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Old 08-22-2013, 12:38 PM   #16
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:47 PM   #17
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Thursday, August 8
The Boqueria

They have it all!

















Now, a word about the chili lady.

As you can tell, we walked around and snapped quite a few photos of the stalls and the sellers. When I walked by the stall with chilis, the lady stuck up her arm and said, "No! Por Favor!" Sheesh. My photo snapped before she spoiled it.

But right behind me was my 13 year old daughter, Rachel, happily taking photos of stuff. When I looked back for her in the crowd, she was not there. I made my way back to the chili stand, and the chili lady had her by the arm, scolding her and demanding something. Not sure if she was demanding she give over her camera or what. I went back and grabbed my daughter and pulled her away. Later I thought of all the things I could have/should have done. Shame on this woman for grabbing a child, detaining her and keeping her from taking a photo in a public place (not a photo of the lady just the chilis)

So, if the mood strikes you, be sure to take a photo! Take several!

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Magic in the Mediterranean trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3161128
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Old 08-22-2013, 01:03 PM   #18
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Thursday, August 8

OK, back on the bus.... we drove past Sagrada Familia. (We have tickets, purchased online, more on the inside later).

I've seen many photos of it, and I knew it was still under construction, but until you actually see it in person, it doesn't really strike you that this is a hard-hat construction area. Cranes, scaffoldings, people everywhere. I'd love to peek into the future when it's functioning solely as a church, a quiet house of prayer. Right now, it's a manic beehive.





And yes, if you want to go in, you really need to purchase tickets on line.



We ended the day of driving and walking with a tiny sprinkle and a rainbow:

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Magic in the Mediterranean trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3161128
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:14 PM   #19
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Friday, August 9
Sagrada Familia

If anyone asked me, "What are you looking forward to the most in Barcelona?" I would answer, "Sagrada Familia." I watched the segment on CBS 60 Minutes, I've got the app on my iPad, I've read all about it on-line and in guide books.

We ordered the entrance tickets and audio guides online. We just had to be at the entrance during our time slot, then wait in another line for the audio guides.

In retrospect, I would not have ordered the audioguides.. there are just too many people milling about, too much confusion. I didn't really get anything out of it.

I think you get a better appreciation of how incredibly radical Sagrada Familia is after visiting some of the other churches in Europe which are crammed full of centuries worth of statues and paintings. Those churches are beautiful and obviously well loved, but they are dark and have years of soot and tears. Sagrada Familia is L-I-G-H-T! It's simple, it's bright, it's airy, it's full of color and sunlight. But it's also quite full of people who are wandering and staring. I wish I could see the affect on people once it becomes a full-time worship space.

What would be helpful is to read up in advance on the style of the outside of the building. I didn't understand why one side was so stark, and the other like a giant melting blob. They look like two entirely different designs but they are meant to provoke entirely different moods.

We took the metro to Sagrada Familia. If you stay at Tryp Apolo or a nearby hotel, getting on the metro is very easy and getting to the church is very direct. When you emerge from the subway, the church is right there.











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Magic in the Mediterranean trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3161128
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:59 PM   #20
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Great start! I loved Barcelona and hope to go back some of these days.

Jill in CO
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:14 PM   #21
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Friday, August 9

After our visit to Sagrada Familia, walked up Parral.lel looking for someplace for lunch. We threaded all over the place, down dark alleys and through crowded streets.



but ended up at a restaurant on Placa Reial again.



I ordered the spinach ravioli.



Stephanie ordered a hamburger. It was beautifully presented. Only two things wrong: no top bun, and while we asked for "medium well" it was raw inside. Not just pink, fresh ground beef raw.



Oh, and one more thing I wanted to mention. If you ask for iced tea, be prepared for canned ice tea.
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Disney Magic August 2005 - Mexican Riviera
Island Princess December 2009 - Panama Canal
Island Princess July 2011 - Alaska
Disney Fantasy June 2012 - Eastern Caribbean
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Magic in the Mediterranean trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3161128

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Old 08-22-2013, 04:30 PM   #22
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Friday, August 9
Runner Bean Walking Tour

Thanks to someone on DISboards a few months ago, I found out about Runner Bean Tours (www.runnerbeantours.com) -- the concept is simple. You can register online for one of their tours, show up and when it's over, pay what you wish.

Our guide was Gorka. He's the one under the umbrella.



OK, here's a better picture:



Gorka lead us through the alleys and plazas in the old quarter for over two hours. Additionally, he had advice about places to see and places to eat. He was knowledgeable and understandable. He has an obvious passion for history and enjoys sharing with people.

He told us about St. Eulalia, the 13-year-old martyred patron saint of Barcelona. This is the street in her honor.



He told us about the Jewish quarter, the Inquisition, the Roman ruins, Columbus's return.









