Day 04 - Friday, September 28, 2012 - Day on Our Own in Barcelona
Barcelona & Northern Spain
We were able to sleep in a bit this morning and after a light breakfast of fruit, we checked our mail. Gennie sorted her bag of coins and organized them to match the two Euros we each needed for our day on the subway.
We walked just two blocks to the Diagonal Metro Station and rode all the way to the Las Ramblas terminal. There were several cruise ships in port today so the wide tree lined promenade was packed with people looking very much like tourists. I wonder if we looked like tourists to them.
We walked all the way to the Port of Barcelona and watched the tall ships go out to the Mediterranean for day cruises. The harbor slips were full of beautiful sail boats and a few bigger yachts waiting patiently to sail.
As we passed the tall Christopher Columbus Monument we thought about the early days of exploration when the world was so small. A journey like ours would be impossible for most of the world’s population. With more and more people traveling we would hope for better understanding of our similarities and less emphasis on our differences.
The street vendors were just setting up for the day to sell handmade jewelry, art work, and t-shirts. We ducked into the city market, La Boqueria, and enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells of a truly functional market.
Although the market is a must-see stop on the cruise ship circuit, it is where everyday people actually shop for their daily portions of fresh fish, meat, and vegetables. Seafood is a specialty and we saw many varieties unknown to us. The fish mongers were very helpful in explaining their produce.
Another specialty is the Iberian Ham that we have seen in shops and restaurants for the past two days. A young lady gave us a whole lesson in the famous black pigs that are descendants of the wild boars of this region. We watched a butcher carving the thin slices that sell for as much as 195 € per kilo or $250 for 2.2 pounds.
We spent about an hour, roaming the market and taking photos. Most of the vendors were very happy to pose for photos. When we came out it was raining. Naturally, our umbrellas were back at the hotel so instead of fighting the rain, we rode the subway back home.
Our Go Ahead Tour group arrived today and the first meeting was at 6:30 for a welcome drink and to get to know each other. We met our Tour Director, Laura Maria Jose Fernandez Nuňez. There are 42 people on our tour from all over the United States.
After our general meeting we walked to the Balthazar Restaurant, for a group dinner. On the menu was a choice of cod, pork, or chicken. We chose cod and pork and both were excellent. Walking back to the hotel helped to get rid of a few calories.
We got back at 10:30 and finished the journal. Our days seem to be long when we travel. The time difference between here and Colorado is eight hours.
Tonight we watched the stock market go down a little. The reasons given were the worries about Spain’s economy. Perhaps those economists do not realize we are here and spending money!
Accommodations: Hotel Catalonia La Pedrera - - - Meal: B and D
Please see our Trip Evaluation -- Click Here -- A Complete Review of Go Ahead Tours: Barcelona and Northern Spain
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those tour buses and the Iberian Hams -- WOW -- I was looking over your travels, and you have been just about everywhere - how exciting
Day 13 - Saturday, April 22, 2022 - Depart for U.S.
The hotel prepared a box breakfast for us as we had to be in the lobby way before the breakfast room was open.
Last night we found out that our departure flight back to...