We hate Pop Up’s too, can you help us get rid of it!?

Our project is established but our site is new and although we have weddings specialists in over 60 countries it’s going to take time to get everyone on the ship. If you can’t find exactly what you want please get in touch and if you are an awesome wedding specialist or you know people you want to recommend let us know.

My attack of touristitis!

Notice: Undefined variable: path in /home/peopleli/public_html/wp-content/themes/2people1life/single.php on line 21

9th – 13th June 2013

The following morning we woke up outside the camp site and moved into camp until it was time to collect our visitors!

My Mum and Aunt were coming to road-trip with us for a week! We had so much planned, a true cultural diversion from real life with a 850 km road trip and a lot of camp bungalows.

We envisioned a visit to the perpetually growing Sagrada Familia  and the famous lizard adorned Gaudi gardens in Barcelona. Followed by a day on the beach and before leaving Spain for France, a few surreal visits to several galleries and the home of famously odd artist Salvador Dali. Of course we would have to drag them along to a fabulously French wedding in Provence too.

Family arrival Imminent

We tidied up Peggy,made sure we had plenty of milk for the (Yorkshire) tea-fest that was about to begin and once ready, went to set off to the airport…and, Peggy wouldn’t start! She had a flat battery!

In true Peggy style she had waited until we had a deadline to have a day off. We checked the battery, found that the water level was low, topped it up from the tap and hoped for the best. A friendly camping neighbour gave us a jump start and we raced to the airport and arrived only 10 minutes or so late to find Mum and Shirley in a spot of sunshine outside the airport already in holiday mode!

Time for tea!

We were so happy to see them! It seemed to have been a long 5 months since we had been back in England with them. We considered telling them of our plans and then decided we would let them settle in first!
We had found a camp site with small bungalows for rent by the beach outside of Valencia and went and checked in.

The bungalows had 2 bedrooms, a small kitchen and an outside area with table and chairs. We lent them our spare bedding and we had everything we needed. We moved in quite quickly, had a bite to eat and went to collect Alejandro who was coming to do a spot more filming and to join us for dinner.

Got to love a market!

While Alejandro got the shots he needed Mum and Shirley went exploring and in true ‘my family’ style happened upon a nudist beach. Being thoroughly British and both of them not with 100% of their vision it took them a while to realise and after a lot of squinting at the unsuspecting bathers decided to head back quickly before they were asked to strip!

The filming was soon done and we all relaxed and shared a bottle of wine or two and talked the night away. It was such a lovely first night of Mum and Shirleys holiday and we hoped they were going to have a good time seeing how we lived on the road…and of course fitting in all of our activities! They were likely to need a holiday to get over this break!


Our action packed plans included a couple of days driving and we set off after bacon butties the following morning and covered the bulk of the journey, 220 km to Barcelona.

We stopped at the waters edge in a quiet little village and lunched on salad and arrived in Barcelona that afternoon. We found camping, moved in and relaxed for the evening. The next day the sightseeing regime began!

A few years before, Mum, Shirley and I had visited Barcelona on holiday but had not had the chance to visit the few tourist spots we all really wanted to see.
The Sagrada Familia has always amazed me, I have seen it several times over the last 12 years and have been amazed at its progress but have never been inside!

Barceloooooonaaaa!I was not visiting again without going in this time!

We wandered La Ramblas, watched the human statues disguised as varying famous movie characters, we bustled through the beautifully stocked food market munching on freshly cubed coconut, soaked up some sun on the marina and sipped amazing starbucks coffee overlooking the water on the futuristic pier.

La Sagrada Familia

We jumped on the underground (making it look ever-so-easy) to get to the cathedral and on arrival gaped in awe at the seemingly melting structure known as the Nativity facade. I was amazed again at how much had changed in the last 6 years and then we joined the long snaking queue to venture into the incredible Passion Facade depicting the passion of Christ; the pain, the sacrifice and the death, as staged along the twelve stations of the cross, expressed in highly dramatic and emotionally intense sculpture groups.

The façade faces west and therefore receives the last rays of the sun before night falls. That arrangement heightens the symbolic effect of darkness and shadows that haunted the architect.

