leave for Provence and Nice, France; Florence, Rome; and Naples Italy, then on to Malta and Tunis which is in North Africa.

Please come back as I will share the old and new as I adventure along the Mediterranean taking in experiences at the speed of light.

 

   
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