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CRUISIN' FROM ROME TO BARCELONA
(Pisa, Monaco, St. Tropez, Barcelona)
As seen, the Leaning Tower was intended to be the bell tower to the church.  Its angle of deviation is 5%, a reduction from 5.5% when it was in danger of collapse about 15 years ago.  A lot of work, a lot of weight, and a lot of sweat went into saving it.  In 1173, Bonanno Pisano began construction of the first four levels; when the tilt became evident, he paused and Pisa waited to see if it would fall down.  After ninety years, it had not, so Giovanni di Simone finished it.   When he reached the seventh level,  he angled the tower back to the left as a counterbalance, and that gave it its concave form. 
Cathedral begun in 1063, just before William the Conquerer captured England; facade completed in late 18th century about the time of the American Revolution.
The Baptistry
Begun in 1153; completed in 1353
Stone is recycled throughout Italy.  Different quaries, old buildings, ruins...they are all put to work here in Pisa and elsewhere.
Courtyard of mousoleum: Notice that the column tilts slightly.  Located on the very wet, marshy soil of the Arno River plain and next to the Tyrrhenian Sea, Pisa allows everything to lean a little.
From a long city block away or up close and personal, the tower tilts, and captures wonderment from every perspective.
ST. TROPEZ.....WAAAAAAY TOO CROWDED
Looked for Brigit Bardot, who lives in St. Tropez.  Did not find her, so we left.......
MONACO
Jewelry, glitz, gambling, luxury, bling, yachts, park, quiet beauty and a really great car parked in front of the Casino Monte Carlo.  I asked this guy if it were a Bentley.  'Nooooo", he said, walking away, "Rol' Roy".  Still, it was nice to see that my brother has a car reserved for him when he is visiting the Casino.
BARCELONA, SPAIN
Barcelona is a beautiful city, and one sees this on the steps of port of entry.
Porcelain tile decorates many structures, as in Budapest.
Spanish Village : Built in 1929 for the occasion of the Barcelona International Exhibition, it represents the various provinces and architectural styles of Spain.  An architect, a builder and an historian were sent on a Grand Tour of the entire country to sketch, record and then rebuild "fronts" of the variety of Spanish building in the "streets" of the exhibition.  Within the town square, there is a beautiful outdoor cafe where we were treated to tapas and wine.  It was a nice visit up on the hills overlooking Barcelona. 
Madonna in Gothic Quarter Cathedral, Santa Eulalia
Linda and Reflecting Pool, Barcelona.
Sagrada Familia: it is being cleaned even as construction proceeds on new portions.   A magnificent structure, worth examining from every angle.
Columbus walked up these steps, entered the door where the couple stands and reported to King Ferdinand of Spain that he had discovered the route to the Indies.
The Sagrada Família was planned in the late 19th century and construction, under the supervison of Antoni Gaudí, began in the 1880s.  Gaudí worked on the project for over 40 years, devoting the last 15 years of his life solely to this work. He refused any payment for his work;   He is said to have joked, "My client [God] is not in a hurry."
Gaudí died in 1926. Parts of the unfinished building and Gaudí's models and workshop were destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. The design, as now being constructed, is based both on reconstructed versions of the lost plans and on modern adaptations. Since 1940 the architects Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig Boada, and Lluís Gari have carried on the work.  More than 2.5 million people visited the partially built basilica in 2004.
James Carville was with us all week.
Ken Venturi was  there too.
Linda relaxing in the Palm Room.
When I came up for the photo, Mary Matalin said to me: "nice haircut".  They were fun to listen to and the secret to their marriage, since she is a conservative Republican and he a liberal Democrat, is that they do not talk politics.
The Rock of Gibralter seen through the fog.
Moroccan Coast, Africa
OUR TABLE: Mary, Hank, Doug, Julie, Linda and Dick
Mary is Hank's mother (US); Doug and Julie are from Australia.  We had a great time visiting with them all throughout the trip.
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