The Passion facade

The project Sagrada Familia began in 1882, the original architect commissioning Antoni Gaudi just one year later and him working on it until his untimely death in a tram accident in 1926.  For the last 87 years the controversial building has been continued by different architects, apparently from the original ideas. The completely expiatory church (which means that from the outset the church has been built from donations) has caused all kinds of arguments with regards to whether the architects are staying true to Gaudi’s original plans…most of which were burned in the fire during the Spanish Civil war in 1936!

As we flowed around the outside of the building I pointed out the strange creatures scaling the almost liquid walls, Snakes, frogs, snails and Gaudis’ beloved lizards climb the spires of shattered colours created by mosaic. We finally were granted entrance at the Passion Facade and followed the numbered signs helping us understand the meanings behind the entrances and the structure of the ever impressive building.

INcredible lightCrazy patterns......just mind blowing

We entered through the huge rib like structure with several stone Jesus’ watching us from varying stages of his crucifixion and lastly overlooking the door from the lofty heavenly heights. Once inside I was gob-smacked and overwhelmed with emotion as I saw the perfectly considered light flooding through the stained glass windows. Gaudi planned the position of the windows with painstaking perfection. He knew exactly how he wanted the light to fall within the cathedral and the result was just beyond words.

We wandered the sections of the church and tried to take it all in at once. The tree like structures that hold up the incredible domed ceiling, the altar, the light! Gaudí himself said: “Glory is light, light gives joy and joy is the happiness of the spirit”. His inspiration for the Glory façade; which when completed will face south so that the sun will beat down on it for most of the day, “in harmony with its significance: the exaltation of its strong life and joyous spirit.” …and of course to feed his obsession with the symbology of light!

Cafe with a view!

We spent so long wandering the interior and the very thorough museum dedicated to explaining the building process that we were too exhausted to visit the gardens as (not so strictly) planned on the same day.

Once our necks, feet and eyes ached we left the cathedral and sat at a street cafe as the enormous towers loomed over us and rested our aching bodies for a while before embarking on the adventure of finding our bus back to the campsite.

Restored with coffee and greasy french fries and a small mountain of olives, we got back on the underground, walked the thousand miles back across the city, taking the back streets and picking up some shopping for dinner on route. We finally got back on the bus. We all sat in silence staring out of the windows thoroughly worn out.
The walk back from the bus stop included jumping a fence and crossing the motorway, and as much as it was the kind of adventure that finds us on a daily basis Mum and Shirley found it hilarious while we just shrugged and got on with it!

The adventurers return!

We slumped into our garden chairs, put the kettle (actually a pan) on for the much needed cups of Yorkshire tea and spent the evening planning our next adventure! There is one thing I can say for my Mum and Aunty, they are game for pretty much everything I throw at them!

We visited the Gaudi gardens and walked another several thousand miles the next morning and then put our feet up as Alex drove us to Figueras for our next eagerly anticipated tourist stop.

That man on the left is not with us lol!Amazing Gaudi GardensMore Gaudi...and my mum testing the furniture!Look through the circle and you can see the Sagrada familia

15 years ago we had come on a family holiday to a nearby beach and had taken the bus to this small town for myself and my cousin to visit The Dalí Theatre-Museum, “the largest surrealistic object in the world, which occupies the building of the former Municipal Theatre, a 19th century construction which was destroyed at the end of the Spanish Civil War. On its ruins, Dalí decided to create his museum.”

We had loved it all those years ago and I had already returned once again prior to this trip and I was excited to share it with Alex. I was so inspired by the Surrealist movement that it influenced my whole further education, leading to my degree in Illustration.

Perfect Parking for Peggy!

We pulled up outside the smooth terracotta coloured building peppered with clusters of yellow stone shapes all perfectly matched and spaced. Huge golden eggs adorn the enormous glass dome on the roof and several figures salute all that glance skywards.

We parked opposite the exit and filed out of Peggy in a hurry to get inside, we were close to the time of the last entry we had taken so long in the maze that is Gaudi’s gardens.

A snap shot of the visit!More where that came from!...yep...and more!

