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Postcard -- Preston Castle on a Hill

Postcard -- Preston Castle on a Hill

 From its hill-top perch, a Romanesque Revival edifice dominates the small Amador County town of Ione. Some would say it haunts the place as well.

 Completed in 1894, the imposing red brick, sandstone and granite structure served as the main building of the Preston School of Industry until the school’s closure in 1960. It was a place we called “Reform School” in our youth–the place they threatened to send students who misbehaved in regular school.

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Postcard From The Rhone Valley

Postcard From The Rhone Valley

 

Cruising France’s Wine River

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Postcard -- Barcelona, Spain

Postcard -- Barcelona, Spain

How did we travel in Spain years ago and miss this vibrant and interesting city? We think we made up for it over the past five days spent here.

Barcelona is our first stop in a three-part European trip. We met up here with our friend and travel agent Donna, her husband Joe, and four others at the modern Olivia Balmes Hotel. Next we'll climb aboard AmaDagio river boat hotel for a week-long Rhone River wine cruise, and conclude our trip with five days hanging around Paris.

Early on we visited Antoni Gaudi's church, Sagrada Familia. He took over the construction from another architect in 1883 and continued the work until he died in 1926. An enormous project, work continues today and is scheduled to be completed on 2026—100 years after Gaudi's death. The interior is beautiful, but cranes are active on the exterior working to conclude the construction on time. Gaudi has other buildings in the Eixample neighborhood that are a must see—Casa Mila and the Block of Discord drew crowds, including us.

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     Gaudi's Church inside and outside

 

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