We finally made it to Barcelona

We finally made it to Barcelona! Our magical cruise that began in Fort Lauderdale is over. Despite the many challenges we experienced that started before we left home, we both had a marvelous time and are ready to go on our next cruise.

We finally made it to Barcelona!

Cruises are such terrific and luxurious experiences. This cruise got us to Europe and close enough to fly to Ireland, where we plan to travel for a few weeks. However, we are beginning to miss the RV life and traveling with our dogs, Tank and Lilly, more than a little.

We will continue to split our travel between cruising and RV meandering. It would be impossible to stick to one single way to travel. I seriously always want to go; it doesn’t matter how.

Here are a few stories from our days in Barcelona. Please take a look at Beautiful, Historic, and Artistic Barcelona, to read about our first adventure in Barcelona.

During our first trip, we spent most of our time touring many of Gaudi’s architectural wonders and decided to spend our time wandering the streets during this trip just taking in the city life.

Covid tests

One of the first things we did was find a pharmacy and purchase several Covid antigen tests. We obviously wanted to ensure we continued to get be covid-free but had a couple of tours coming up in the next few days where we would be close to others.

We finally made it to Barcelona!

We took tests later that day, and both of us were, of course, negative. We continued to test ourselves throughout the trip –to be sure.

Distilled water

Steve uses distilled water every night with his CPAP machine. Who knew such a simple, ordinary thing would be hard to find in Spain? The cruise ship provided distilled water, but we assumed we’d buy more in Barcelona.

We finally made it to Barcelona!

Nope, not that simple at all. We asked several people at the hotel where we could purchase distilled water, and each of them thought we meant STILL water. Someone even brought us a bottle of still water.

We went to several different grocery stores and pharmacies, looking for this simple little thing. We finally found a bottle at a grocery store. It took us at least four hours of searching. I don’t think folks use distilled water very much in Spain.

Sending luggage home

Our cruise and time in Spain required warm weather clothing, but we expected cool to cold weather in Ireland. For that reason, we packed warm weather clothes, dress-up clothes for the cruise, and another collection of cool weather clothes and jackets for Ireland.

Once we reached Spain, we no longer needed dress-up clothes or warm-weather clothing. We would not be wearing shorts again this trip. Before leaving for this trip, I contracted with My Baggage, a luggage shipping company, to ship one of our large suitcases of clothes back home from Spain.

The process for this company turned out to be a lot more work than another company I used a few years ago. I was required to provide an itemized list of all items for Customs, print labels, and attach them in a precise way. I am happy with the overall service, but it requires a little work.

Our new plan is to pack smarter, lighter, and more reasonably in the future and hopefully not need to ship luggage home again.

Hotel Intercontinental

The Hotel Intercontinental is the same hotel we stayed at a few years ago. It has changed its name from Crowne Plaza to Hotel Intercontinental. I did not notice any striking differences from our last visit, but whatever the name, it is a lovely hotel with a fantastic staff.

Hop-on Hop-off Bus

One afternoon, we walked a short distance from our hotel and caught a hop-on hop-off bus. We rode that bus all over the city. Our bus took us past Gaudi’s buildings, including the Sagrada Familia. We discovered the cable car while riding this bus and went back the next day to ride it.

There are two routes for these buses, a red route and a blue route. After several hours, we got off the red line and attempted to catch a blue route bus. We could not figure out where to catch that bus for the life of us. We both knew it was right in front of us, but we never found it.

Finally, we took a cab back to the hotel and called it a day. We had seen a lot from the red line bus, though. The weather was perfect, warm and sunny, and we sat on the open-air upper deck—a wonderful day.

Montjuïc cable car

We finally made it to Barcelona!

We saw the Montjuïc cable car while on the hop-on bus. The next day we decided to walk up to it and go for a ride. Oh my gosh! It was at least 800-miles uphill to get there! I am pretty sure a few of the twists and turns resulted from our wrong turns here and there, but whew!

We finally made it to Barcelona!

We are old folks, and that walk was hard work. The word I would have chosen twenty years ago to describe our walk is refreshing. This year, the word I choose is grueling. We are both pleased we trudged on to the top, though. The cable car ride was amazing and provided spectacular views of Barcelona.

We did not choose to take a taxi to the cable car, but we did take a cab back down to our hotel. We are a little bit adventurous, not crazy.

Montjuïc Castle

The Montjuïc Castle is the prize we found at the top of the cable car ride. This military fort sits at the top of the city and looks like a castle. The fortress has figured in many battles in Barcelona’s history since its construction in 1640. It was torn down and reconstructed in 1751.

We finally made it to Barcelona!

During the 19th century, Montjuïc Castle was the site of a notorious prison and a center for torture. The Castle played a part in the civil war from 1936 to 1939 and became a military museum in the last century.

We finally made it to Barcelona!


During one of our many walks, we encountered a Mexican restaurant and, being Texans, thought that would be an excellent place for lunch. Taqueria el Changarrito is a tiny restaurant run by a son and mother team from Mexico City. The mother cooks, and her son takes care of the restaurant.

We finally made it to Barcelona!

The food was terrific. We had probably the best guacamole we’ve ever had, along with pork tacos, beef tacos, and Mexican beer – right in the heart of Barcelona.

While at the Taqueria, we shared a table with a young couple from Paris and England in town attending a seminar. They recommended a restaurant for dinner and even recommended what we should order. We followed their instructions exactly.

As our new friends promised, we had a fantastic dinner at Asador de Aranda in Tibidabo. We ordered lamb chops, ¼ suckling pig, grilled asparagus, and salads. We received a complimentary glass of cava as soon as we were seated. It was a fantastic meal in a beautiful restaurant.

We finally made it to Barcelona!

Steve and I were well fed throughout our stay in Barcelona. Most of our meals were from spur-of-the-moment outdoor cafes we saw while exploring. We never ventured more than a few miles from our hotel but managed to find many delicious sandwich shops and bakeries.

These days in Barcelona were very different from our last trip when we took tour after tour. During this trip, we wandered and looked around, talked to as many people as possible, and enjoyed only our small area of the city. We are both happy with the experience and the discoveries we made.

Take a minute to subscribe so you won’t miss our next story about our amazing day trip from Barcelona to nearby Tarragona and its remarkable history.

We finally made it to BarcelonaWe finally made it to BarcelonaWe finally made it to Barcelona

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *