March 2009

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Frank and Patti, our friends from Tortola, came for a visit.  Patti mastered 'walking the plank' to board Aquila.  After that, everything else is easy. Everyone must be first introduced to the Cava Bar.  Cava is Spain's champagne and it is poured here for pennies ($2 for the whole bottle).  No tables or chairs, inexpensive sandwiches, lots of cava, and close to the boat.  Needless to say, we're repeat customers.
  We showed Frank and Patti around the city and went on the requisite tours.   We took many 'refreshment' breaks along the way!
Tibidabo is a high hill which overlooks Barcelona.  Unfortunately, it was a bit hazy the day we went up so the view wasn't crystal clear.  Mike and I went to visit the animal shelter, but it was closed on that day (whew! dodged another bullet!).  Mike really misses having a dog. A church was actually built right on top of another church.  Weird, but spectacular inside.  A formal wedding was being held the day we were there, but that didn't stop the tourists from wandering around and taking pictures.  As the church is a major tourist attraction for Tibidabo, I guess it was to be expected.
We wanted to go someplace special for Patti's birthday, so we all flew to Granada for a few days.  What an absolutely lovely town!  This picture is just outside our hotel. The Alhambra, backed by the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Spain, was a fortress in the 9th century, converted to a fortress/palace in the 13th century.  Inside its walls are gardens, marble fountains, intricately tiled walls, and carved wooden ceilings.  Serene and beautiful.
Mike and I on the Torre de la Vela (Watchtower) of the Alcazaba (Citadel) after climbing the winding staircase to its top terrace for a great view. We walked the cobblestone streets of Granada's old Muslim quarter, the "Albayzin".
Patti's birthday falls on St. Patrick's Day.  We had no trouble finding an Irish Bar to celebrate! We loved walking around Granada.  The buildings are beautiful and the town has a peaceful, relaxed aura.
High on our list was to see a Flamenco show.  This show was a touristy show in one of the Sacromonte caves.  A few days later we accidentally stumbled across an incredible flamenco show in the basement of a local bar. We had to try the highly recommended (by the hotel staff) churros & chocolate.  The chocolate is so thick, the churro can stand by itself in it!  Mike (being the chocoholic) thinks it's a good way to start the day.

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