SPAIN | Barcelona and Bilbao
In the Footsteps of the Spanish Masters

Join Cross Cultural Journeys, the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte, North Carolina (ASC), and your host Robert Bush on an unforgettable Arts and Culture journey to Barcelona and Bilbao, with an optional extension to beautiful Zaragoza.

The North Carolina Arts & Science Council is ensuring access to an excellent, relevant, and sustainable cultural community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Region.

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Journey Dates:

April 5 - 15, 2019

$4,565 / pp (double occupancy*)
* single supplement: $990

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL UNTIL OCTOBER 15: $4,365


Extend your stay!
April 15 - 17, 2019

Add $395 / pp (double occupancy*)
* single supplement: $425

Return to Barcelona by train, and stop in beautiful Zaragoza for two nights. Train, hotel, plus one lunch and one dinner included. Free time to explore Zaragoza on your own!

Three easy steps to add the Zaragoza extension to your itinerary:

Please follow these steps:

1. Reserve your spot and pay your deposit for the whole journey online or via phone (as per below).
2. Send an email directly to CCJ President Cilla Utne at cilla@crossculturaljourneys.com. Please put “ZARAGOZA extension” in the subject line, and indicate who is in your party (i.e. single or double occupancy).
3. The cost for the extension will be added to your final invoice. Thank you!

Daily Itinerary:

BARCELONA Few European cities can offer the wide diversity of cultural experiences than Barcelona! Situated only a short distance from the shores of the Mediterranean sand beaches, and some of the best food in the country, it provides the perfect atmosphere for perfect holiday year around. Many great painters and artists worked here during some time of their lives, and their imprint is still evident throughout the city. Pablo Picasso and Jean Miró have museums dedicated to some of their more important works. There are also dozens of other museums and art galleries dotted all around the city so you'll always have plenty of art to experience whilst here.

 

DAILY ITINERARY

Friday, April 5th. Departure from your chosen US gateway city. Overnight: Plane

 

           Saturday, April 6th. Your arrival in Barcelona will be met for the transfer to our city-center hotel. After time to unpack and rest up from the overnight flight, there will be a short walking tour to introduce us to the immediate neighborhood. This evening we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel. (D) Overnight: Barcelona

 

            Sunday, April 7th. This morning we board our bus for a panoramic sightseeing tour of this vibrant and cosmopolitan city. From the Old City to the ancient harbor, from the chic commercial center - the “Eixample” - to the city’s world famous museums, this city is endlessly fascinating. We’ll pass by some of Gaudi’s greatest buildings and explore the Port Olimpic and Olympic Village, built for the 1992 Games. We’ll end with a tour of the Museu Picasso. Housed in a magnificent medieval palace, this is certainly one of the most important collections of Picasso’s work in the world, containing many of his early works painted while living in Malaga, several paintings from his Blue period, and many of his Cubist interpretations of the Old Masters. The afternoon is free to explore the Barri Gotic, its cathedral, and its medieval streets and churches. The evening is free to sample a traditional Catalonian restaurant. (B) Overnight: Barcelona

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Monday, April 8th. Today we spend on Montjuic, visiting its remarkable museums. The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya has a splendid collection of medieval paintings, Romanesque frescoes that have been painstakingly removed from village churches and restored, and some of the finest examples of Renaissance and Baroque art. A short walk brings us to the Poble Espanyol, or “Spanish Village,” which was designed for the International Exhibition and chronicles the development of Spanish vernacular achitecture. We’ll conclude at the Fundacio Joan Miro, which displays the work of Miro from 1914-1978. This evening we gather for a final dinner in a local restaurant. (B, D) Overnight: Barcelona  

Tuesday, April 9th. Leaving Barcelona this morning, our first stop is the nearby Benedictine monastery of Montserrat. This spectacular peak rises out of the surrounding Rio Llobregat valley and has long inspired poets, artists, and travelers alike. We’ll visit the abbey and have time for lunch and then continue north, up into the Pyrenees. We’ll have time to stop in Llivia and visit the 15th-century fortified church, which boasts some fine carved-wood sacred images, and the local museum to see the interior of Europe’s oldest pharmacy. We continue on through spectacular mountain scenery and across the border into France, right by the tiny mountain country of Andorra. Our destination is the fabulous Abbaye Chateau de Camon, our home for the next two nights. We’ll have time to settle in and then enjoy dinner in the abbey’s cloister dining room. (B, D) Overnight: Camon

Wednesday, April 10th. Our first stop this morning is the Chateau Maris, a vineyard specializing in the techniques of biodynamic wine production. We’ll have a tour of the facilities with the owner, Robert Eden (if available), and then taste some of the excellent results over lunch. This afternoon we will stop to admire the walled city of Carcassonne on our way to our chateau base for the rest of the tour. Even though it is a Victorian-era reproduction, Carcassonne is still impressive and we will have time to visit the Chateau Comtal, the inner residence of the Viscounts of Carcassonne. On our return to the chateau, we’ll gather for drinks on the terrace before heading out to a local restaurant. (B, L, D) Overnight: Camon

 

