foreign travel

Paris and Barcelona with Grandsons – July, 2018

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Paris Oscar Eiffel Tower

Graduate Oscar on first trip to France and Spain

My oldest grandson Oscar graduated from high school and will be going to university in September 2018 to study music and finance. I thought he might like a trip to Europe as a kind of graduation present (with his parents helping some with the cost), so off we went, Oscar, my second oldest grandson Andrew (to keep Oscar company) and me, grandpa.

I’ll make a few comments about traveling with teens, then I will tell the rest mostly with pictures.

Travel with teens:

  1. they might not like what you think, so be flexible
    • I took them to lovely/spooky Pere Lachaise cemetery and we got lost looking for Jim Morrison’s grave and once we’d found it, all they could think to say was: “we’re thirsty” and “we’re hungry” and “why are there panties on his grave?”)
  2. they like to eat a lot / they like to eat often (find a decent not expensive restaurant and eat lunch and dinner there every day if that’s what makes them happy!)
  3. they like to sleep late (“It’s a vacation, we’re supposed to sleep til noon”)
  4. they like movies

So my brief advice is to be flexible and maybe see less than you wanted to each day, maybe just one special place a day. They’ll like that better and remember each place you visited better. For example we slept late one day and and went to the marvelous Musee D’Orsay an entire afternoon – they could really appreciate these paintings. Another afternoon we visited the Picasso Museum (nice, no crowds, but interest in him seems to be dying).

And don’t forget teens like movies! It was especially hot in Paris, so we saw 3 movies in the afternoons to beat the heat:

  1. The Shop around the Corner (1930 with Jimmy Stewart) – they loved it!
  2. Jurassic World (in French, no subtitles) – they liked it
  3. Bagdad Cafe (30th anniversary showing with hit song from 1989 – ‘I am Calling You’) – they liked it, though the ending drags

Now on to the Paris pictures:

Paris Oscar Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral – 1,000 years old

Paris us BW Selfie

Selfie in front of Notre Dame – I made it black and white just to be different. Andrew said we’re all squinting because looking into the sun.

Paris Notre Dame stained glass

Stained glass windows inside Notre Dame Cathedral

Paris Andrew tall as Eiffel Tower

Andrew grew into a giant taller than the Eiffel Tower thanks to Oscar’s expert picture taking!

Paris Galerie Lafayette interior

Impressive store in Paris – Galleries Lafayette

Paris Pere Lachaise cemetery

Pere Lachaise cemetery

Paris Pere Lachaise cemetery (2)

Great quiet place in Paris to walk if you don’t mind the tombs

Paris Pere La Chaise Cemetery

Where is Jim Morrison’s grave? This cemetery is huge!

Paris Jim Morrison of Doors

Finally found it – the grave of Jim Morrison of the 1960’s group called The Doors (Light my Fire). He died in Paris in 1971 at the age of 27. Note the panties left by some fan.

Paris boys at Saint Michael Fountain

At the Saint Michel Fountain, in the latin quarter of Paris

Paris best croissant bakery

Sign says best croissant in Paris. I tried one and they are wrong – the best croissant in the world!

Paris Andrew view from Sacre C

View from Sacre Coeur Cathedral, Paris

Paris Andrew in God's hand

Grandson Andrew in the giant’s hand, Saint Eustache Cathedral, Paris

Paris 14th of July Eiffel Tower Fireworks

Fireworks at Eiffel Tower on July 14 (France Independence day) – taken from a park some distance away because of huge crowds celebrating in Paris – I like it though as it reminds me of the impressionist paintings in the Musee D’Orsay


Now the Barcelona pictures:

Bullet train

We took the bullet train from Paris to Barcelona and back. Six and a half relaxing hours each way. First class has reclining seats. Oscar dabbles in Forex trading and wants to establish passive income to supplement his music teacher income once he graduates from college. Andrew wants to be an architect.

Barcelona Gaudi Park

Park designed by Gaudi. (Andrew liked it since he is into architecture – I was not overly impressed.)

Andrew and Oscar 2018 Barcelona

Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Andrew’s braces are bothering him as you can tell from this picture.

Barcelona F.S.Towers w balls

Funny toppings on the towers

Barcelona F.S.

From this position it looks like its melting. They’ve been working on it for a hundred years and will probably be at it for another hundred

Barcelona F.S. windows

Stained glass inside the Cathedral

Barcelona F.S. interior

Inside the Cathedral

Barcelona F.S. Spiral stairway

Winding staircase down from the tower tour

Barcelona F.S. entrance

Entrance to Gaudi’s S.F. Cathederal

Barcelona beach

Beach at Barcelona. Water was clear and cool, but there were some jelly fish (which they call medusa). Optionally topless beach means culture shock for Americans.

Barcelona beach Andrew and Oscar

Right where the water meets the sandy edge, we collected smooth colored glass and clear and opaque jellybean quartz.

Found the French and the Spaniards to be nice enough, and their countries interesting.

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