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Barcelona, Spain (4/22/2018) - debarkation Port

We were fortunate to have spent time in Barcelona when we did back-to-back cruises on the Breeze in October & November 2012. We loved Barcelona!! We stayed in a hotel just a few blocks north of the Plaza de Catalunya, generally considered the center of the city. This prime location gave us access to resturants, transportation and put us within walking distance of Las Ramblas and Barri Gothic. Most days we rode the various routes of the HoHo Bus, getting off to explore such places as Park Guell and La Segrada Familia. Between the two legs of the cruise we took a ship-to-ship excursion to Montserrat. There is so much I could say about Barcelona, but I want to let it unfold for you as you explore the links below.

Have you ever wondered why La Segrada Familia is not called a cathederal? Instead it had been refered to simply as a church until recently. In November 2010, Pope Benedict proclaimed it a minor basilica, due to its architectural and artistic worth. To be designated a cathederal it must be the seat of a bishop and Barcelona already has Barcelona Cathedral, or Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, picuted on the right below. The cathedral was built in the gothic style and can be found in the Barri Gotic, or Gothic Quarter. So, today Gaudi's masterpiece is properly named Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, or Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family. Both places are well worth a visit, but buy your tickets online for La Segrada Familia and show up early, otherwise you will have a long wait.

Barcelona pic

Large cruise ships dock at two main piers on the waterfront, both a healthy walk to Las Ramblas. The Blue Bus shuttle runs to and from all the cruise port terminals to the Christopher Columbus monument at the foot of Las Ramblas. Single tickets cost 2.50 euros for a ride and 3.50 euros for a round-trip and have to be paid for in cash on the bus. A taxi ride from the farthest terminal costs around eight euros. Barcelona is an eminently walkable city, particularly in the older quarters, such as Barri Gotic, with its winding streets. There's an excellent (and fairly clean) subway system, and buses operate to all the major attractions.

EXPLORE THE PORT:

Here is a list of sites that could help you plan your day in port. Be sure to explore the links on each page for a wealth of information.

Barcelona Cruise Port Page - Cruise Critic port page for Barcelona.

Barcelona Attraction & Activities - Tripadvisor's Things to do in Barcelona, with a ranked lists of attractions & activities.

WhatsInPort - Great info about the port including a webcam (some ports), printable map and ships in port: was not able to tell.

Frommer's Barcelona - a well respected travel guide, has their take on Barcelona, with lots of links to explore like a walking tour.

Lonely Planet's Barcelona - Lonely Planet's list of things to do in Barcelona.

Tours by Local Barcelona - Discover fascinating Barcelona with a friendly local guide. Experience Barcelona through the eyes of a local private guide! Browse our tour 'suggestions' - each can be customized just for you.

Viator's Barcelona Tour Offerings - Viator is a consolidator, meaning that they source tour companies and resell them. What is nice is that you can pay in USD with your credit card before you leave home. I've used them in a few places and was very pleased. If you can find the company they are using to book directly, you can save a bit.

Barcelona Port Guide - Tom Sheridan has created a series of Port Guides for ports around the world. They are in PDF format; thus, can be loaded on your tablet, or printed, to have handy. This link will download the PDF file, you will then need to open it to read. Tom's website is tomsportguides.com, where he gives travel tips and explains how to best use his guides.

Best Things To Do in Barcelona - U.S. News Travel's ranked list of 13 things to do in Barcelona.

Free Walking Tour of Barcelona - Enjoy the special closeness that only local family companies can offer. We are all independent tour operators offering free tours and other unforgettable experiences in different European cities. We took their tour of Bari Gotic and really enjoyed it!

Tourist Guide Barcelona - The official website for Barcelona Tourism.

Rick Steve's Barcelona and Catalunya - A 25-min, hi-def video by one of the best tour guides and writers around.

Rick Steves' Barcelona: A Trip Down the Ramblas - a short introduction to Las Ramblas.

Little Europe: Five Micro-Countries - A 25-min, hi-def video by Rick Steves. This is another full episode covering 5 micro-counties, 4 of which we could visit from ports on our cruise. They are Andorra, Vatican City, Monaco and San Marino. Andorra, 124 miles north of Barcelona, starts at 20:42, in case you prefer to jump to it. I'd suggest watching it all, if you have time.

More to come...

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