Beautiful Barcelona

From right to left, everywhere in Barcelona is so so beautiful.
Tourism spots located literally everywhere in the city, so we took a walk a lot. Comparing taking metro or bus, walking seems better way in many cases because transportation takes time for waiting or changes. Because of this many many walking, I walked more than 34 thousands steps a day. It was my newest record.

Because they have siesta especially from 2 - 5 pm, most shops were closed. Personally, I thought it would be better to keep cafes open, so then they can get more guests I thought. However, this is Spain, just follow the lead.
While they are having siesta, it is better to go back your stay or stay inside museum or something. Therefore, I often went back to my stay. Not only because I was tired, but also wanted to draw there. My stay in Barcelona was so so pretty. 





4th Visit City Barcelona

Once upon a time, I read about Sagrada Familia in my school textbook (I guess it was Geography).

Since then, I had been dreaming going to visit Barcelona one day. Finally, this dream came true with 2 hours flight from Porto.

One of the things I was excited about Barcelona was to see my friend there. Actually, he is my brother's friend who I haven't really talked before. Now he lives in Paris and because we both are interested in the city, we decided to see each other in Barcelona.

"Let's meet up at 1:30 p.m. in front of Sagrada Familia"
I was kind of worried if such a lazy promise would work, but several minutes later, he showed up!!
We met each other on the other side of planet from Japan.

I think Sagrada Familia is most know for the fact that is still unbuilt or outside appearance.
Most people are not sure how the inside look like, so as I. I was totally excited how beautiful it would be...With the audio guide explanation, I get inside...

It was literally breathtaking beautiful. Inside, there were lots of stained grasses sending out warm sunlight, magnificent ivory pillars, walls and ceiling. Stained grasses were arranged as a gradation from warm to cold colors, left to right so they change their colors depending on how the light coming in. How romantic.

Gaudi knew that it was not going to finish building while he was alive, so he left so many materials and  data so people can keep working on this project after he passed away. According to these materials, everything such as numbers of pillars, distance of corridor or numbers of decorations has meaning based on Christianity. I was totally surprised. Even if you don't know much about religion or architect, I am sure this marvelously beautiful church is worth visiting.









Days in Porto

After the event was finished, Porto seems quiet to me. 
It was a little bit sad for me but my trip is still keep going. I had 2 days more in Porto. 

Fortunately, I met 3 Japanese people in this city. Surprisingly one of them is from the university I went. Spending more time with them or my own drawing, my Porto days were about to finished...




Urban Sketchers Last Day

With all the luck I mentioned before, I could've join the sketch walk next day. The organizers were even more friendly. When I said this was my first time, they immediately introduce me to the members so I won't be totally alone.

Sketch walk took us to the top of the hill from Alfandega. We sketched the beautiful view there.
It was simply interesting thing to see different types of sketches at any levels from just hobbies to professionals.
Additionally, I always love to have conversation with people from all over the world, so it was really really great experience for me. I even thought I might never talked with someone during this trip because I traveled alone.

That day starts with the sketch walking, sketch meeting and final memorial photo shot. ID pass was necessary except free events. I was not sure how many events I can join without pass. I tried to stay with them as long as I can.
We draw up on the hill during daytime and near the city hall in the afternoon.
In the end, USK Porto finished with the memorial photo in front of city hall.

Even thought I couldn't get in to the final auction event (because I didn't have pass),  I was really really happy to be able to get involved such a great event. My Porto visiting become more and more unforgettable memory.






3rd Visit City Porto and Urban Sketchers

I decided to visit Porto because I heard it's the second largest city in Portugal. Actually there was no other reason at that time, but visiting Porto was the one of the greatest decision I made ever in my life. Here is the story about me and what happened in Porto.

On the train from Lisbon to Aveiro, I was drawing.
Later, the lady came to me and asked "are you an urban sketcher?" I couldn't understand what she means and asked her what it is... She looked a bit surprised and excited, started talking about this group.
Urban Sketchers is worldwide nonprofit organization with bunch of sketchers from all over the world. Usually they have sketch meeting in each country, but once a year they have this huge sketch event with symposiums or workshops in somewhere in this world. In 2018, Porto was the chosen place for this event.
She told me 800 sketchers got together here in Porto, so if you go there, you must come.
I've never know neither this event nor this group, but surprisingly I was supposed join some kind of drawing activities in Porto, that's why I decided to stay there a bit longer.
What a coincidence! I felt so lucky and promised her to visit them soon.

