France, Spain, Egypt, Jordan and UAE 2013
This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.
May 6, 2013
05.05.2013 - 06.05.2013
May 6, 2013
I think Mark left out a couple of things yesterday. After Carlos and Cathy left us, we went for a stroll down Las Ramblas. It was really busy—apparently Sunday is normally a 'closed' day for businesses, but the markets etc were open for business because of the tourists. We took a walk down to our Carrefour Express to make our important purchases, but,since it was/is a 'big' store, not just a local vendor, it was closed (as we had expected from what Cathy and Carlos told us.) Too bad......Anyway, Las Ramblas was very busy and full of tourists. When we were here two years ago, about 1 week earlier in timing, it was definitely much less busy. I think we may have arrived late on a Sunday night and done our shopping early on Monday, so perhaps we did not see the hoards that were there. The weather was definitely worse in Barcelona 2 years ago.
Anyway, we did the shopping that we needed to do here...more expensive than last time since we had to shop at little stops here in a tourist area, but less expensive than buying on the ship....
So, I don't think Mark mentioned dinner, either. We decided to go to the restaurant that Cathy recommended, which was, she said, Catalan dining ( Barcelona is in Cataluna state—I can't remember the spelling). We had to wait to get in, but only about 10 minutes. We both ordered black noodles and squid for a starter, and it came in a pan for two. DEELISHUS. We also ordered chicken and rabbit paella....we were not so impressed with this dish. I don't think it had any rabbit in it, to be honest. And dinner came with dessert choice (EU $13.80 ea) so we both chose Catalan pudding, which was very much like creme brulee. It was very good. Then back to our interesting apartment. As Mark said, he fell asleep watching TV, I went up to the bed in the 'loft' .
Monday, March 6, 2013
Today, we had some choices of what to do. We had to be out of the apartment between 11:00-11:30 so the maid could come in and clean, and we had to pack up our suitcases and vacate the premises no later than 1:00. I REALLY wanted to see la Sagrada Familia. I wanted to see it last time we were here and we didn't have time,so I didn't want to let this opportunity go by. Sometimes one needs to stand one's ground. |SO, even though we did (again) sleep in longer than intended, we got out of the apartment close to 11:00 a.m. We went to the subway terminal which was close by, purchased our 4 tickets (return trip, EU 2 ea ticket) to go to la Sagrada Familia. It was about a 16 minute subway ride. We got out and were RIGHT THERE. Loads of people standing in line to get tickets to view the interior, which we didn't care about. We simply walked around the block and took pictures. The side we got out at was being worked on and seemed more modern (that is the side from which I posted a picture). As we walked to the other side of the block (180°) we got to the face of the Cathedral that you see in most published pictures....Cathy and Carlos suggested that the cathedral may continue to be worked on for a long time since it is funded by donation, and the fact that it is not finished keeps it in the eye of the public...
Anyway, we did that. I was somewhat disappointed by the first facade I saw, but when we got to the other side I was impressed. We took the subway back to our apartment (our excursion took only 1.5 hours total, with 1/2 hour to view SF) and waited a few minutes until Cathy and Carlos came to pick up us and our luggage to take us to the ship.
The Barcelona subway is 10x nicer than that in Paris.
We got to the ship without incident. It took us 1.5 hours to get through the queue to board, but by the time we reached our room, it was ready for us. We had kept one piece of luggage with us so that we had some clothes to change into, so we made that change. We had also bought some orange juice and pop to bring on with us and that was in this suitcase. Despite Mark's misgivings and dire predictions, no one even batted an eye at what we brought on to the ship.
We roamed the ship just a little bit and were back to our room as we were anxious to get the other 3 pieces of our luggage. They arrived one piece at a time, but were all in our room by the time we were to go for dinner with Val and Troi at 6:00 p.m. I had all but the last suitcase packed away before dinner. We opted for the “My Time” dining on this cruise, which is a more traditional cruise having the early and late dinner sittings. We thought it might be similar to Norwegian's Freestyle dining. Not quite. Of the 3 main dining rooms, one is specifically set for the My Time dining. You can eat when you like, however they close at 8:30, and you are allowed to dine in only the one dining room out of the three. We don't like restrictions, so we don't like this arrangement, however it is something we can (will have to) live with.
I can't remember what we did after dinner, but I think we were tired and simply went back to our room, to bed. End of Day 1.