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mom2mybugs

Europe Here We Come! Vision of the Seas July 29,2019: 12 day Mediterranean/Greek Isles

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Have a great trip!! I love Cannes! My Aunt has a home in the old section of Le Cannet (village just north of Cannes) that I have visited a few times. The public beach there is nice. It’s too bad you aren’t there for long. One of my favorite places to visit near there is the medieval hilltop village of Eze. Great views of the Mediterranean, lots of nice shops etc. Now I am jealous and need to arrange another visit with my Aunt!

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6 hours ago, FManke said:

I can't believe you are missing Lolla 2019 for this! Get your priorities straight! 🤣

Have a great cruise!

Lol... Can you believe I've never gone!!  Hate dealing with the crazy amount of people lol!!!!  Guess I will have to have another quiet drink in a cafe!  Jane

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Ok... Still haven't figured out resizing so what I may do is a lot of small posts!  

Or flight took off over an hour late  I can't fault Norwegian airlines since it was ohare traffic.  They did make up a ton in the air (arrival times are seriously passed) so we were only 25 mins late.  I got maybe 2 hours sleep overnight.  The seats are divided and you can't lift the armrests so it was tight for our family (we were hoping to squash the skinny teenager lol) but would be good if you were sitting with strangers.  The food was really solid for dinner (I had the Korean beef stew), and we were able to order a vegetarian meal for Madison.  They even brought her a vegetarian breakfast the next morning!  Bonus I picked the exit aisle at the boarding door for no extra fee.  We had to store our bags at take off and landing but they let us keep them under our feet the whole rest of the flight.  Tons of leg room and it was free!!!!   We arrived maybe 25 mins late.  Customs and baggage was an absolute breeze and when we got out our driver from Barcelona City tours was there with a sign to get us out of the airport.  It was so much less crowded and stressful than O'Hare!  20190725_095415.thumb.jpg.87d8fb0cf2292264752cb0bc83fd994d.jpg

Jane

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Our tour was very nice.  Plenty of time to see things and get out of the very nice van.  Here are some highlights:. 

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Park guell:

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I apologize in advance...I'm taking most pics on my camera but trying to do some for here on my phone.  I had beautiful pics of the buildings with the columns in the back. I also have some amazing pics of the tile work close up. The pics here don't do it justice!  Give yourself at least an hour here... We only had an hour and we'd have liked at least another half hour or so.  Jane

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More highlights:. Gaudi architecture is amazing.  It is much more interesting than it is in the pictures.  Our driver was awesome about stopping and having us take some pics!  

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Apparently casa Mila (the first one) was called "the stone quarry" by the owners... They hated it.  It is fascinating to look at these "modernism" buildings right next to Gothic type older buildings.  Jane

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We are in an airbnb a few blocks from the segrada familia.  It is a neighborhood with a mix of tourists and locals.  There are tons of supermarcats to grab food from, and bakeries and gelato places (the one we tried last night was just ok... Looking forward to Italy lol).  

Airbnb pics:

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View from our tiny terrace:

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Again... More pics on the camera, but it's a decent 2 bedroom  with 2 bathrooms.  There are definitely issues... The walls are paper thin in this apartment and we hear lots of street noise... That's ok... But Madison hearing people at 3am doing "other things" wasnt great.  There is also only 1 little futon to sit on in the living room.  But it really is a nice spot for us!  Jane

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5 hours ago, hayley_bopp said:

Glad you're enjoying Barcelona. It's one of my favourite cities. 

If you get chance, have a wander arpind the gothic quarter. There are lots of quirky little shops and amazing tapas bars (and it's nice and shaded!)

We are going to try and do this tomorrow!  Jane

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The end of the first day was amazing!  We knew we would be tired so found a great Italian pizzeria.  Drank cervasa and are thin pizza!  

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We finished the night with a walk to get gelato near the segrada familia.  The area is so funny... There is a whole street filled with 5 guys, McDonald's, taco Bell etc!  The gelato was just ok but what was amazing was there was a big street concert set up.  We ate our gelato on the stairs of the segrada familia listening to music.  Amazing!!  

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Since there are so many Disney fans here, I have to post this picture I saw near an apartment!  

