Barcelona and Transatlantic Cruise 2008 – Day 3 – Barcelona

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Day two of our 2008 family vacation finds us still in Barcelona. After a forced long day and lots of walking yesterday, we found ourselves in excellent condition today feeling no jet lag effects.

I awoke about 8:30 and went on a little walk to see if I could find a local store open to get some olive oil or butter. The night before, we had bought some eggs, potatoes, veggies and ham/bacon and I planned to cook a nice breakfast. However, I didn’t want everything to stick to the pans. There was only a few bakeries open despite the late morning for us Americans. In fact, the streets were pretty much deserted save for a few parents starting their kids towards school. It’s definitely a different culture.

Failing to find a place to get butter or oil, I went back and cooked the breakfast anyways. It came out very good and just added to the fun we are having here. After breakfast we all took turns and showered prepping for another fun filled day.

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We decided to spend the morning relaxing around the apartment until after lunch. Savannah and Suzanne also decided to do a bit of girl shopping. Savannah bought a pair of genuine Spanish walking boots. Meanwhile, Sean and I relaxed in the apartment and enjoyed a movie. We all grabbed lunch at a local eatery about 2:00 pm. We ate at a local restaurant enjoying one of the Menu del Dia. Basically, it’s a fixed price menu with several choices of starters and main courses, plus a glass of wine. The meal was enjoyable but not quite as good as the very memorable dinner last night.

After lunch we headed out for another days walking and touristy things. First stop was the Sagrada Familia. It’s a huge church in Barcelona that is still under construction. It’s been under construction since the late 1800’s and has another 50 – 100 years planned in its construction. The church is/was the brainstorm of Antonio Gaudi. Despite the construction, the completed parts of the church were pretty amazing.

After walking around the ground floor, we took an elevator up about 20+ stories to areas where you could look out over the town or down into the inside of the church. You were also able to look at various parts of the exterior of the giant church.

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Upon finishing our tour up on top, we took the stairs down. That was something I hadn’t experienced before and may have a hard time explaining. The stairwell down was a very narrow, tight circular stairwell. However, the handrail of the stairwell was on the outside on the wall. There was no handrail, wall or anything on the inside. Parts of the stairwell were also fairly dark and hard to see the steps. It all made for a strange descent – not one were you were necessarily afraid, but just a hard to explain feeling as you looked downward in the center of the stairwell.

Afterwards, we head downtown again and walked along the Passeig de Gracia, kind of the Rodeo Drive of Barcelona. The shops were pretty amazing and there were many other very odd architectural designs of Gaudi – one resembling a dragon slain with a sword. It was around 7:00 pm and the streets were bustling as if it was lunch time in a big city in the US.

As we turned for home, we stopped and enjoyed dinner in a nice pizzeria. Again, we had a wonderful dinner and great company with the employees of the restaurant. Along the way home, we stopped at a local bakery and grabbed some breakfast rolls and cakes for the morning.

We returned to the apartment about 9:00 pm, opened a bottle of wine and enjoyed another movie as we plotted our plans for the next day Friday, our last full day in Barcelona before boarding the Celebrity Summit on Saturday.