Even though the transportation in Portugal was very easy, I always have some problems for the very first time. Now I am sure I looked being in trouble at that time, a gentleman came to help me to use the train ticket. He kindly get off at the same station as me and showed around the city so I won't get lost although his destination was not there and his meeting was already started.
I really do appreciate what he did for me. Trip to Porto becomes already such amazing thing.
As I heard on the train, there were full of sketchers in Porto. It was super easy for me to get more information because everybody was so so kind and welcome. And everybody liked the story how I get to know this event.

I went back to the place where I found a lot of people drawing. It was actually the place where workshop by James Richcards was held. I spend time drawing nearby them and soon... surprisingly... I found her!

Neither of us were actually didn't expected to see each other so we were totally excited! Even more surprising, she and my friend (we become friends because I draw her before) introduce me to James. He introduced me to the workshop members.
That's how I got this cool Urban Sketchers Stamp!!









2nd Visit City Aveiro

Very very small town, Aveiro. I didn't want this trip to be busy because of moving a lot, I stayed at least 2 days in each cities. In Aveiro, I felt too relaxed makes me feel even 2 days were a bit too long to stay this city. Because it was so so cold to me, I put all my cloth on while I went sketching outside.  (It seems I'm the only one wearing a lot of clothes on though.)



Aveiro - Agueda Umbrella Sky Project

After saying good bye to wonderful Lisbon, I start traveling to my next destination, Aveiro. It is the port town located in the middle coast side of Portugal. The main reason to visit here was to go to see the super photogenic event, Umbrella Sky Project held in 40 mins away by train from there.

I was a bit nervous to take long distance train trip at first, but since I've been trained in crazy Tokyo transportation, it wasn't confusing at all I realized. CP took me Aveiro clearly safely.

Next day, I went to Agueda. I bought a train ticket at ticket window and waited at platform... then, the train fully covered by dirty spray doodle came. I again got totally nervous to take this insecure looking thing but it actually was OK, there's nothing to scare.
After about 10 mins from the station, I found the event.

(As for as I know, Portugal was not that hot but) I heard they started this umbrella event to avoid the summer hotness or town development. It was such a beautiful event with hundreds of umbrellas displayed up in the sky instead of arcade. The contrast with these umbrellas and traditional Portugal landscape was so colorful and breathtaking beautiful.
During my lunch with real espresso, I tried to seize the moment by drawing.

楽しかったリスボン生活に別れを告げ、次の目的地アヴェイロへ。アヴェイロはポルトガル中部に位置する小さな港町。そしてこの街に訪れる一番の目的は、そこ電車で40分くらいのところにあるアゲダにて行われているUmbrella Sky Projectというフォトジェニックなお祭りを見に行くためだ。





FIFA World Cup Final Game

It was the day for the final game of FIFA world cup, France VS Croatia. I am not a big fan of it but  found the public TV surrounded by a lot of people. I was just so interested in how people react for goals, so I decided to stay ther to draw people watching the game.

Later, a little girls came to me. She was first looking at me drawing, so I asked her if she wants to draw by giving her my brush. Then, her younger sister joined us. Obviously, they got bored of watching the game. Instead, we had a lot of fun drawing together:)




Botanical Garden in Lisbon

One day, I spent long time drawing plants at Jardim Botanico da Universidade de Lisboa.
There were so many plants I've never seen, all of them were so so beautiful even if it was heavily rainy at the end.



The View from the window

Only except thousand of pigeons in public and street spray doodle, everywhere in Lisbon is so so pretty. The beautiful contrast of traditional stone paving and colorful tile wall makes me feel excited al the time. Traditional things in Japan usually tend to have simple and quiet colors such as gray, but here everything is colorful. I really enjoyed the difference between countries.

It was already dramatically beautiful during the daytime, so I was wondering how lovely it would be when it's night or early morning...
I tried to capture the moment by drawing with Goache which I am not good at.




Tourism Spots

From about 40 mins by bus from Lisbon, there's a national heritage named Mosteiro dos Jeromimos.
It is a huge old building with the church standing nearby the sea. One of most surprising things I knew is the reason why they build this... they build this to commemorate the great achievement of Age of Discovery. I've visited world's famous churches before but I think this one was quite huge and  magestic.

later, I visited the Tower of Belem. "Even if you have a ticket, you gonna have to wait here on this line" I heard, so I waited for about an hour... I kind of found the sign says "online ticket holder,
Yes, I didn't have to wait at all...which I should've check before.
I said to myself, it was OK because could've spent time on drawing even thought it was freaking cold!