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Today we spent several hours at segrada familia and now are trying to great you the energy for a couple hours at the Picasso museum!  More later!  Jane

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1 hour ago, mom2mybugs said:

Today we spent several hours at segrada familia and now are trying to great you the energy for a couple hours at the Picasso museum!  More later!  Jane

How was the museum? My wife lives his work and its on the top of our list of things to do when we are there next year!

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5 hours ago, ChefSpencer said:

How was the museum? My wife lives his work and its on the top of our list of things to do when we are there next year!

We enjoyed it.  It was not super crowded and they had a lot of his early and late works.  Very little of his famous cubist period but the rooms where he painted pieces like valasquez's work Les meninas were really cool!!!  It's pretty near the Gothic quarter and free with the Barcelona card if you get it.  They had a temporary exhibit we didn't go into that had photographs of Picasso and it looked like it would be good!  Jane

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Day 2 pre-cruise Barcelona was a great day.  Once again my good pics are on my camera but if you do one thing in Barcelona, go to the segrada familia.  It was amazing.  I hadn't seen pictures if the inside and it was spectacular.  The audio tour talked about how all the sculpture and status are outside (except one of each of the hold family), which makes the inside more about the amazing space and structure.  It was incredible!! 

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We spent probably close to 3 hours there before heading back to the Airbnb to rest for an hour or so.  After that we headed to the Picasso museum which was very interesting.  It's not crowded or hard to get to and while it doesn't have many Davis paintings there, there is an incredible amount of his early work.  It was interesting to watch him try out different types of painting before he found his own unique style.  

   We left and decided to sit for a bit before heading back on the metro.  We locked into a really great neighborhood Cafe that we enjoyed!  We tried our first glass (well maybe 2) of cava and were getting ready to go when a street performer showed up with his sax to play American jazz.  So we ordered a cheese plate and another glass of cava and stayed for awhile.  It was so incredibly relaxing!  

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I wish I'd taken more pics on my phone.  There were so many people just out walking their dogs and chatting with each other.  It was wonderful and relaxing and I could do it every day!

   In attempting to walk back to the metro, we happened upon the back of a big church.  Walking around to the front we realized it was the cathedral of Barcelona.  A street performer was getting ready to perform and there were a bunch of small cafes for dinner, but Madison was fading.  It never feels late but it was after 10 by the time we got home.  

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Hopefully we will get to the Gothic quarter and the ramblas tomorrow but there is an 80% chance of thunderstorms.  Oh well...we will give it a shot and if it falls, then we head to a cafe for lunch!  Jane

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16 hours ago, mom2mybugs said:

Since there are so many Disney fans here, I have to post this picture I saw near an apartment!  

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Similar to Venice, there have been a number of protests by locals in recent years against the number of tourists who visit Barcelona each year - 30 million compared to 1.6 million inhabitants. The authorities have introduced new laws to stop the building of new hotels or issuing of new licences for tourist accommodation due to the impact on property prices and local services. 

 

9 hours ago, mom2mybugs said:

We tried our first glass (well maybe 2) of cava and were getting ready to go when a street performer showed up with his sax to play American jazz.  So we ordered a cheese plate and another glass of cava and stayed for awhile.  It was so incredibly relaxing!  

You HAVE to drink cava whilst in Spain. It's the law. I'm glad you enjoyed it 🥂

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On 7/26/2019 at 6:53 PM, mom2mybugs said:

bakeries and gelato places (the one we tried last night was just ok... Looking forward to Italy lol).

You got it wrong 🙂  Spain = Tapas , Italy Gelato , France = Bakeries 🙂  

But I must say , bakeries are good all around Europe . 

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I'm a day behind lol!! Gotta catch up!  So yesterday we wanted to do the ramblas and the Gothic quarter.  We got to the Barcelona cathedral around 9 and looked at every single chapel!  All 10 million pics are on my other camera but here are the amazing geese that live in the cathedral.

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So the funny story is that we went into the chapel to pray... And then Mass started!  We were stuck for 45 minutes.  We do NOT understand Catalan, so we didn't understand anything, but it was still cool!  

So we walked out and the predicted thunderstorm opened up from the heavens.  We ran to the tourist trap across the street from the cathedral and tried to sit outside before moving inside when the rain was going sideways.

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We spent a lovely 2 hours drinking wine and eating tapas and vegetable paella while the rain poured (with sorbet and cafe con leche for dessert). 

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