Monday, July 12, 2010
We are back home after a delightful trip to 4 different cities in Spain during the temple close down for cleaning. We went to Zaragoza first. It is a medium sized city with beautiful cathedrals and historic sites. We enjoyed being with the three other missionary couples. We stayed 2 days in this city and saw an incredible castle and 2 beautiful cathedrals. We had good food to eat and a great hotel. We walked and walked and saw different people and different stores. I saw a beautiful statue in a store window that caught my attention. It was of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. At first I didn't understand what had caught my eye. As I looked at it I realized that this was the Holy Family with a different twist. Joseph was holding the baby! It was such a tender and sweet piece of porcelain. I did not buy it but I wish now that I had. We had ridden the Ave train from Madrid to Zaragoza which is the fast train that runs on a ribbon track so there are no clicking sounds...just smooth smooth! It went about 180-190 miles an hour. We next went to Barcelona on the fast train. We stayed 2 days here and were amazed at the number of people visiting this city. It was fun to see the sites and ride the skyride, the museums and the statues of Christopher Columbus were wonderful. We walked alot here as well in order to get a feel for the city. We rode the double decker tour bus for almost 5 hours. I took a little nap during the tour so I missed a few things. We visited a wonderful art museum. We next went to Valencia for 3 days and really enjoyed this city. We were there on Sunday and Bro. Skousen had his Garmin with him so we put the church address in and began walking. We arrived at church right on time after an hour walk. After church we were invited to a church member's home for dinner. She served us rabbit and chicken paella. It was delicious. She had salad, bread, drinks, nuts and fruit. She then brought out dessert. It was a dessert plate with one half peach, a piece of flan, an ice cream slice , a slice of fresh pineapple and a piece of pineapple cake. These were the same for each of us. We really needed our walk back to our hotel after this meal. She, Sis Plume, insisted that we all have a nap before we left to go back. It was a great time. We went to the Lladro factory and had a wonderful tour to see how they produce such beautiful pieces. We went on the train to Alicante and stayed right near the Mediterranean Sea. We had a great time here but didn't spend too much time at the beach because they have a few people who don't wear bathing suit tops. I did stick my toes in the Sea. We walked around and saw the parade for the Fallas which is a religious holiday. We were here 2 days then took the train home to Madrid. We had a wonderful 9 day trip. After arriving home we saw a few sites in the Madrid area such as: El Escorial..a palace, Segovia and La Granha..more castles and palaces. We saw a huge group of people making hand made lace at one location. It was fascinating. We have experienced some "tender mercies" of the Lord during the last few days but will save those for another email. We are anxious to have the temple open on Tuesday. We have 3 elders from Portugal who will receive their endowments then. We also have 12 elders and 2 sisters from the USA. We love them!!!