After Paul and I left the tour, we wandered (i.e. got lost) and eventually found a wonderful little bar/cafe near the foot of Las Ramblas. I had the best mojito ever, and a little tapa with slices of baquette spread with gargonzola, apple slices, honey and walnuts. It was so good, we had to make a return trip after the cruise. http://www.panteagroup.es/guru-cockt...elona/?lang=en





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Disney Magic August 2005 - Mexican Riviera
Island Princess December 2009 - Panama Canal
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Disney Fantasy June 2012 - Eastern Caribbean
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Magic in the Mediterranean trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3161128
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Old 08-22-2013, 07:43 PM   #23
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Aug 1998- POR March 2003- HS band trip (offsite) Aug 2003- POR Jan 12-Aug 5, 2005: CP Jan 1-5, 2006: AS Sports (solo) May 24, 2006- Jan 5, 2007: CP Jan 31-Feb 3, 2007: Solo (offsite) March 1-3, 2007: Dad+me (offsite) May 16-Aug 10, 2007: CP Aug 10-12, 2007: GF May 21-Aug 15, 2008: CP Aug 15-18, 2008: AKL March 25-29, 2009 (offsite) Aug 10, 2009-Jan 2, 2010: CP Jan 3-May 14, 2010: CP May 16, 2010~ FT Dream: Feb 12-16, 2012 Fantasy: Oct 20-27, 2012 (East) Dream: Sept 8-12, 2013 Magic: Jan 20-24, 2014 Dream: 3-6, 2014 (for now)
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:01 PM   #24
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Saturday, August 10
Finally, it's the Magic!

At last, what you've all been waiting for, we board the Magic! It was pretty easy to get a taxi from our hotel, told the driver the Disney cruise and he whisked us away to the dock. As we pulled into the parking lot in front of the ship, Rachel kept saying, "I'm home! I'm home!" A porter came by and grabbed our bags (didn't even stop for a tip) and we entered the large warehouse-type building.



Can you tell they are excited?



The pool folks are getting ready for a hot day in the sun. I confess none of us swam except Brian, who really enjoys it. The girls are too young for the adult pool and they declined to swim in the family pool.



The adult pool is not so crowded.



The ship flies the flags of Spain and Catalonia as well as the Disney Cruise Line standard. Each morning that we were in port, I enjoyed coming up to Deck 10 and watching the crew member hoist the country flag.



The captain turned the ship around, just like backing out of your driveway, and off we went. Adios, Barcelona!



Of course, we had the lifeboat drill. I don't understand why people cannot make it to this important drill on time. After the Contra Costa, you better believe I pay attention!



And the ship horn blasts that famous When You Wish Upon a Star, and the party begins!

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Star Princess April 1997 - Eastern Caribbean
Disney Magic August 2005 - Mexican Riviera
Island Princess December 2009 - Panama Canal
Island Princess July 2011 - Alaska
Disney Fantasy June 2012 - Eastern Caribbean
Disney Magic August 2013 - Mediterranean

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

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Old 08-23-2013, 02:55 PM   #25
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Saturday, August 10
More Magic

We toured around the ship, getting ourselves reacquainted with her. We had first sailed in 2005 out of Southern California. We went to the Edge, and Rachel was ready to hang out. She spent most of her time at the Edge -- she loved the freedom to come and go and stay out late. Next we went to Vibe to try to coax Stephanie into going there. She was more interested in going to see the spa, which unfortunately, she cannot use until she is 18. But she enjoyed (although she said it was torture) checking out the Rainforest Room and the massage and facial facilities.

I hung up my Fish Extender (first time to do FEs) and put out the magnets. Now we're moved in!



Later that evening, we received our first FE gift! The girls really loved getting surprises. "Mom, why didn't you ever sign us up for this before?" (Now they want to do an FE on their next cruise with Grandma on New Year's Eve.)



Back at our room on the first evening we noticed the carpet outside of our bathroom was wet and asked our room steward to see if it could be dried up. He brought some towels and scrubbed the carpet. Here's our ever-cheery room host, Adhi from Indonesia.



Our first night's dinner was at Lumiere's. This was the first time to try the late seating. Our servers were Aaron from India and his assistant server Joy from South Africa. Aaron was very earnest and you could tell it was very important to him to keep everyone pleased. Sometimes when we did not order the dish he recommended he would bring it anyway for us to taste. He also told me he was in charge of the menus and seemed to take great pride in that responsibility.

Joy was... well, just a joy! Always smiling with a lilting laugh. You could not help but love her instantly!



Hmmmmm.... bacon and mushroom tart appetizer!



Beef tenderloin....



and Gran Marnier souffle for dessert:

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Star Princess April 1997 - Eastern Caribbean
Disney Magic August 2005 - Mexican Riviera
Island Princess December 2009 - Panama Canal
Island Princess July 2011 - Alaska
Disney Fantasy June 2012 - Eastern Caribbean
Disney Magic August 2013 - Mediterranean

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

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Old 08-23-2013, 11:21 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texasgirl29 View Post
Back at Las Ramblas, Brian wanted a photo with one of the living statues. I think it was just a bit too real for him!


