Europe day 2 - Barcelona Gothic Quarter
Gothic Quarter (Barri Gothic)
We started from the end of La Ramblas and walked to the Gothic Quarter. It looks like an ancient fortress with very high stone walls. Inside we saw churches, merchant guilds, and galleries. The streets are very narrow and is pedestrian only. It is in the middle of the city so it is all surrounded by modern buildings outside the stone walls. The buildings inside are now mostly converted to galleries. Some looks like government offices. There are engravings on some of the stone walls. They look like medieval street signs with pictures for metal smiths, garment tailors, and food markets. The top of the buildings have gargoyle rain spouts. Many windows have decorative carved frames and cast iron grilles. There are metal studded doors. Some buildings have interior courtyards and small fountains. The Gothic Quarter is like a maze. I like it a lot, feels like you are back in medieval times. We spent the morning here strolling the streets and looking into buildings with open doors. We stopped at a cafe for a cappuccino. We meant to get take out, but guess what, they don't even have take out coffee cups. Well, europeans expect you to sit down and sip your coffee in leisure unlike the American counterparts. We returned to the hotel to collect our luggage and grabbed a taxi to the cruise pier around 2pm.
Boarding the Cruise Ship
The taxi took us to the port terminal. You need to tell the taxi driver which cruise company you are going to because the port terminal is big. Checking in was really easy. Once we dropped off the luggage, we boarded the ship and headed straight to the buffet. The welcome aboard buffet was pretty good. I had a good first impression of the ship. We checked into our room which is a standard stateroom. This will be our floating hotel for the next two weeks. The luggages had already arrived. There was time to relaxed a bit and freshened up before the dinner. Well, I am not the kind of people who likes to snap a picture of my food everywhere I go. So you won't be bored with what I eat during the trip. Suffice to say I am really happy with the food offering on this cruise. A variety of steak, seafood, italian, french and greek specialties, a lobster dinner, etc. We go for the full service dinner each night and the dinner services are very good as well.
Looking Around the Cruise Ship
We roamed around the ship to find out where everything is. We already ate at the buffet Deck where the pools are. The atrium is also very nice with piano and a small café. This is where we get our desserts outside of meal time. We walked through the ship and looked in on various bars, piano bar, theater, library, gift shop, photo gallery and restaurants. Then come the first night dinner, first night welcome show. Tonight we need a good sleep and get ready for the first port tomorrow - Monte Carlo.
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