We've been here in Barcelona, Spain for 2 whole months!
I guess it's time to tell you what we're feeling.
In a word .... cold! And it's going to get colder. This
weather might be fine to many people, but we really like warm weather. We
are bundled up in everything we've got, and we're still cold. My
lips are chapped and my skin is dry. Mike carries a wad of kleenex
for his stuffy nose. I'm layering 3 thermal tops under my sweater
and jacket, adding a neck scarf, knit cap and gloves to go out. I
had to purchase these accessories, of course. We never needed them
before! Everyone here is telling us that this year is unusually cold
for this early in the season. Great.
We decided that we had to have a heater in the boat. So we bought
an oil radiator type that sits in the middle of the room. It is a
European heater and requires 220 volt power. Our boat is configured
with standard USA 110 volt outlets. Knowing that the power we would
get in Europe would be 220 volts, we bought a step-down transformer when
we were in the Azores so we could continue to use our electric outlets and
run our boat on 110 volt power. We tried to use an adaptor to plug
in the new heater, but 110 volts just wasn't enough 'juice' to get it
hot. So we ran the cord out a porthole and Mike spliced it into the
main power line from the dock. Now it works .. and we're warm and
Which brings me to confess that we spend an awful lot of time on the
boat because we are comfy and cozy. We sleep in, have our coffee,
check email and news online, play cards, read, play cribbage, eat, drink
wine, listen to music, play backgammon, play computer games, watch movies
on DVD, and go to bed. Oh my God! We are so boring!
OK, maybe I'm exaggerating. But I do feel guilty if we don't get
out and explore, so we force ourselves to go out. I check the guide
books and local magazines to see what's going on and schedule outings for
us. And then, of course, we always enjoy ourselves when we do go
out. We also participate in the weekly Sunday pot luck with the
cruisers here in the marina, and the ladies have a regular Tuesday morning
coffee outing. All of the cruisers have been here a long time, so we
get good tips and advice on the best grocery stores, hardware stores,
restaurants, bars, etc. We have enjoyed fun outings with
some of the cruisers for drinks and sandwiches at the cava bar, an evening
at a Flamenco concert, and another evening at a jazz concert.
However, there are very few Americans here and we haven't made any 'best
friends' to pal around with. We bonded with Patrick and Christine on
m/v Frog Kiss, but they were here for only 2 weeks, and we miss
We had a great time taking the train to Montserrat with Patrick and
Christine. We took the cable car up the mountain to tour the
Benedictine Monastery which was founded in 1025, and is still home to a
community of 80 monks. Then we toured the Spanish Village at
Montjuic and watched the terraced fountains, called La Font Magica, which
come alive with a wonderful lights-water-music show in the evening.
On our own, Mike and I attended a wonderful Spanish Guitar concert at
the impressive Music Palace (Palau de la Musica Catalana). We toured
the Picasso Museum which occupies five medieval stone mansions. We
visited the underground Roman ruins at the City History Museum (Museu
d'Historia de la Ciutat) and we regularly walk by the city's finest Gothic
church, the Eglesia de Santa Maria del Mar. We toured the amazing
Gaudi project, La Sagrada Familia (Temple of the Holy Family), which is still not completed after more than
100 years. It would take two pages to describe this incredible
cathedral, so I won't. We'll do this tour again when Frank and Patty
visit us in March. (Don't worry, you two! We're saving all
kinds of new things to do when you get here, too!) The following
pictures are a small sample of the wonderful sights we are seeing
here. Check out our Photo Album for more.
We regularly walk up La Rambla with it's abundance of street
performers, sidewalk vendors, shops, restaurants, bars, and
tourists. We have become skilled at getting around using the
fabulous system of subways, buses and trams. I've never seen
anything as efficient, clean and affordable as the public transportation
in Barcelona. But mostly we just walk. This is a wonderful
place to walk around, with all the ancient buildings and skinny alleys in
Barri Gotic and Barceloneta lined with chic little shops, and amazing
aromas coming from the bakeries and cafes. Our body clocks have
finally adjusted to the late lunch and even later dinner hours.
And now we are going home to California for Christmas! We leave
this week and will spend a few days in Madrid before we fly to the
US. We are so excited to see our family! This has been our
longest stretch without seeing them since we started sailing, and we miss
them all terribly!
Wishing everyone very Happy Holidays!! Click here
to view the Photo Album.