Thursday, May 26, 2011

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona was the city I was most excited to see. We bought a travel book and I was amazed at the history and sights. It was portrayed to be a city of personality. We arrived Saturday morning and hailed a cab to our hotel. We settled in, freshened up, grabbed the camera and out the door we went happy that Jet lag hadn't set in!

We headed to La Rambla the most popular street. It is lined with street venders and entertainers. We walked along and found ourselves surrounded by “tourists” . We were just one more set of foreigners among the crowd. It was similar to time square. So many people squished into a small space, not very authentic being that it was very tourist-centric. It was still fun and entertaining, a good place to experience but nothing that wowed me.

We then heeded to Barri Gothic – a section of the city with great architecture. The buildings and alleys were breath taking. It’s amazing that there are so many old buildings that maintained their originality and beauty throughout the years, ancient history in the midst of everyday life.  It was very impressive.  This is where we stopped for dinner. We went to a tapas place and tried many “interesting” dishes.  Some prawns, duck and back rice . .  . Which turned out to be rice in squid ink.  Thankfully I was not aware of what black rice was before I tasted it. It had a strong flavor that was not bad but too flavorful for me to really dig in. Glad to have 
tried it but not something I’d want to order again.

We then headed to La Sagrada Familia which would be the largest Cathedral if it is ever completed. Construction began in 1882 and is still not complete. The original architect spent 4 decades working on it and left no plans to finish it but expected it to take several generations to complete

About this time it started to rain but I was determined to see “Fount Magica” a fountain that coordinates music and lights for a quite entertaining experience (youtube it!) we searched and searched and got a little lost but we got back on track as the rain got harder.  We finally located it only to not be allowed in! I’m not exactly sure why but the park was closed off and security would not let us in. Back to the hotel we went to dry out and grab some Z’s.

The next morning we woke up and thought we’d head to the ship to drop off our luggage and spend the few hours before we set sail wandering Barcelona some more . . . .but it turned out we had to trek come 50 miles pulling and pushing our luggage up over a bridge and then back down before finally making it to the ship 2 hours later . . . needless to say once we got on board we stayed put!

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