Friday, May 19, 2023

May 4, 2023 – Barcelona, Spain – Mostly Sunny – 72F

The weather continues to be terrific as we make another stop, this time in beautiful Barcelona.  

After another wonderful breakfast in the Oceanview Café, we headed out on our own to visit Las Ramblas.  There is a shuttle (5 Euro/p) from the port to the other cruise ship port (over the bridge) and near the “Ones” massive metallic ring structure.  While we have walked over that bridge in the past, I doubt we could have done it today.

From the drop, near the installation,

 we walked a few blocks 

to the Cristofo Colom Monument – there was some work being done on the monument and the structure and nearby street were just full of people, so it was difficult to get a decent picture of the monument (cars were always in the way).  

We carefully made our way across the street and onto Las Ramblas.   Here's where we are and where we are going.

Las Ramblas has changed quite a bit since we were here last – perhaps the economy and/or pandemic was responsible.  Many stores have closed.  There is a lot of street construction going on at the bottom of the walkway (“Improvement Projects” which include a new hotel or shopping complex).  There were no street performers here today but the tapas restaurants in the center of the street were still there but, as expected, getting tapas was no bargain.  We had two goals in mind today – first, we could buy “a you were here” coffee mug from Starbucks (there was one on the street) and secondly, we would have a Kosher lunch at one of the two Kosher restaurants on Las Ramblas (they were both still here). 

The street still had its signature architecture - very European.

Even the Mickey D looked fancier on Las Ramblas.

We found the Starbucks which is on the “West” side of the street – about two thirds of the way to the top - but would get the cup on the way back down (didn’t want to drag a heavy cup around).  We started walking to the top of the walkway (on the East Side or shady side) toward the Plaza Catalunya – kind of the center of the town.  A block of so before the top, a Chocolate Store was giving away samples (yummy) – we noticed that both of their large windows had what looked to be bullet holes – 

we asked the chocolate guy what they were and he said he wasn’t around when that happened. 

We made it to the top and I took a picture of Las Ramblas' downhill view.

Plaza Catalunya is a huge park and perhaps the central square in Barcelona, considering its prime location. 

There were, of course, lots of people in the park but no shade.  We did find some shade on metal seats (surrounding plants) across the street and rested there a while and took pictures.  In the past, we have stayed at hotels near Plaza Catalunya which allowed us to walk the entire city.  There was minimal police presence here today.  Things must be quiet on the separatist front these days.

We headed back to the Starbucks for the mug.  The mug costs $16.48 ($14.90 Euro) a much better price than we paid in Cozumel Mexico.  

For lunch we decided to go to Restaurant Maccabi just a few doors down from the Starbucks.  We ordered some Chicken Croquettes, a hamburger with fries, 

and a Coke Zero (no “diet” here only “zero”), which came in a cool bottle.

and the tab came to $28.62 – a very good price for what we got and the food and service was excellent.  The wait staff (the most diverse we have seen) was very good and friendly.  It’s a small place but today, most of the tables were occupied.  The restaurant is quite quaint inside and it looks like it might have been a bar or coffee shop in a past life.  

We would definitely come back to this place if Barcelona shows up on our plans.

We continued down Las Ramblas looking for coffee.  We stopped in at the massive St. Joseph’s Market and could not find bulk coffee for sale. 

We did find an interesting can of beans with maybe a Catalan spelling on the label.

It was starting to get warm so we decided to go to the pickup spot and go back to the ship. The bus was waiting for us and soon we were back on the ship.

We spent the afternoon either in our wonderful cabin or up on Deck 15 under a shade.

Dinner was in the Oceanview Cafe - Salad and Pizza.  We did have a big lunch.

The headliner tonight was Broadway and West End singer, Sabrina Aloueche.  

I had never heard of her but she was an excellent vocalist, who sang some very nice show tune standards, “Hopeless Devoted to You”, 

“On My Own”, “I Dreamed a Dream”, 

“Don’t Rain on my Parade”, 


and “All That Jazz”.  

She was the female lead in “We Will Rock You”.  Her show was very entertaining.  She told us that she was supposed to join Beyond in Punta Delgada but didn’t because we didn’t stop there. She flew to meet the ship in Cartagena.

We were pretty tired after the show so we retreated to the room - we have another big day tomorrow.

Today was quite a walk according to my smartwatch.

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