We of course arrived at the same time as a bus full of OAP tourists who all huddled in the entrance flapping and clucking about trying to organise themselves. We split up and managed to squeeze past them and get in just in time. Mum and Shirley seemed to go one way and Alex another so I just wandered around by myself and enjoyed the exhibits in my own time.

I spent 5 years of my student life studying Dali and the surrealist movement and love to be completely absorbed in the strange symbolisitic dream world that is the Dali museum. I once again soaked up every exhibit, enjoying seeing the paintings that inspired my own art work in ‘real life’. Seeing the texture of the paint that photographs and books just cant capture. The colours still so fresh and luscious I wanted to reach out and feel them on my fingers.
I avoided the crowds so that I could be alone with the ‘Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a second before awakening’ and peeped through holes that everyone else seemed to rush past, therefore missing an insight into the world behind Marylins portrait made up of a couch and a few home appliances. I loitered too long and drew a crowd at the lobster telephone, all seemingly wondering what I was looking at so intently, not quite understanding the meaning of the ants, the crutches and, well, the lobster!

The famous home of Dali!

I found Alex back in Peggy and he hadn’t really enjoyed it at all but Mum and Shirley were the last out of the doors as they were locked and bolted for the night. They had a great time, Shirley hadn’t come in with us all those years ago and was happy we had returned and that she had the opportunity to see it.

Next on the list was another tick off my own selfish bucket list. I realise that I had dragged my poor Mother and her sister around all of the things I wanted to see…but one thing you MUST understand about them is that it is just easier to TELL them what they are doing than to give them a choice…we would still be deciding now if I had given them an option, so they were happily dragged AND, for once, there were things that I really wanted to see and I had someone to enjoy them with, Alex is NOT a fan of museums and galleries and as much as he does come along under duress its not fair to make him do it all the time! SO…I digress…back to the bucket list…I had made an appointment to visit Salvador Dalis house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE the tree in the boat!

A short explanation is that the house overlooks the Cadaques coastline that features in MOST of Dali’s paintings AND of course it is the home of one of the masters of Surrealism…it was NOT going to be any old normal house! Features include a penis shaped swimming pool, a cricket cage and a 20 foot man laid in the garden made of rusted buckets and old garden tools!

We left Alex in Peggy (as per his wishes) and hiked down the steep hill to the famous abode. We arrived the recommended hour early to collect our tickets, handed in our handbags and armed ourselves with our cameras. The water lapped serenely as we waited and the sun dial slowly edged to the time of our appointment.

The studio...where the magic happened!

Our group of 8 of course included the only screaming baby that ever cared about visiting Dali’s house and as we all piled into the small first room, accidentally setting of alarmed barriers I began to wonder if this was in fact a good idea. Our tour guide explained that we will be allocated 8 minutes in each room and once those 8 minutes are up, another door will be opened and we will be allowed to pass through to the next section of the house. It all seemed a military process but as we were marched into the next room I could see why. The house was a maze and had no particular order to it, it would have been impossible to visit the home any other way.

Such a famous view!Eggs anyone?

I wont bore you with everything about the house but it was just amazing. The studio had a HUGE rolling canvas frame so that Dali could always work seated as he preferred. Partly finished paintings littered canvases on every surface and Gala (Dali’s beloved wife) peered at us from every corner of every room. A mirror had been built into the wall in the bedroom so that Dali and Gala could enjoy the sunrise from their bed while listening to the caged canaries and crickets singing away. It was more than I could have ever imagined and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

All perfect against the stunning blue Spanish sky!

Afterwards we collected our belongings and more slowly than on the way down, made our way back up the steep hill. We made more time to enjoy the scenery/catch out breath in the seemingly insanely hot afternoon sun.

When we got back to the van exhausted and sweaty, Alex had made us lunch and we enjoyed it under the shade of a huge tree before setting off to find somewhere to camp after yet another eventful day!

That night we ate out at a restaurant and I even let everyone have the next day off, we all needed a rest and we had YET another HUGE wedding adventure coming up!

Quirky is key!

leave a comment

Please complete the CAPTCHA
Awesome Free Ebook Here!