It was a day to do some sightseeing in Barcelona and surrounding points of interest.
We had a rocky start this morning getting off the ship, as there seemed to be too many people who needed to get to too many different places, with very unclear instructions. There were cruisers getting off the ship in Barcelona; cruisers getting off and taking an excursion before flying home; cruisers getting off for excursions then continuing on the ship for the next cruise. Mayhem ensued! Somehow it all got sorted out and everyone went on their way!. Things don’t always go smoothly on a cruise but most of the time it’s like a dream!
Our onshore excursion was by autobus, which took us one hour out of Barcelona to Montserrat, whose name means serrated mountain. We have never seen anything like this mountain before!
We visited the mountaintop monastery with magnificent views of the city and countryside. In the cathedral here you will find the Black Madonna, which is so named because of its appearance following a fire that once burned everything to the ground. The wooden Madonna statue was still standing and had turned black from the fire. It is considered to be a miracle and attracts visitors who wish to view and pray before the Black Madonna. On this day, the crowd was huge due to many buses from several cruise ships docked in the port, as well as groups of school children on a field day.
After enjoying the unbelievable vistas and sights of the rock formations, our bus took us back off the mountain and into Barcelona. Here we were amazed by the many different styles of architecture. Views from the coach included the Columbus Monument, Catalunya Square, Passeig de Gracia Boulevard, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo Montserrat.
All of these things were truly amazing; however, even more amazing were the crowds of people we saw in the city and the numerous motorcycles and scooters that were parked on every street! Barcelona seemed to be the city where everyone in the world who is on vacation gathers at once!
If we ever come back to Barcelona, I’d like to visit the Gothic Cathedral, built from 1298-1450 on the site of a Roman temple dedicated to Hercules, and some famous art by Gaudi and Picasso. But there is only so much one can see in a day!
We departed Barcelona sailing across the Mediterranean to Alexandria, Egypt! After three days at sea, we will arrive in Egypt on Friday.
Happy birthday to our son, Matthew Dale Cook – May 7!
See you back here – until next time…
Look for a link to Trilla’s Travels at http://www.ourtribune.com