A short visit to Barcelona

February 14th, 2009 by scott and becky

We arrived at the pilot station at 11 am and were immediately brought into port at Barcelona. We were surprised at the efficiency, since the last time we were here our berthing was delayed by a few hours.

We descended the gangway from the ship into a maelstrom of moving containers, cranes and gantrys. On our last visit things weren’t this hectic, but this time our ship was trying for a quick turnaround so we could arrive at the Suez Canal on time.

Scott immediately headed along the wharf, despite the noise and activity, but Becky needed a moment or two to orient herself. Unfortunately, we didn’t communicate well, which resulted in Scott leading us across the gantry track to look for a different route out of the port, and then us standing at the corner of a working gantry with trucks transporting containers whizzing by. We clearly looked out of place and lost. One of the port employees saw our confusion, and offered us a ride to the port entrance. Much easier!

Our visit to Barcelona was brief. We wanted to see the Park Guell, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Works of Antoni Gaudi”, do a quick email synchronization, and blog post.

We were pleased to learn that the entrance to Park Guell was free; however, this meant that it was crowded. There appeared to be many international high school groups visiting. The famous lizard statue was constantly crowded with people taking turns getting their picture taken with the lizard. We walked around the park and took many pictures – unfortunately, we arrived a little bit too late in the day for ideal lighting. The upper part of the park was closed for reconstruction.

We were fascinated by the architecture and d├ęcor of the park, with the organic forms characteristic of Gaudi everywhere, and tile mosaics everywhere with a beautiful mix of coloured and white tiles. Scott kept looking for a flat tile on a wall or bench, but all the tiles have been broken in pieces and placed in curved mortar to emphasize the organic forms. It is a beautiful spot, and we can understand why so many locals were here, and not just tourists snapping photos.

After visiting two cafes with free wi-fi and having a light dinner along Los Rambles, we headed back to the ship. We were again surprised at the lack of security at the port of Barcelona. Upon arriving at the gate, we attempted to dig out our ship ID cards, but the guard just waved us in without needing to see any form of ID. We proceeded to walk to the ship – thankfully the gantries were much less active in the evening than they had been earlier in the day.

Already the ship feels like home – it is nice to be able to come back to the same place at night, and still see different things each day.

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