Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spain: Barcelona Beginnings

Ben and I stepped off the boat and onto Spanish soil. We had made it! The last major leg of our European journey.

We surveyed the area and smiled... paradise. Palm trees, cathedrals, beaches, young people - it exuded lots of fun with minimal learning. My kind of place.

We hopped in a cab and headed to our hotel. The cab driver didn't speak English. We didn't speak (much) Spanish. But, with just the right nonverbal cues, we figured out everything.

We arrived at our hotel, which sat in the Gothic Quarter, a super cool and trendy area full of restaurants and shops. Luckily, our hotel was also across the street from a small restaurant that specialized in desserts covered, coated, filled, and stuffed with Nutella. Yummy. I took one look at that restaurant and then dug through my bag for all skirts with elastic waistbands.

We dropped our bags off and did what we always do on our first day in a new city... jumped on an open top tour bus. Got to familiarize ourselves with the area. Find places to go. (Or, in my case, get a little shuteye).

Very happy in a nice and clean hotel room...

View of Barcelona from the top of the bus.

View of Barcelona from the top of the bus.

Ride on cowboy!

Palm trees! Paradise! Great sight from the top of the bus.

 Ben at the Olympic stadium.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spain: All Aboard

We said arrivederci to Italy and hopped on a "cruise ship" to Barcelona, Spain.  "Cruise ship" being the operative word. We booked passage from Italy to Spain via the Internet on, technically speaking, a ferry boat that transported cargo and people.

Imagine our suspicion and slight apprehension.

Would we sleep on beds or bales of hay? Would we walk on the deck or be chained in the hull?  Would we eat in restaurants or gnaw our limbs to stave off hunger?  We just didn't know. Luckily for us, it was more cruise-y and less Black Pearl-y.

Our eyes beheld a wondrous sight... a real ship!
No chains or Blackbeards or wenches in sight.

The back of the boat.

 Enjoying the scenery (and not auditioning for a role in Avatar 2).

The bar/restaurant on the top deck.

The pool that a huge group of middle school girls later overran. 
We enjoyed it while we could.

The restaurant inside the ship. 
Ben and I took these pictures to prove that the ship was legit. 

Ben contemplated our impending arrival on Spanish soil.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Italy: Capri Sun

As we galavanted around Capri, I kept reminding myself to always make it my "happy place." 

Think of Capri when a fellow New Yorker shoulder checks me. Remember Capri when a taxi flattens me. Dream of Capri when the exhaust of standstill traffic in Herald Square suffocates me. Imagine Capri when nature eludes me.

Always remember Capri. 

The bluff that welcomed us upon arrival. 
A small pied-a-terre would look nice right by the water. Agree?

A small section of Capri near the dock.

We plan to upgrade from the subway to this... 

... or this.

Our boat raced against this boat to be first in line at the Blue Grotto.

All of the boats behind us in line at the Blue Grotto (slackers).

Our view of Capri from Anacapri (a township on the island of Capri).

What a couple! Such naturals! They must be native Capricans!

More Capri... and I believe our future yacht is the one closest to the left. Ah, yes. That's it.