Monday, July 16, 2012

On the Hunt

Paris--Kenya--Spain, part two.

After a bit of searching, we found my favorite crêperie in the Latin Quarter in Paris. At least I think it was the same place. It felt like it was in the same place. And whether it was the same place or not, the crêpes were très délicieux.

Despite a slightly disappointing visit to the Rodin museum (things were not very well displayed, but perhaps they are in transition), we did manage to locate one of the sculptures that remained censored and unseen in a crate while the art museum at BYU hosted a touring Rodin exhibition about 15 years ago.

On the first day of our Masai Mara safari, one of our group dropped her camera out of the van into the tall grass while we were hanging out with some elephants. Luckily we (and by we, I mean the people who looked for it while I stayed in the van and took a picture of them) found it. Can you see the elephant in the background there? It looks further away than it was in real life.

Once one of the groups on safari spotted this lioness guarding her pride's kill (a formerly massive buffalo), it wasn't hard for our driver to track her down. She wasn't going anywhere.

Unlike the lioness, it took a while to track down this cheetah with her four cubs. We kept hearing reports of sightings over the radio, but descriptions like "she's by some rocks and a tree" weren't specific enough even for James, our seasoned driver. As soon as we found her, though, a dozen other safari vans showed up. We could tell she was getting a bit concerned, wanting to protect her cubs. It was amazing to see her, but we started to feel bad about putting her in such a spot.

We opted out of renting a GPS with our car in Spain, which was basically fine until we hit the oldest section of Seville where our pension was. Streets, nearly all one way and rarely marked, curved this way and that, often dwindling down into pedestrian paths. Maryann was a great navigator, but it was just too crazy! At one point, I spied an open parking space and pulled our little black Peugeot in so we could get out and search on foot. Turns out our pension was a mere 50 feet away and we couldn't have gotten a better parking space if we tried.

Even on foot, it was nearly impossible to find a bar the woman at the pension recommended to see a more folksy--not touristy and overproduced--flamenco show. She vaguely circled the area on our map, which turned out to be fairly unhelpful. Then everyone we asked gave us different directions. After searching and searching, we were finally rewarded with a quirky venue, extremely talented musicians, and a very stern flamenco dancer. She scared me a little bit. Loved her red shoes though.

On our last morning together in Barcelona, my sister and I headed to Park Güell, a neighborhood designed by Gaudi but never fully developed. After misreading the map and ending up at Palau Güell, which was closed because it was Monday, we figured out where we really needed to be and that we should take the metro. When we emerged from the station, there were no signs directing us to the park. I think we looked confused, because a very nice gentleman stopped to tell us how to get there. We sort of understood what he said. The long hike up the steep hill without knowing exactly where we were headed or how far it was or what we would find was absolutely worth it. See?


Jim Layton said...

So that was where Annie and Augie were in Barcelona in the episode we watched last night!

misssrobin said...

Beautiful. A safari sounds so cool. Thanks for sharing it.