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Old 08-28-2013, 01:36 PM   #46
texasgirl29
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Saturday, August 16
Disembark and Barcelona

We took our luggage with us to our last breakfast in Parrot Cay. A waiter was posted at the door to keep people out until 8:15. We talked to him while we waited and he said the last cruise will be mostly Brits as school does not start yet. He also mentioned the noise level and the wait staff did not do some of their show because the families were so unruly. He said the 4-day cruise prior to this one was a complete disaster.

Breakfast wasn't up to standards. I had cold blueberry pancakes but at least I had syrup--Norene didn't get any syrup. Paul and Stephanie had watery scrambled eggs.

Sad way to end... should have gone to Top Siders.

From there we left the ship and got in a very long line for taxis. The taxi took us back to Tryp Apolo but we could not check in for a couple of hours. Stephanie had a stomach ache and my cold was much worse so just hung out until our room was ready then I had a nap.



I felt better in a while so we took the family to the Guru cafe/bar and everyone enjoyed their food.

I had the Gorgonzola cheese spread on slices of baguette with thin apple slices and honey and walnuts again as well as bruschetta and tropical iced tea. Paul had what they called an omlette but I think we would call it quiche.







On the way back to the hotel, we stopped to see the living statues on Las Ramblas. I read that they have to audition for spots.







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Magic in the Mediterranean trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3161128

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Old 08-28-2013, 01:49 PM   #47
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Your trip report is excellent! I LOVE your photos. Your family is lovely. Your photos and trip report bring back so many happy memories of our 2011 Med Cruise. Thank you for taking the time to share. Your memory for details is excellent.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:50 PM   #48
texasgirl29
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Saturday, August 17
The Magic Fountains


David, Paul and I wanted to see the Magic Fountains. We hailed a cab and I said "Magic Fountain," but the cabbie didn't understand so I made swooshing sounds and gestures. "Oh, Montjuic!"

As we got closer, the cabbie pointed out people on the top tier of the bullfighting arena. I understood "torros" and "no mas."

"Bueno," I said.

More and more people were walking in the direction we were driving, and I tried a little more of my high school Spanish, "Hay muchos gente."

He pointed out the escaltor we needed to take as he stopped in front of the fountains. I recognized the place. We had been at the top, in front of the National Palace, looking down over the city. Now we were at the foot of the hill.

The fountains were like fireworks with water. There was music and we could hear it but not so close that it was a big part of the experience. I recognized "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits, the Tara theme from Gone with the Wind, and the Star Wars theme. Paul took about 80 photos of the fountains as the water changed colors, heights and degree of spray.










The fountains continued until 11:30 but we were ready to head back after about 30 minutes. We walked back along the sidewalk where so many were enjoying their dinner or walking their dogs or pushing strollers.

We said goodbye to Dave and Norene as they were leaving in the morning.
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Magic in the Mediterranean trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3161128
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:51 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by keenercam View Post
Your trip report is excellent! I LOVE your photos. Your family is lovely. Your photos and trip report bring back so many happy memories of our 2011 Med Cruise. Thank you for taking the time to share. Your memory for details is excellent.
Thanks so much! It was such a great trip!
JoAnn
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:02 PM   #50
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Great report!

I missed the fountains...I was supposed to go see them but my jet lag hit hard and I took a nap instead...of course then I was wide awake at 1AM.

Jill in CO
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:20 PM   #51
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Great report!

I missed the fountains...I was supposed to go see them but my jet lag hit hard and I took a nap instead...of course then I was wide awake at 1AM.

Jill in CO
Jet lag sucks... .we've been back over a week and I still can't keep my eyes open past 8:30 p.m.

The fountains were really great, at least we three adults thought so. Our teens went the next night and they were sort of underwhelmed. Or it may have been the crowds, the heat and they were tired.

Thanks for reading!

JoAnn
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:26 PM   #52
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We had two small buses. Our driver was named Giuseppe. Guido warned us we needed to be flexible as today is a national holiday --the assumption of Mary--and everyone would be going to the beach.

Here's Guido, and our driver.



Oh my goodness, we had Guido and Giuseppe too! I couldn't recall their names, but we had them! Honestly, we didn't enjoy his tour because we couldn't understand him and he didn't stop for picture taking time; but Giuseppe was a very skilled driver. We had them through a Disney tour, so it's interesting that you had them through a private group.
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Old 08-28-2013, 03:45 PM   #53
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Oh my goodness, we had Guido and Giuseppe too! I couldn't recall their names, but we had them! Honestly, we didn't enjoy his tour because we couldn't understand him and he didn't stop for picture taking time; but Giuseppe was a very skilled driver. We had them through a Disney tour, so it's interesting that you had them through a private group.
The guide we had in Rome, Stefan, told us he also does Disney Adventures. Guido did not mention he did Disney tours. Since we hired both tours through Can't Be Missed Tours instead of the DCL tours, I think we got a good deal!

Guido could be hard to understand. He used the word "proper" a lot. I'm not entirely sure he knew what it really meant. I think he used it in place of "actual" as in "they lived in this proper house" instead of "actual house". He also like to use the word "special" except it came out like "spacial" -- so when he used "proper" and "spacial" in the same sentence as he often did, I would exchange looks with some of our travel mates and try not to laugh (to be fair, his English is way better than my non-existent Italian).

