For our second visit to the port of Barcelona we had booked an 8 hour excursion outside of the city to Girona for a sightseeing tour through Girona’s historical city center. We would visit the old Jewish quarter, which is one of the best preserved Jewish quarters in Europe, Saint Felix Church, The Cathedral with its Tapestry of Creation and walk the paths around the old roman city walls with it’s fantastic views of the city below.
Above is a view of the Barcelona from the stern of the Noordam. In most ports and where possible, the captain preferred docking with the bow headed out of the harbor. Reminds me of my driver training with the phone company (PNB) “Back-in on arrival, pull-out on departure”.
The picture of the mother seagull and her three offspring were taken from our verandah – a first baby seagull siting for me.
The pictures on SkyDrive below, show more of the scenes of our arrival, and our visit to Figures and Girona.
Photos of our day: http://cid-eb1ef3fb2b0e0434.skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?page=play&resid=EB1EF3FB2B0E0434!311
In his weekly email offering of June 8th, here is how Alan described our day:
“Again, our same fantastic guides who had met us in Barcelona a week earlier, were there to take us on another excursion. Today our tour took us to Figueres, Spain. We had a nice ride through the Spanish countryside going to Figueres. Figueres was home to the famous Spanish artist, Salvador Dali. We had a tour of the very interesting (and unusual) Dali Theatre and Museum. Afterward we had some free time before we re-boarded our coaches for our drive back to Girona. Here we had a walking tour through the old walled city including the cathedral and the Jewish Quarter. After a tour of the Jewish Museum and some free time, we returned back to Barcelona.”
As you can see, Alan added a trip to Figures and a visit to the Dali museum. (see photos).
The two hour drive to Figures was interesting as we got to see more of the Spanish countryside. Upon arrival there at around noon, we were told that we would have some time to kill, possibly get something to eat, as our museum reservations were for 1 PM. Since there was a courtyard café adjacent to the museum, we settled into comfy chairs at a table and ordered food, and were joined by our cruise critic friends Cathy and Connie Palmer . I had a monstrous American style cheeseburger, fries and a couple of beers. he ladies were less adventurous and settled on an order of fries.The service was great, fast and the burger was okay.
Let me say that I am not a fan of the type of paintings by Salvador Dali, nor was I particularly thrilled to visit the museum, but others, including Barbara, were overjoyed that Alan added the attraction. I guess I will always be a “Norman Rockwell” kind of guy. One of Dali’s more famous works is a huge rendition of the full figured backside of a nude woman, which if seen from a distance, turns into a portrait of Abraham Lincoln.
I really enjoyed our visit to Girona. The narrow streets and alley-ways always seemed to present a surprise in some of the simplest scenes; a window with it’s security bars, or an open doorway to a small courtyard and aged stone walls. Here are two of my favorites:
These were take in the old Jewish quarter of Girona.
When we arrived back in Barcelona, we were given the option of leaving the bus near “Las Ramblas” or continuing back to the ship. We were tired, and Barbara wanted to do her shopping in the terminal at our pier so we headed home.
As we departed Barcelona that evening, a golden moon was just rising out of the sea as it began it’s journey through the night sky, what a romantic ending to our experiences in this beautiful Catalonian City.
Next: Palermo, Sicily