Thursday, April 11th. A visit today to see some of the oldest art in the world! Driving along the French side of the Pyrenees this morning, we stop at the Grotte de Niaux, a huge cave complex from the Magdelenian period, 11,000 BC, where we will see original cave paintings of bison, stags, horses and ibex. After time for lunch in nearby Montsegur, we’ll continue through the foothills of the mountains to the small town of Tarbes. Dinner is at our hotel this evening. (B, D) Overnight: Tarbes

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Friday, April 12th. We cross over the border with Spain this morning, into the province of Aragón and a descent through the Ordesa National Park with the chance of seeing Egyptian vultures, Golden eagles and Pyrenean chamois. We’ll stop for lunch along the way, perhaps in the town of Pamplona, famous for its annual bull run. Dinner is included this evening at our hotel in Bilbao. (B, D) Overnight: Bilbao

Saturday, April 13th. Today we visit the Guggenheim, probably the most talked-about museum in recent years. Ticket is valid for the entire day and after a guided tour of the museum’s highlights, we will break for lunch. This afternoon is free for individual exploration or you can visit the nearby Museu de Bellas Artes, now overshadowed by its world-famous neighbor, but with a fine collection of El Greco, Goya, Van Dyck and the Basque artists. The evening is free. (B) Overnight: Bilbao

Sunday, April 14th. This morning we take an excursion along the coast to the resort town of San Sebastián. Destroyed by fire in 1813, the town was largely rebuilt in the Belle Epoch style and has become a playground for the rich and famous with sweeping sand beaches and a reputation for the best Basque cuisine. We’ll have time for lunch and to explore the town before we return to Bilbao for free time. This evening we will have a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D) Overnight: Bilbao

Monday, April 15th. Morning transfers to Bilbao or Barcelona Airport for your returning flights to the U.S. (B) Overnight: Home

Journey Host

ASC President Robert Bush

Robert Bush is President of the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. With over 35 years of experience in local arts management, he is a nationally known leader in the local arts agency community. In his current role, he is responsible for ensuring ASC’s annual goals and long-term objectives are achieved by setting the strategy and vision for the organization, as well as the tone for an organizational culture that supports goals and strategies. In addition to serving as the chief strategic and executive officer for the organization, Bush serves as the lead representative on behalf of ASC to the broader community, as well as its various constituencies.

Prior to joining ASC, Bush served as president and CEO of the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County and Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as Director of Development with the Mint Museum of Art and as Executive Director of the Catawba County Council for the Arts. He is the author of two publications “United Arts Funds: Meeting the Challenge of Increased Private Sector Support for the Arts” and “Workplace Giving Programs for the Arts”.

A past president of the Arts North Carolina, he is a former member of both the Governing and National Policy Boards of Americans for the Arts, and the Boards of Directors of Community Building Initiative, Urban League of Central Carolinas, Indiana Assembly of Local Arts Agencies, Partners in Out-of-School Time, and The NAMES Project (the AIDS Memorial Quilt) where he served as board chair. In 1984, he received the Governor's Award for meritorious service to the citizens of North Carolina from Governor James B. Hunt and in 2011, the Legacy Award from the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. In 2014, Bush received the Salina Roberts Ottum Award from Americans for the Arts for Arts Leadership.

Journey Details

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate. This journey involves a lot of walking, both on cement and on uneven ground such as cobblestones. Concessions will be made to try and assist travelers who need more time, but some sites and locations are only accessible by foot.

NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change to take advantage of the serendipity of the moment at every turn in Spain... to meet someone special, to engage in an activity that might occur unexpectedly, or to accommodate circumstances beyond our control. Restaurants or hotels may change in similar category.

INCLUDED: 9 nights accommodation in first-class hotels (see below). All hotel taxes and service charges included. Ground transportation by private luxury motor coach as detailed in the itinerary. Daily breakfasts; 1 lunch; 7 dinners. Bi-lingual qualified tour guide as well as local guides in Barcelona and at the Picasso Museum and the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Porterage of one large suitcase per person. Entrance fees to all sites included in the itinerary. Guest speakers; one CCJ trip manager, all entrance fees on itinerary; journey preparation materials; bottled water on the bus.
NOT INCLUDED: International air travel to Barcelona; alcoholic drinks not listed; meals not on itinerary. Excursions not on the itinerary; tips for local guide and driver (optional, yet customary); travel cancellation and evacuation insurance (strongly recommended, information will be sent upon registration).

TRAVEL PROTECTION:  For more information on the available plans or to enroll, enroll here or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 47-0272. Please advise Travelex that Cross Cultural Journeys is the travel company for this trip.
 

Journey Dates:

April 5 - 15, 2019

$4,565 / pp (double occupancy*)
* single supplement: $990

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL UNTIL OCTOBER 15: $4,365


Extend your stay!
April 15 - 17, 2019
Add $395 / pp (double occupancy*)
* single supplement: $425

Return to Barcelona by train, and stop in beautiful Zaragoza for two nights. Train, hotel, plus one lunch and one dinner included. Free time to explore Zaragoza on your own!

Three easy steps to add the Zaragoza extension to your itinerary:

Please follow these steps:

1. Reserve your spot and pay your deposit for the whole journey online or via phone (as per below).
2. Send an email directly to CCJ President Cilla Utne at cilla@crossculturaljourneys.com. Please put “ZARAGOZA extension” in the subject line, and indicate who is in your party (i.e. single or double occupancy).
3. The cost for the extension will be added to your final invoice. Thank you!

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