We arrived in Barcelona about 7 am. The Captain had to steer to the west somewhat and come back to Barcelona because he had extra time. Even though Barcelona is located in Spain, it is not really Spanish at all. It is the capital of a region called Catalonia and the language of Catalan is spoken here, similar to Spanish but with much in common with French. Barcelona is a very clean city and we thought we might like to come back sometime to explore it more. You could see quite a bit of influence of the 1992 Olympics here, the cruise ship terminal and waterfront to name a couple.
Shore Excursion - Barcelona Highlights - 9:30 am to 1:00 pm
This was another narrated city tour. Again hard to take photos from the bus but we had several stops during this tour.
The highlight of the tour was the first stop at the Church of La Sagrada Familia. It is an amazing piece of construction begun in 1882 and not expected to be finished until 2030. The original plans of the architect are being followed. At present the church has two facades as you can see in the photos. The Passion Facade devoted to the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. The Nativity Facade represents the birth of Jesus. When it is complete it will have a third facade referring to the Glory of Jesus. It will also have 18 towers: 12 dedicated to the apostles, four to the evangelists, one to the Virgin Mary and another, which will be 170 meters tall, to Jesus. Absolutely incredible. We were able to go inside the church where construction was fully underway. The height of the inside is just breathtaking with many beautiful stained glass windows. We were also able to see the museum where original models of the church are kept. There is also a parish school that was intended for the children of the construction workers.
Then we drove through many areas of the city with its awesome architecture. We also went up Montjuic and saw a beautiful panoramic view of the city as well as the Olympic Stadium, and where the Olympic flame was housed during the games.
We set sail for Lisbon at about 3:30 pm in order for it to still be light when we went through the Strait of Gibraltar. We saw dolphins and boats of every shape and size, speeding here and there or waiting to go through the Strait. Pretty incredible to think where you are in the world. We will have our first time change tonight and will do that pretty much every other night until we get back to Fort Lauderdale.
October 15 - a Sea Day
During the day, we saw a couple of sea turtles. This night we saw Comedian Billy Vader in the Princess Theater. He was really funny and was the one who had originally coined the phrase "Captain Speaking...speaking".