Guido really droned on a lot about Mt. Vesuvius especially in the beginning, and I was seated in the first seat, so he was right in my face! Finally he sat down so I could enjoy the ride. He was a good guide in Pompeii, though.

JoAnn
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Magic in the Mediterranean trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3161128
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:03 PM   #54
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Sunday, August 18
Barcelona

It was a last full day in Barcelona. Dave, Norene and Brian left for the airport to fly home to San Jose. The one big thing we still wanted to do was go to Parc Guell. The guidebooks said to take a bus, but also mentioned a taxi for about 12 euros. I thought by the time we each bought a bus ticket, we might as well take a taxi. We were glad we did, as it was a lot further than we thought, and the taxi left us off at the main gate.


















As promised, it was a colorful, fanciful, uphill, hot and crowded park, not like anything you've ever seen before. You could come back again and again to see new details. There were many men selling souvenirs from small blankets and they gathered up the blankets and ran, most likely from the police. But they quickly set them down again. The girls each bought a mosaic elephant souvenir for 5 euros from one of the vendors.

We left the park and got in the very short line for a taxi. Someone attempted to grab our cab from the other direction, even though there was an empty one just behind it. Yelling ensued. Geez.

Stephanie had been dying to get an article of clothing from Europe and so far hadn't found anything so we headed to Plaica Catalonia where a street radiated out with many stores. But it was Sunday and they were all closed. We continued to walk down the street, past a man singing opera for change, until we got a little closer to the more touristy part of town.

One of the shops we went into (for the Air Conditioning, if nothing else!) was a candy shop and had a huge selection of black licorice. I know that either you love it or you hate it, but I love black licorice and I regret not having bought any!



We continued down the narrow streets and found a couple of little boutique shops where they bought some clothes. Mission accomplished, we headed back to Las Ramblas for lunch. We returned to Tapa i Apat and the waiter recognized us from a week ago, "Hey, you're back!"



Stephanie and Paul shared this huge tapa of chicken stuffed with ham and cheese, zucchini and potatoes!



I had grilled mixed vegetables and Paul and I had sangria (too much!!!!)



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Old 08-29-2013, 09:05 AM   #55
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More wonderful photos!! We LOVED Park Guell. So glad you were able to see it. Did you get to Casa Batillo?
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:24 AM   #56
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Sunday, August 18
Barcelona

I really enjoyed the energy of Las Ramblas (or is it La Rambla? I keep seeing both ways) -- street performers, artists, al fresco dining (even McDonald's and WhataBurger have al fresco dining), flowers, souvenirs and plain old people watching.



Stephanie wanted her photo with one of the living statues -- she picked Columbus:



Rachel had already taken a photo with the alien:



We went back to the hotel to pack, rest up a bit then do one last thing -- go to the beach! We had not as much as put our toes in the Mediterranean Sea so far. We put on swim suits and went down to the reception desk to ask for beach towels. Oh, yes, he said, and called someone for towels. We waited and he asked was there something else. The towels, we said. Oh, you need to go back to your room and wait. So we did. We waited and waited, then finally after about 15 minutes left without towels. We could have easily taken the bath towels, because when we returned, we found extra towels in our room, but they were the same as the regular bath towels.

The walk to the beach was about 30 minutes from our hotel.



The waterfront is very nice, and very lively with many young people, many vendors and many restaurants.







The sand is very gritty, and we decided that since we didn't have any towels, we'd just put our feet in (much to Rachel's disappointment). Stephanie saw a topless woman or two and said she was scarred for life (she's very sheltered....)



On the walk back to the hotel, we saw some interesting buildings that reminded us that this area has a real sea-faring history. I love this stonework:



After the beach, we walked back to the hotel and then to the Magic Fountain to show the girls. Perhaps we built it up too much, or they were too tired, but they seemed underwhelmed by it all. Maybe it was just too hot and crowded.

Well, this concludes my trip report. If you made it this far, thank you for reading!

JoAnn
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Magic in the Mediterranean trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3161128
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:38 AM   #57
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More wonderful photos!! We LOVED Park Guell. So glad you were able to see it. Did you get to Casa Batillo?
No, we didn't make it to Casa Batillo. Next time?

JoAnn
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:30 PM   #58
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JoAnn - Thank you so much for sharing your photos and trip report. I know it's time-consuming, but it is much appreciated!

I hope you get to Casa Batillo next trip! It is SUCH a cool building!
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:44 PM   #59
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Hi JoAnn,

Fantastic trip report! I intended to do one too but school started back less than a week after we got back and I haven't had the energy to sort through photos etc yet but loved reliving the cruise through reading yours! (It is indeed a very 'proper spacial' report!!).
We've been to Barcelona twice but have never seen the Magic Fountains....after seeing your photos I'm going to have to persuade Ken to go back (and may as well hop on the Magic again while we're there!)

Siobhan
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:18 AM   #60
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What a wonderful trip report. I so admire your photos and eye for detail; just spectacular! Thank you for sharing!
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