Tag Archives: 2016 Cruise

Spain, Barcelona – chök the chocolate kitchen

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2016 cruise – Day 3 – After visiting Late Pau Claris, we came back to La Rambla for a little shopping. We had read about the cafe “chök the chocolate kitchen” that specializes in chocolate and specialty donuts. The shop we visited is located at c/ del Carme, 3 t: +34 933 042 360 and was just off of La Rambla.

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This turned out to be another wonderful bakery!

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We chose a couple of their donuts as a ‘second breakfast’ to sustain us for the rest of our day in Barcelona.

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As you can see from the photo above, these were not your everyday donuts. These bakeries were wonderful places to visit, but I am glad that they are so far away. Having them close at hand would be too much of a temptation.


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Spain, Barcelona – El Arte del helado

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2016 Cruise – Day 2 – After our wonderful dinner at the Restaurant La Rambla, we headed on up the La Ramba towards our hotel. Along the way we came across the El Arte del helado. They had a wide selection and we each got a gelato to top off our evening.

There seemed to gelato or bakeries in every block. This wrapped up our second day in Barcelona. I finished the day with 16,176 steps according to my Apple Watch.


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Spain, Barcelona – Restaurant La Rambla

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2016 Cruise – Day 2 – While we were walking up La Rambla, we came across the Restaurant La Rambla. This really wasn’t too far up the La Rambla from the port. The actual restaurant was quite small as can be seen above, but it, like many of the restaurants along the La Rambla, have an outdoor dining room.

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While it looks pretty deserted in the photo above, it did not take long before there was a crowd.

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One of the things that I tried to do at each of our stops was to try a local beer. In this case it was Estrella Damm again. It was a good beer. We had a great sampler tray for dinner. All of it was interesting and tasty.

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We had a great sampler tray for dinner. All of it was interesting and tasty.We really enjoyed this restaurant and we would certainly visit it again if in Barcelona.


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Spain, Barcelona – La Rambla

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2016 Cruise – Day 2 – After leaving the Aquarium, we walked up the La Rambla. The La Rambla is a wide, tree-lined street with a center pedestrian mall that runs a little under a mile from the port north into the city.

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Along La Rambla can be found many restaurants and popular stores. This is a very popular, and often crowded, place to stroll the city and take in the sights and sounds. We were there many times during our short stay in Barcelona and found the La Rambla a great place to absorb the feel of the city.


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Spain, Barcelona – Aquarium Barcelona

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The afternoon of the second day of our trip we walked down to the Aquarium Barcelona in the Port Vell harbor. We have visited a few aquariums in our travels (Seattle, Chicago, Corpus Christi) over the years.

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We had seen it listed before our trip, but it was actually recommended as a place to see by the driver we had from the airport.

It was one of the best we have visited. In particular we liked the ‘tunnel’ shown above where you could walk through the midst of their large (118 feet in diameter, 980,000 gallon) tank.

This won’t be on everyone’s list of sites to see when visiting Barcelona, but if you like aquariums, you will enjoy it.


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Spain, Barcelona -Basilica de la Sagrada Familia

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The first thing we did on the second day of our trip while in Barcelona was to visit the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia. The Basilica was designed by Spaniard Antoni Gaudi and has been under construction since 1882. Completion of the immense structure is not expected until 2026. My wife first visited in 2009 and could see many changes since then.

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The exterior of the church is covered in intricate carvings that tell many different stories. The church was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI on November 7, 2010.

The interior follow the themes set outside. The columns are shaped like trees with ‘branches’ at the top to support the ceiling.

We toured through the Basilica, then ascended one of the towers. There was a good view of the city. The trip up was easy in an elevator, but down was via about 400 steps. Afterwards we went through the museum under the Basilica, which was well worth the time.

Whether or not you are Catholic, you will find the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia worth your  visit. There is a fee  (15-29 Euros) to tour the Basilica.

 

Spain, Barcelona -Enrique Tomas Smoked Ham Bar

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2016 cruise – The last thing we did on the first day of our trip in Barcelona was find a place to have dinner. We came upon an Enrique Tomas Smoked Ham Bar that was very near our hotel. We were not at all familiar with it then, but investigating it as I prepared to write this article, I found that it is a popular and large chain throughout Spain.

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Sadly, I did not get a picture of the restaurant, but it was similar to the one above.

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We started out with an appetizer tray of cheeses. I tried a local (and very good beer) Estrella Damm.  This was an excellent start to our dinner.

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Our main course was a very tasty Tapas. Needless to say after our long day of travel, we ate every bite!

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There were also displays of various kinds of meats available. Several legs of meat were out and you could pick one to select your purchase from. A very different kind of store to American eyes, but one I would go back to in a heart beat.

If you are in Spain, or elsewhere, and you see one of these shops, I encourage you to give it a try. The food was excellent. I finished up the day with 8,192 steps according to my Apple Watch.


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Review of the Go Travel Worldwide Adapter

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Product Review – As I mentioned in my “checklist”  article, on my most recent trip, I forgot to take along a power adapter. After finding that our hotel was only wired for European power, my wife and I set out to find one for the remainder of our trip.

We were lucky to come across the Go Travel Worldwide Adapter, costing about $25 US. I have some other power adapters somewhere at home, but this is the first I have seen that is multiple adapters in one device.

We bought this and used it throughout our trip. It easily worked with my electric razor as well as our multi-port USB charger. Between using this adapter and the charger, we were able to keep our iPhones, Apple Watches and iPads charged throughout the trip.

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Compact
  • Works with power in over 150 countries

 

Cons

  • Selected plug gives way sometimes when trying to plug the adapter in
  • Only one 120VAC outlet
  • No USB charging ports

 

I would strongly suggest buying your power adapter before you leave on your trip instead of searching for it after you arrive at your destination like we did. This adapter can be ordered through the Go Travel Products website.

Spain, Barcelona, Hotel Redding Croma

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2016 cruise – The first night of our recent trip was spend in Barcelona, Spain. My wife had booked us at the Hotel Redding Croma located at C/Gravina, 5-7 08001 Barcelona. This is a boutique hotel in the center of Barcelona. The hotel had a small, but very pleasing breakfast room that we took advantage of each morning. It offered free Wi-Fi which worked well for us during our stay.

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One of the reasons that we chose this hotel was the proximity to the subway. Within a block was an entrance and we used it to explore Barcelona during our brief stay. It is also near Las Ramblas, a tree lined pedestrian mall that runs from near the hotel south (just over a kilometer) to the port. There are many restaurants and shops along Las Ramblas.

The room was on the fifth floor and was small, but served us well as we spent most of our time seeing the sights. There was a small, slow elevator, though I did take the stairs a couple of times. While we were not there long enough to take advantage, our room had a nice little private patio. The only problem we had, and this was minor, was that the central air conditioning had already been turned off for the season. We were able to open the window onto our patio and this cooled the room well enough. The front desk staff spoke English and were very helpful.

If I stay in Barcelona again, I will certainly consider the Hotel Redding.


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