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Jan 2019 Review - Morocco and Canary Islands from Barcelona

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The bike tour email said to be there 15 mins early. The Fat Tire team was not there that early. When they arrived, they easily found our reservation on their ipad. We divided into groups based on the tour booked. Our tour guide was from Latvia. She had lived in Arkansas and, I believe she said London too. She came to Barcelona on vacation and decided to stay. She has not learned to speak Catalonia, noting enough people speak English. 


After checking in, we walked to their bike shop to get our bikes, which was down a near alley. Then we were required to walk the bikes in some parts of town -- the rules, so we walked it back into the square where the Costa coffee was. She then began the tour; we learned about Barcelona and introduced ourselves and where we were from. From there, we rode. Barcelona was very impressive with the number of bike lanes, special turn lanes, bike lanes in round-abouts, some one way, some two way, and special bike signal lights. I very, very rarely ride a bike (last in 2001), so I was not good at this. Traffic was scary to me. Husband rides daily for exercise and was very comfortable. I did learn to get the pedal in the right place to start quickly after the light turned. 


Next stop: Palau de la Música Catalana, English: Palace of Catalan Music, by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. I looked this up, did not remember. 






Our guide noted it was very beautiful inside and to go there if we had a chance. 


Next stop - this park:




There were some street performers here with large hula hoops. 


Then a stop in this park: 




Me pretending that I can ride a bike: 




A bull fighting ring, turned mall, when bull fighting was outlawed: 




Our tour also stopped at Sagradia Familia; I posted these pictures early. Here we learned about Gaudi. This originally was not an official church. Gaudi would pray at a different church each day, but he stopped taking care of himself. Then one day he fell in the street, and no one immediately helped him. Finally, someone took him to the hospital, and later he was determined to be Gaudi. After he passed, work continues on the church using some of Gaudi's notes and guessing what he intended. We had time to talk around at this stop too. 


We ended the tour at restaurant where we could have drinks and food. To get here, we rode on a path on the beach. The food was pricey, so we shared a brownie sundae only. Then we rode back to the shop to end the tour. It was a good, informative tour. 

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After the tour, we found a grocery store. I was not very comfortable at the grocery store, but husband noted there were not others around. We found dinner for at the hotel since our hotel was not near restaurants and some snacks. Then we were off to pick up our luggage; this went smoothly. We then caught the bus, with our T-10 card, for a long ride to the hotel. With luggage, it is hard to find a seat on the bus; as we progressed down the line to the end, it less and less crowded. Buses have stroller sections; this one had two. We did not get "the look", but there was definitely a "look" for "I have stroller, move it". The ride was about an hour, so longer and slower than the train we took into town.


Our hotel was the Barcelona Airport Hotel or BAH. It was nice, though the shower/tub was not functional. It had two sinks, which was nice. We arrived about 4pm. We had a 6am flight, so an early, early morning. So, our dinner, shower, and to bed early. The hotel provided a shuttle, first come, first serve. We did not know how crowded, so we took the 2:40 am shuttle. We were the only ones on and got to the airport quickly. The airport -- Lufthansa desk and security -- did not open until 4am. It was an international flight to us, but not for Lufthansa with our layover in Frankfort. The flight was long -- 11.5 hours with some delay taking off. They cleaned the restrooms mid-flight, which was very helpful. I watched a lot of movies -- finishing Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean's 8 that I started but did not get to finish on the cruise. 


I'll end here -- a great cruise and lots of great ports! I will try to help with any questions that anyone has. 

Edited by tammyjw305
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