Friday, May 20, 2011

Back in Barcelona

May 20,! Just like that our 7-day cruise is over. Our ship docks in Barcelona around 8 am and we start disembarking around 9:15 after we collect our passports. Like on every cruise ship we packed our bags the previous night, left them outside our cabin so they could be delivered in the baggage collection area of the cruise terminal. After breakfast in Bora Bora cafe we headed over to deck 5 to collect our passports. Exited the ship right after that on deck 6 (no waiting, yaaay!) and found our bags right away in the baggage claim area. No lines, no waiting! It was the smoothest disembarkation process in all my cruising experience!
A cab ride and €30 later we were at the Barcelona Renaissance Marriott by the airport where we were to spend a night before heading back to SD. Our room wasn't ready. So we took the hotel shuttle into town (for €5 pp). The shuttle dropped us off at the port near La Rambla and we walked north through La Rambla once more. We had to make a pit stop at Dunkin' Coffee (DS asked for chocolate donut).....a coffee and a chocolate donut later we walked the cross street towards the Cathedral. The street had many wonderful shops and window shopping was very enjoyable. I've completely lost interest in going to malls in the US but this was actually fun! Maybe walking the narrow alleys looking through unique stores and not worrying about parking is the charm! Nevertheless, bought a few things...took tons of pics...walked over to the cathedral which presented more photo ops. Unfortunately entry into the cathedral was €6pp which I didn't feel like paying! :(
Instead we went to this cafe, got some tapas & wine, then headed back to the port to catch the shuttle back to the hotel. On the shuttle bus, my neighbor was taking pics with her Nikon dslr through the bus window. I am no pro photographer or even a very good amateur photographer but I am sure anyone who has looked into photography at least a tad bit seriously can relate to this: I cringe every time I see anyone using flash in broad daylight or indoors against glass, especially if the camera is a DSLR!! Yikes! I have to contain myself from leaning over and saying, 'err, excuse me, but u have the flash on and if u take a pic against glass, its gonna reflect the light and u will ruin ur pic!'....but hey, its not my pic, who am I to say anything...and yet I cannot stop from cringing! She wouldn't shut her flash while taking the pics....argh!...:(
After getting refreshed at the hotel, we headed back to town via the shuttle. We walked along an inner street in the Ciutat Villa area on the east side of La Rambla and came upon this chic looking restaurant called Sensi ( Our pick was perfect....the dinner, wine and dessert were the best I had on this trip! Perfect ending to our vacation! The cute waiters didn't hurt the experience! :-P ....I actually ate tuna tartar, duck, ham, sausage and thoroughly enjoyed it! The ravioli with spinach was out of this world! I ended with chocolate fondant I.e. lava cake and it was certainly one of the best I've ever had!! Yummmmmm! Pix of DS & me in Sensi!

Back to the hotel, quite buzzed and happy, called it a night! Tomorrow, onto SD....truly adios Barcelona!
Random thots: In Spain (at least the places we visited), if you ask in a restaurant, what size is the pizza, they'll say "normal"....err, what is 'normal'???...First response for everything is "not possible" especially on the cruise ship! Almost like the ship was run by the mafia and all employees were just scared to do anything without permission!

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