A Travellerspoint blog


Barcelona, Spain

sunny 82 °F
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We have finally finished the oceanic portion of our adventure and are 10% completed. One of the best parts of cruising is the attention you receive from the staff as they make sure everything is to your liking. Sometimes this borders on being fussy but they are well meaning. On the last day they pretty much throw you out as fast as possible. We wake up at 6:30 to shower, pack and shovel the last bits of free food into our mouths before we disembark at 8am. From here it is a few miles through parking lots, shipping containers and a long bridge before we get into the city. The best feature of Barcelona is the ease of which you can walk around. We didn't encounter a press of cars and many streets were devoted solely for pedestrians making it easy to admire the architecture.


Of course there is also the famous architect, Gaudi, who has placed his stamp on the city with several building designs as well as the cathedral that is still being worked on despite being started in 1882. It is a the most visited site in Spain.


Here is an example of some of his other work.


After this we decided to get some some food and decided on the most iconic of Spain's dishes, paella. Ben choose a simple meat one while I went for a seafood paella with squid ink. Unfortunately, the server removed it from the hot pan before I was able to take a picture of it. We also had a small starter of toasted bread with crushed tomatoes and a local thin sausage called fuet, which is simply pork, salt, pepper and paprika then stuffed and air dried.


We then made our way to the local market where we were to stuffed to eat anything else other than some freshly squeezed juices. I had pomegranate while Ben ordered a orange and papaya. While mine was refreshing, Ben's was thick and bitter.


We only had 24 hours in Barcelona but I think that we managed to see most of it. I will definatly come back. Finally, there was not a single cat that I could find other than this one.


Posted by CulinarySojourn 00:21 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Palma de Majorca, Spain

sunny 82 °F
View Around the world in however long it takes. on CulinarySojourn's travel map.

The island of Majorca is our last stop on the cruise ship before they kick us off. The city received its name from the Romans due to all of the palm trees in the region. Unfortunately, the ship docked on the opposite side of the harbour from the central plaza and required a few miles of walking. Having stayed out late the night before on the ship, we accidently slept in later than planned and had to rush through the day to see everything.


Our initial stop was the Bellvor Castle situated on the hill between the ship and the urban center, but we did not find the one cross street we needed to turn at until we headed back. A lot of the signs to guide you to sights are only in one place and if you miss it your out of luck.

As with all medieval towns the central area is dominated by the cathedral. In addition, there is a palace that is still used by the Spanish government and is off limits. As this island was controlled by the Muslims for centuries, the architecture was much different than that of Cadiz and Lisbon.


There were a variety of street performers in the main square ranging from musicians, invisible men and this levitation trick.


As we headed back towards the ship and the castle we found several old windmills and some of the locals lounging around.


Intrigued by a local supermarket, we decided to check out the meat and seafood departments for any local specialties. Where Americans tend to not want to see where our food comes from, Europeans and others are used to the eyes, tongue, feet, etc still attached. These smoked legs of ham are either sold complete or the butcher can slice some right off the leg for you. Unfortunately, the staff took offense to us taking pictures and we had to leave.


After the market we hiked up the mountain to get a nice view of the town and harbor from the local fort. After meandering down the hill through shrubs and cacti, we returned to the ship.


Posted by CulinarySojourn 14:36 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Cadiz, Spain

sunny 79 °F
View Around the world in however long it takes. on CulinarySojourn's travel map.

Our second stop was the small town of Cadiz. It was the departure port for two of Columbus's voyages, the base of operations for the Spanish treasure fleet and held off the French during Napoleon's Peninsular War to name a few of the city's achievements. After the day in Lisbon, we slept til 9am. With the city only a little over 1km by 1.5km, I knew we had plenty of time. The most iconic building is the cathedral, with its golden dorm.


There were also nice beaches, including one that is topless, as well as the forts that protected the city and its inhabitants. The city was composed of small narrow streets that meandered thru the town.


A nice change from Lisbon was the inclusion of city parks. These allowed us to cool of and avoid the sun.


We met up with some people we met on the ship at the main square to have some sweets. I had a nice roll with strawberry jelly and pine nuts that was nicely balanced in flavor. Unfortunately, we decided to leave the group to wander the streets as they stumbled across some free tapas.


Posted by CulinarySojourn 08:34 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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