FUN-travel: Chiva to Barcelona, Spain

September 14, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Chiva to Barcelona, Spain 

Trip Day 51 – Thursday, August 30 – Chiva to Barcelona, Spain

Placa de Catalunya


Casa de lesPunxes

  • our neighbor called to see if we were back yet & to tell us everything was fine & they were leaving to go to Hawaii
  • 9:00 – ready to go to hit the road for Barcelona
  • 11:00 – starts raining
  • 1:30 – arrive airport Hertz
  • didn’t have any accidents in Spain
  • TI @ airport finds us a **** room in Eixample for only $137 Euro
  • 3:00 – taxi to downtown $30 Euros
  • Gallery Hotel is in great location – big comfy room
  • 7:15 – nice big walk to ECI – El Corte Engles for provisions
  • you can get an additional 18% vat tax back on items you don’t consume


  • 8:45 – dinner Tenorio – tomato, mozzarella, tuna belly salad & broad beans with ham & shrimp – mushrooms & duck with fried egg on top & tomato bread with parmesan slices – Pagode los Capellanes, Ribera wine is young & fruity
  • 10:15 – rain stops – only short walk back to hotel

Placa de Catalunya


  • cell phone rang @ 6:20 am
  • now worried something might be wrong back home
  • can’t get coffee until 7:00
  • don’t have a room reservation
  • ECI gives non-residents 10% off everything and no one told us until now
  • walk out and it’s pouring rain – no umbrella

FF (FUN-fact) – Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city and their motto is, “You’re not in Spain, You’re in Catalunya!”

FUN-travel: Barcelona to Rome Cruise – 7 Days – Seabourn

August 4, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Barcelona to Rome Cruise – 7 Days – Seabourn 

Trip Day 18 – Cruise Day 1 – Friday, July 27 – Board Ship in Barcelona, Spain


  • board ship 1:50 pm
  • our first Seabourn cruise – have heard many good things
  • brand new ship – 1 year new
  • nice bottle of Champagne in our suite
  • having people that speak English
  • lots of salads & veggies & arugula
  • food is the best we’ve ever had on a cruise ship
  • book excursion for tomorrow
  • 4:45 sail away party on pool deck
  • dinner @ patio grill – really thin crust pizza – fresh fish


  • wine by the glass selection not as good as Regents 7 Seas

FF (FUN-fact) – If you book another cruise on board the ship you save 5% in addition to any other discounts you receive through your travel agent.

FUN-travel: Northern Spain – Alcaníz to Barcelona, Spain

July 31, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Northern Spain – Alcaníz to Barcelona, Spain 

Day 18 – Friday, July 27 – Alcaníz to Barcelona, Spain

Parador Courtyard


Church in Parador

  • chose Alcaníz stop to shorten drive back to Barcelona
  • only 200 kms drive today
  • don’t need Garmin & maps for next two weeks!
  • breaking up the driving with cruising
  • having someone else in charge of where we go
  • caught thief attempting to “pinch” the backpack off top of luggage yelled & he dropped it
  • got my “wake up call” to never, ever look away from belongings
  • get a taxi to ship terminal
  • arrive 1:40 pm


  • takes more time – only 2 lane roads through small towns

    More Parador

  • not having street signs that match Garmin directions
  • a bit difficult finding Hertz in downtown Barcelona
  • almost got backpack stolen in front of Hertz – only thing in it were passports

FF (FUN-fact) – Spain is the size of Nevada & Utah combined.

TIRA – (Things I Remembered After)

  • San Sebastian has a “mini Rio” feel with statue of Christ high on the hill overlooking the bay & city.
  • When ordering Spanish wine the degree of quality ranges from  –
  • Crianza – then Reserva – then Gran Reserva
  • 4 glasses of wine with 8 tapas & water only costs 9 Euro in Sigüenza.

Northern Spain Trip Recap – The major roads were great to drive on and well marked. Everyone is very nice & helpful (especially when we needed directions in town). The cities were clean and well maintained. Food & beverages were very reasonably priced. Pamplona was fabulous with its civilized debauchery – Santiago Cathedral was spectacular – Segovia’s main plaza was magical with the authentic local experience.

FUN-travel: Northern Spain – Sigüenza to Alcaníz, Spain

July 31, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Northern Spain – Sigüenza to Alcaníz, Spain 

Day 17 – Thursday, July 26 – Sigüenza to Alcaníz , Spain

Our Parador


  • breaking up the long drive back to Barcelona
  • only takes 3 hours
  • Garmin still works!
  • Parador is at the top of the hill overlooking town
  • dinner here is quite good again


  • kind of on Castle, Palace, Monastery, Church overload
  • feeling a bit sequestered up here so don’t venture down to town

FF (FUN-fact) – A cafeteria in Spain is a cafe that serves food all day.


FUN-travel: Northern Spain – Barcelona to SOS Del Rey Catolico

July 13, 2012 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Northern Spain – Barcelona to SOS Del Rey Catolico 

Day 3 – Thursday, July 12 – Barcelona to SOS Del Rey Catolico, Spain

Church Bells in SOS


Afternoon Walk

  • took another sleeping pill and slept great
  • 8:00 am turn on TV to see live feed of today’s running of the bulls!
  • got rental car and drove away fully armed with directions
  • Road Atlas + Garmin + Google maps almost guarantees hassle free driving!
  • nice roads – but you pay for them – 28 Euros to go 350 miles
  • arrive 4:30 pm – nice walk through town takes an hour
  • staying at Parador – once an Aragonese mansion – hotel is located in the centre of this charming medieval  walled city on top of a hill – (looks like Italy)
  • sipping a nice cold beer on balcony patio with symphony of birds chirping & views to the Pyrenees
  • sunsets @ 9:30


  • having to double check everything – Hertz reservation was screwed up – took 30 minutes to straighten out
  • unemployment rate @ 25% makes us potential targets for thieves

Church Entrance

FF (FUN-fact) – Paradores are luxury accommodations in Castles, Palaces, Fortresses, Convents, Monasteries and other historic buildings. There are also modern hotels, built in traditional style, in areas of outstanding beauty.

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