Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Med Cruise Day 2: Barcelona

Angie's Journal
This was our first full day of vacation. It was a lot of fun, but we had some kinks in the day. I like to think of it as our dry run for our port calls on the cruise. Misty had some trouble adjusting to vacation with the different foods and schedules. We stopped at a quaint cafe for breakfast. Ray and Lexi tried the hot chocolate which is so thick your spoon can sit on top of...yum. The idea is to have a bunch of things to dip into the chocolate, so they got one of everything to dip into their chocolate for breakfast.

After breakfast we did the Hop On Hop Off Bus (HOHO bus as I like to call it) route through Barcelona's upper city. The route was a lot longer than we thought, and the heat started to get to us. Lexi was really looking forward to seeing the works from Gaudi around Barcelona. Unfortunately so was everybody else, so the lines were too long to get in. So we just rode the HOHO bus which got hot and uncomfortable.

Once we got back to our apartment we rested a bit and went out for dinner. That night was a big festival for the Spanish culture so we heard fireworks and shouting all night. As much as I love Barcelona, they are LOUD people. Ray seems quite comparatively.

Ray's Journal

Slept in until almost 9 AM. What a relief as we all seemed to need the extra rest. Misty even slept in - this of course after nearly kicking Lexi and Grandma out of the bed at night with all her kick/stretches.
Walked around the block to a place Kathy had seen yesterday as having served breakfast. It was not so good, but it filled our bellies (except for poor Misty who refused to eat anything that wasn’t a Pop-Tart - I think it may have also been in part because of her allergies).

The whole family decided to try the Hop-On Hop-Off bus as it has worked so well for us in the past. There were 3 routes to take in this really cool city - The red which was  all the museums, the Green which was the beach and city attractions, and the Blue which was the sports and Gaudi works of art. We took the blue line so we could see his park and Familia Sagrado. These were double decker open topped buses like in London. Unfortunately the line for these was so long and the buses so packed that we did not all get to sit together.

The tour had so much area to cover and so many different sites to see that we were all a little tired of sitting by the time we got to the Sagrado Familia. It was massive enough, however, that we soon forgot ourselves and just stood in awe. the line to get tickets to gain entry was over two hours long (and was advertised as such verbally). The line to get in was less lengthy, but not by much. Lexi, the one who had begged to go to this, asked to not wait in line. With those kind of lines, none of us questioned her decision. We did, however, decide to try to book tickets online once we got to the boat later that week - something we were told was not allowed, but which definitely had the option of at the ticket booth. We are hoping it will save us a significant amount of time waiting in line.

So we all hopped back on the bus. We didn’t realize that this tour was as long as it was, so none of had eaten anything in over 4 hours by the time we got to Gaudi’s park. This meant that we were all tired of riding a cramped bus, hungry, and very warm as once again the weather god was being so very nice to us (Beeeeautiful skies with 80 degree temps and just a little humidity). The humidity and sunshine seemed to be taking a toll on our bodies, so with nothing to eat we were all getting cranky. The decision was made to not get off the bus at Gaudi’s park, but to ride it back to the Ramblas (street name of where we “lived” with lots of food vendors and restaurants).

We ate at a restaurant near the stop based it’s prices and deals. The food was lousy! It was quite possibly the blandest tasting paella I have ever eaten. We all decided to skip desert and go to a Gelato place nearby. That was some good tasting stuff. And it was very needed. We were all still tired, so we opted to go back the apartment and take a siesta. None of us took an actual nap, but we all crashed hard. No one wanted to move the rest of the day. So we didn’t. We packed our bags in anticipation of departing early for the cruise ship and we relaxed.

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