All Ears Team Member Glo from Miami is also on the Med cruise with us….
Here’s our blog entries…..
May 26, 2007
It’s approaching midnight and we are waiting for room service to deliver Mickey bars, oatmeal cookies and decaf coffee. We skipped dessert at dinner so we could be up on the open deck for the “sail away” party “¦so we’re sacrificing 😉
So far this trip has gone like clockwork and we are looking forward to our “at sea” day tomorrow just to relax. We met up with Deb and Linda for a drink earlier in the afternoon and shared a few stories and then went back to our room to get cleaned up for dinner.
We have 14 folks at out table. Deb is the only one who knows all of them, but they are a great group of fun people and I know we are going to enjoy sharing our dinners with them. (Much better than eating with strangers!)
This morning (another gorgeous day!) we left the hotel a little after 8 AM and went to the Antonin Gaudi designed church La Sagrada Familia. It’s really something to see, although definitely not something I’d want down the block from my house. It’s just a bit over the top! “¦but the interesting thing is, it was started back in the late 1890’s and still isn’t finished. Probably has another 100 years to go 😉 I’m also including a picture of Casa Batlo, a private residence (now a museum) designed by Gaudi. Again, very strange. I guess he refused to use a straight line in any of his designs (quite obvious LOL).
Then on the way back to the hotel we stopped at a local “boqueria” (farmers’ market) where they had the most beautiful fruit, vegetables and fresh seafoods you’ve ever seen. The only other places I’ve seen anything near to these places were Pike Place in Seattle and on the Embarcadero insane Francisco. I’m guessing there might be other places in the US, but I’ve sure never seen them.
More tomorrow, but since it’s an “at sea” day, there probably won’t be a whole lot of interest to tell you.
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May 25, 2007
Friday in Barcelona
We’re on our way to Barcelona! The flight from Miami to Paris was interesting to say the least. We hit turbulence just about 2 hours into the flight which lasted a good 45 minutes. I talked to a woman who was sitting next to a stewardess and she said the stewardess was very frightened, that she’d never seen turbulence so bad. Gary did really well! Maybe I’ll get him on a rollercoaster yet. It wouldn’t be any worse. The guy in the seat next to me (a dermatologist from Naples, FL) was about ready to jump out of his skin. Now I know what the term “white knuckles” really means 😉
In spite of that, we arrived Paris safe, sound and well-fed. Our plane was scheduled to land at 8:10 AM and the flight to Barcelona departed at 10:05 AM. 2 hours “¦plenty of time, right? Wrong! We made the flight with about 5 minutes to spare. No one told me that at many of the European airports they don’t have jetways. Here’s the drill”¦
“¦land in Paris
“¦wait on plan at least Â½ an hour to de-plane
“¦walk down steps to the tarmac on legs that had hardly moved for 8 hours previous
“¦wait for a shuttle bus
“¦take the bus to the terminal
“¦go through Customs (just to show your passport)
“¦walk forever to find your gate, down one escalator; up another
“¦check in at the gate
“¦walk down more stairs and
“¦you guessed it! board another shuttle
“¦ride 10 miles (Well, it felt like 10 miles!) to the plane
“¦get off the shuttle, climb more stairs into the plane.
There obviously no “disabilities act” in the European Union because a person with any sort of mobile limitation couldn’t handle all the stairs and the hustling.
Gary, in direct defiance of everyone saying “Do not nap!” to avoid jet lag, is sound asleep in the seat next to me. I’m a bit tired, but I haven’t “hit the wall” yet. I set my watch to Barcelona time when we were waiting in the terminal in Miami. So, when the sun came up this morning about 6 AM (midnight Miami time), it really did seem like 6 AM. It’s a bit after 11 AM now (5 AM Miami time) and I can tell you I don’t do % AM’s, so it must be 11 AM for sure.
Snacks are arriving so I’m going to sign off and may way on my tray table for water and Chex mix Ooo la la!
Later the same day”¦
All of our luggage arrived safely and we had no trouble at all finding the Disney representative who directed us to a bus where we were whisked off to our hotel. On the way to the hotel we got a peak at our ship (The Disney Magic) docked at Port Vell. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see those big red smokestacks with the big white Mickey icons. We checked into the hotel. Checked with the Disney Courtesy desk in the hotel lobby and were able to complete our cruise check in. That was really convenient!
We both took a shower and headed off to Las Ramblas for the afternoon. Las Ramblas is the equivalent of South Beach, Rodeo Drive and Harvard Square all rolled into one. There are lots of little street cafes, all sorts of street musicians, entertainers, jugglers “¦well, you name it and it was there, including a mime all in white complete with his white porcelain “throne” and the most wonderful marketplace called the Boqueria. Never in my life have I seen such beautiful fruits, veggies, meats, cheeses and breads, but most interesting was the seafoods, many of them still alive and squirming around, many of them I had never seen before.
We ate “off the beaten path” at a place called Plaza Riall/Plaza Real. It was recommended by one of the cast members at the courtesy desk who said it was less “touristy” than the places on Las Ramblas. We also wandered for a while in the Bari Gotic (Gothic Quarter) with its warren of narrow streets (no cars! Just pedestrians) and tiny little shops. It is so unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the US.
I had hoped to get to Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia church and Park Guell, but there just wasn’t time. We have a taxi ordered for 8:15 tomorrow morning to take us there before we have to be back at the hotel to board the shuttle to the ship.
Oh, and I must share with you our scare for the day. Before the trip I ordered a “pouch” to hold my passport, credit cards and money from Magellen’s. You wear the pouch on a cord around your neck and tuck it in under your shirt to thwart pickpockets.
So, we’ve been walking Las Ramblas for a couple of hours and sit down to eat. At the end of the meal, I reach for my pouch. For some reason, it’s hanging out the bottom of my shirt, but jet-lagged me, I just figure that’s because I’m sitting down. Then I stand up and the darn thing falls right to the ground! The cord had become detached on one side!! Obviously, God loves me because if we’d have walked a few feet farther, it would have slipped right off my neck, onto the ground and I would never have known it until it was way too late. I have to tell you, when I realized how close I came to losing everything, I actually has to sit down I was shaking so bad.
But my guardian angel was with me, so all is well. I even had a sewing kit in my bags so I could sew the cord back on (and secure the other side, just in case).
OK, It’s to bed for me. It’s 8 PM (2 AM Miami time) and I have to be up and dressed early in the morning. More adventures tomorrow.
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Thursday, May 24, 2007
We’re on our Way!
It’s about half an hour until we board our plane. Getting through security was a breeze. Our suitcases weighed in just under the 50 pounds limit. No room for many souvenirs on the return trip for sure!
We made the mistake of checking the location of our seats on seatguru.com and unfortunately, we’re right across from the galley. For some reason they changed our seats from row 25 to 41 …but I think the gate agent might have been doing us a favor since there’s also a “caution” on the row 25 seats too …close to the lavatories 🙁 I think I’d prefer to be close to the galley than close to the lavs, for sure.
We’re flying on a wide-body 747; holds 440 or so passengers. We start boarding 55 minutes before take-off time. I guess it takes a LONG time to board 400+ people.
Just about time to power down the laptop and head for our gate. I’ll check in with you again as soon as I can.