Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain
Saturday, June 26, 2004: Exactly six months after we flew to Sweden on Christmas Day via Detroit and Amsterdam, we found ourselves on the exact same flights again. Our first destination was the gorgeous new terminal in Detroit with the lovely water fountain. At this point, it was still Friday, June 25.
|A few flights and countries later, we arrived in sunny Barcelona. We checked in with the ship and took a cab immediately to La Sagrada Família, the unfinished cathedral designed by Antonin Gaudí. Pictures cannot do it justice. It was even more awe-inspiring than we thought it could be. This photo was taken from the park across the street. We took an updated photo when we returned seven years later.|
|With only a few hours to see as much of Barcelona as we could, we did not have time to wait in line to tour the interior, unfortunately. We did have the good fortune to have an excellent walking tour outlined for us by our friend Jordi.|
|We can't pass up an opportunity to photograph our favorite wizard. Here is a movie marquee for "Harry Potter y el Prisonero de Azkaban."|
|We walked to La Padrera, another of Gaudí's famous designs. The architecture is amazing, including the unusual balcony railings and tile-covered sculptures on the roof.|
|Sadly, we couldn't stay and tour the roof, but we did get a nice closeup of the front door, with a line of folks waiting to go on the rooftop tour.|
|Jordi's tour sent us back toward the harbor next via Passeig de Gràcia, which took us past several more amazing buildings, including Gaudí's Casa Batlló.|
|Our recommended lunch stop was this restaurant on a side street, Madrid-Barcelona, but it wasn't open yet when we arrived.|
|Instead, we ate at a sidewalk cafe, and enjoyed squid, tapas, seafood paella, and Coca-Cola Light.|
|We continued our walking tour to the Gothic Quarter, a small area of town a few blocks off of Las Ramblas. Here, Debbie holds Jordi's walking tour instructions in front of the Old Cathedral.|
|Directly to Debbie's left was this finely detailed arch over the narrow street. From there, we returned to Las Ramblas, a wide, beautiful street filled with trees, shops, cafes, and street performers. Apparently, we enjoyed the stroll so much we neglected to take a single photo.|
|At the end of Las Ramblas is Monument a Colom, a monument to Christopher Columbus. Debbie's staff has a mascot named Orchy who travels around the world with them, and he joined us on our Mediterranean travels -- look for the small apple in the bottom of this photo. As you can see, he loves Barcelona as much as we do.|
|From Monument a Colom, we took a cruise port bus back to our ship, the Celebrity Millennium, and checked into our cabin, which overlooked the harbor. Barcelona had been such a wonderful place to visit that we were a little worried that all other ports would pale in comparison. Lucky for us, the ports to come turned out to be pretty great as well.|
Being in a container port gave us the perfect opportunity to play "Maersk," a simple game with a single objective: be the first to spot a container with the Maersk name and logo on it. Tom gained an early lead by spotting these Maersk Sealand containers. Game on!
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy