Thursday, August 19, 2010

August 7


Saturday Aug 7.


We were in no rush to get off the ship,, and they did not have that awful "see you real soon banner up" it always makes me sad.

It was about 9:00 AM when we walked out of the cruise terminal and got in line for a taxi

Nieuw Amsterdam

 and probably 9:45 when we got to the Novetel City Centre Hotel. It was a zoo there, but we found someone to store our bags.

The hotel was close to the Metro so we were off and our destination was Parc Guell. The Metro was clean and easy to figure out our way around, Sydney was the navigator. We got off and there were even signs directing us to Parc Guell. It was hot in Barcelona but luckily the stop we got off at , the roads were shaded and there were outdoor escalators in the middle of the street to take us up. And it was up, and steep, it took about 20 minutes to get there. At the back of this picture  is the metro and it is uphill all the way.

The Parc was beautiful and being Saturday there were lots of people around. I could have spent hours looking around.

Lauren does not like to get her picture taken why there is so many from behind

but the girls were getting bored as it was too hot to go run around the park, so we headed back. I wish I had retraced our steps, but I saw signs to a Metro so I just followed them, but it was through busy non shaded streets and it took forever, probably close to an hour.

We made it back to the Metro and the hotel. Right across from hotel is a large Mall so we spend some time shopping and having lunch.

It was then off to the hotel to see if our room was ready and you guessed it hit the swimming pool. The pool was on the roof of the hotel and the view of the ocean and city was breathtaking.

It was hard getting the girls out of the pool but they were getting hungry so they finally got out. We headed back to the Mall across the street and had dinner at Subway. After that we hit the grocery store to pick up snacks for the flight home. It is always neat to go to grocery stores in new places, the meat aisle was interesting they seemed to have sides of beef hanging and someone cuts what you want, but I think it was all cooked meat.

One last swim and that was our day in Barcelona, everyone was pretty tired.

Sunday we had to get up early and we took a taxi to the airport. There was not much of a lineup for check in so it was not a mad rush like when we left.

We flew to Montreal and that was ok, but the flight Montreal to Toronto, there was a baby who screamed a lot of the flight and it was not fun, I can’t imagine having that for the whole flight.

No dead car batteries so we made it home without any problems.

We had a wonderful time and we seem to have more fun each time.

Where too next ??

Aug 6

Last day at Sea.

How could it be the last day already, the first couple of days seemed to go by at a normal pace, but the last several days just flew by.

Today was a lazy day, but I do think we hit the pool 3 times .

First time was after breakfast, then after dinner and then a late night swim (after bathing suits packed)

In between we just hung out on deck 4, we did go down to the promenade lounge to play some board games and also the family craft time which was decorate a Frisbee.

I did all the packing in the afternoon, why does there seem to be so much stuff, next time I am just bringing bathing suites and a couple of pairs of shorts.

We did go the Dreams, the final stage show and it was just as amazing as ever, I don’t think we will get tired of watching it.

It was a beautiful night so Lauren wanted 1 more swim to end the cruise off, and Sydney snuck out for one last character picture.

 In March when we went on the Wonder we did go swimming once they sure made up for it this time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aug 5


Woke up and it was a gray and foggy day in Gibraltar but the fog would break up and by 10:00 it was another lovely day.

Gibraltar was the port that Lauren was looking forward to the most and the Barbary Apes.

After breakfast we headed off the ship and found a taxi to do the Rock Tour with. The Magic was the only ship in port this morning so there was no lines for the Rock Tours which are right when you got off the ship, but when we returned in the afternoon there was another large ship in port and there were huge line ups. (this is when we returned and it looped all the way round into the terminal)

The tour basically takes you up the switchback road (just like Giants Head but with the Atlantic Ocean/Mediterranean Sea) on the side of the Rock of Gibraltar with a couple of stops at viewpoints, the St Michael Caves, the Barbary Apes and then your choice of the Great Siege tunnels or the Moorish Palace. We were with another family and they wanted to see the tunnels and that was fine with us.

First lookout.

The taxi driver gets your tickets and then meets you at the exit. The St Michael’s caves were amazing and I have never seen stalagmites and stalactites like this. There was a DCL tour going through at the same time and I wished we had taken the tour as the guide was giving some great information. Concerts are held in the caves as the acoustics are supposed to be very good.

We emerged from the caves and Lauren was able to find a machine that was selling Rock of Gibraltar coins so she was thrilled.

Next stop was the Apes.  A popular belief holds that as long as Barbary Macaques exist on Gibraltar, the territory will remain under British rule. In 1942 (during World War II), after the population dwindled to just a handful of individuals (just seven monkeys), British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill ordered that their numbers be replenished immediately from forest fragments in both Morocco and Algeria because of this traditional belief.

The ape does not know what to think of Lauren

 I knew Lauren would be in heaven and Sydney would be scared. The Apes are everywhere and we got to see old ones that would not move out of your way, and young ones that would not sit still, we even saw a mother with a brand new one that barely had it eyes open.

Lauren was in awe and probably could have spent all day there. One approached her, which she was hopping for , but this of course freaked out Sydney. The vans are just sitting on the road waiting for the traffic ahead, so Sydney was able to get in our van and be protected and Lauren got every possible minute watching the Apes.

The finally stop was the tunnels. It is hard to believe that men carved these tunnels out in the late 1770’s. They are 1 mile deep, we did not go all the way as it was only a short stop.

The view was amazing,

The ship has not left without us!
 The airport has a road that goes through the middle of the runway and you can see people walking on a sidewalk.

We did not have the greatest taxi driver, and it was rushed, he was hoping to get in 2 more tours today before the ships left, but it was still one of the highlights.

We got dropped off in the centre of the old town and walked around.

It was getting hot to we headed back to the ship, but not before getting lost.

The afternoon routine continued and we hit the pool, we also made it to a family craft activity and painted mosiac tiles.

Departing from Gibraltar

Can't have a day with no characters.

I finally convinced the girls to skip dinner and go to TopSiders for dinner. It was probably the best meal of the cruise, it is so quiet and relaxing up there. The waiter was not great but he actually had time to talk to us, I find the main dinning rooms so busy and noisy that you hate to ask the servers for anything.

We then went back to the pool of course, and after went to the Stage show, The Dream Goes On

Lauren was hoping to hit the club as they were having a late night drive in movie night, but she fell asleep. I tried to wake her up at 10:30 when it was starting but said she did not want to get up.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August 4


Looks like another nice day this time we are in Southern Spain and the City of Cadiz.

The plan today was take the Hop On Hop Off bus to the Victoria Beach, spend some time there and then take the bus around the rest of the loop getting off in the old town at seawall and walking back to the ship.

There was a long line waiting to board the bus, and it took quite a while to board and I think we had to wait for 3 busses, but it was a beautiful day and not too hot yet.

We made it to the beach, and the ocean was so warm.

After some time in the ocean we decided to hop on the bus, lots of Moorish style buildings, and the large walls around the old part of town.

 We missed the stop at the seawall ( got pictures though)  so we ended up back near the port.

 We did some shopping, found a Euro store and Sydney got some modeling clay, but Lauren was not able to find any coins.

We went back on the ship about 2:00 and brought lunch down to deck 4, for some reading, shuffleboard, and creating with the modeling

Tonight was Pirate night and the girls got dressed up.

After dinner we headed up to the pool, but as set up for pirate party was going on the girls had to go to the Mickey pool, it was empty too so the girls had fun.

We did head back to the room and watched almost the whole Spy next door and then rushed up stairs to catch Mickey saving the day and the fireworks.