"" Writer's Wanderings: Cruising on to Spain

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Cruising on to Spain

We made three stops in Spain on our Mediterranean cruise. The first was Barcelona where we took a walking tour. The start of the tour was pretty funny. They handed us all Ipods with the recorded tour on it. It was a rough start for most people on the bus whose closest contact with an Ipod has been to watch their teenaged grandchildren plug them in.

When everyone finally got on the right channel and learned how to stop and start and adjust the volume, we were let out of the bus at the circle that is on the harbor end of Barcelona's main street, La Rambla. We circled around the statue of Columbus pointing to the new world and began our walk down La Rambla listening to our Ipod tour guide and watching for the landmarks. The tour was relatively easy to follow and we only had to back up and retrace a couple of times.

Barcelona was a wonderful European city with quite a different feel than the cities in France, Germany and Austria that we've visited. The Cathedral was the most interesting building but unfortunately there was some sort of special event taking place (we could tell by the TV camera men present and the limos with men who looked like body guards) and we couldn't get to see all of it inside. Guess that means we will have to return.

On our way back down La Rambla, the main pedestrian area had come alive with vendors, sidewalk cafes offering tapas, and lots and lots of mimes who truly wanted you to take their picture--for a fee, of course. It was all very entertaining and truly invites a return visit to spend more time tasting and taking in the sights.

Our next stop was Cartagena, where we wandered around on our own--sans Ipods. The town square was amazing as was the restful park area on top of the fortification wall that extends across the harbor area. We walked up to a vatage point that had some nice views and peacocks. We could see down into the ruins of an old Roman theater. Along the way we also ran into a couple of sections of a Roman road.

Cadiz was our last stop in Spain. We took an excursion to get a panoramic view and then went on to a winery that specialized in sherries. The airport in Cadiz was amazing. It is quite an architectural feat. The runway extends out over the ocean and there is a roadway below. It is quite a source of pride for Cadiz.

I was beginning to come down with a cold and most of the Cadiz tour became a blur. Bob had some time on his own in the city after we returned to the ship. He came back to our stateroom with a small bouquet of flowers to cheer me up. Now you can see why we've made it through 40 years of marriage. Awwww.

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