I was drinking a sip of something while reading your TR and I almost snorted my beverage up my nose when I saw this picture SO FUNNY!
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:38 PM   #27
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Sunday, August 11
First Day at Sea

Our day began with brunch at Palo. We've had dinner before a couple of times, but never brunch which is so highly praised on the DISboards we knew we'd have to give it a try. Our personal server was Lazlo from Hungary. He was witty and attentive (the room was only about a quarter filled while we were there from 10 to 11:30). He showed us the buffet spread of sweet and savory items, the made to order entrees and the desserts. We began our meal with complimentary champagne for me and mimosa for Paul. I filled my plate with oh-so many good things!



There was no need for an entree for me at least, but who can resist dessert?



After a delightful brunch with the view of the ocean (and once, Lazlo looked up and said, "Oh, that's the captain!" as he was walking on the deck), we went back to our room. The carpet was still wet. I went down to guest services and this time the deck manager came up. He told me the bathroom had been refurbished ahead of the dry dock in two weeks and that there might have been a little spill. I couldn't convince him that it wasn't a little spill, it was an active plumbing leak. Fortunately, Paul was able to convince him with a little insurance adjuster talk and he said the next day while we were in port they would take care of it. Later that evening we got a bottle of wine from Veronica the guest services manager to thank us for being so patient.

I ran into Dave and Stephanie over by the Future Cruise Sales, signing up for a four-night cruise out of Galveston on New Year's Eve for Norene and the girls.



A very happy girl. Rachel and Stephanie will be Gold Club Members after their NYE sailing!



I still wasn't hungry but sat with the girls while they ate tacos for lunch, then at 2 it was time for Paul and I to go to Martini Tasting with Anne-Marie in Sessions.

We took a seat and the server brought us a martini Anne-Marie called a Tropical Martini made with Blue Curacao, pineapple juice and I think gin.



She quickly followed up with a traditional martini:



A fruity martini with passion fruit and mango:



And a creamy martini made with Bailey's:



I hope I can find the recipes online -- anyone have them?

It was well worth the $15 each. Anne-Marie was both informative and entertaining.

Sometime during the day, the Gathering of Princesses happened. The banners were out early in the morning. Sadly, my two princesses did not line up for photos, but I did enjoy watching all of the others.



Which of course, brings me to dinner. Starting off with goat cheese and grilled tomato:



New York Strip Steak:



And tiramisu:

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Star Princess April 1997 - Eastern Caribbean
Disney Magic August 2005 - Mexican Riviera
Island Princess December 2009 - Panama Canal
Island Princess July 2011 - Alaska
Disney Fantasy June 2012 - Eastern Caribbean
Disney Magic August 2013 - Mediterranean

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

Last edited by texasgirl29; 08-30-2013 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:49 PM   #28
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Monday, August 12
Villefranche

Sunrise on the French Riviera! How did I ever get so lucky?



The French flag goes up!



This was our view as we ate breakfast outside of Topsiders. I do believe that deck is my very favorite place on the whole ship.



Land ho!



And we sped off on the tender. This had been a concern of mine, that we would be delayed getting to shore via tender and our tour guide would be waiting on us, but we were off very quickly.



We met our guide, Ingrid, at the embarkation area. Ingrid was highly recommended by many people on cruise critic. We have always taken ship tours because of the security they offer to get back on time, but Ingrid's fans spoke so highly of her, and her cost was so much lower than the ship tour.

She packed the seven of us into her van and drove through the narrow and winding streets, stopping to give us opportunities to see the view and take photos.







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Disney Magic August 2005 - Mexican Riviera
Island Princess December 2009 - Panama Canal
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Magic in the Mediterranean trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3161128
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:08 PM   #29
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Monday, August 12
Villafranche continued

The hilltop village of Eze

The first place Ingrid took us to was the hilltop village of Eze. It's a medieval village with narrow passageways, twists and turns, charming lamps and doorways. There is a five-star hotel, and few lucky people who live here.







The whole group:





Our gracious and accommodating tour guide Ingrid:












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Disney Magic August 2005 - Mexican Riviera
Island Princess December 2009 - Panama Canal
Island Princess July 2011 - Alaska
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Magic in the Mediterranean trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3161128
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:10 PM   #30
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Monday, August 12
Villefranche continued
Nice

Our next stop on Ingrid's tour was Nice, more specifically, Old Town Nice. She stopped off at this vantage point to take a photo:



We stopped by this fortress for a moment -- Ingrid explained the lookout in this fortress on the top of the hill would send up a signal to the fort on the coast that pirates were approaching so the townspeople could get ready.



This is "old town" Nice. Ingrid parked the van at the top of the hill and we all walked down to stroll among the shops and churches.











We stopped for lunch at a small cafe in Nice.



I had this vegetable quiche and it was delicious:



Further down to the square where there was a giant gelato shop:



We continued our stroll past cafes and shops:



right on down to the beach. We looked around at a giant flea market and the beach while Ingrid went back to retrieve the van and pick us up.





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Star Princess April 1997 - Eastern Caribbean
Disney Magic August 2005 - Mexican Riviera
Island Princess December 2009 - Panama Canal
Island Princess July 2011 - Alaska
Disney Fantasy June 2012 - Eastern Caribbean
Disney Magic August 2013 - Mediterranean

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

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