Rumble on La Rambla

Trip Start Aug 27, 2005
Trip End Sep 11, 2005

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Flag of Spain  ,
Sunday, August 28, 2005

Barcelona, Spain

Things We Did:

1st Day-

Slept in until dinnertime

1st Night-

Strolled down Las Ramblas, watched local performers, including a band of gypsies
playing "Guantanamera"

Dinner on waterfront (I had the seafood paella and shared it with Mei)

Hung out in Placa Reial, mostly dark, smoky basement clubs

Went bar hopping until sunrise, then rushed home to meet up with the tour group

2nd Day-

Met up with Victoria our tour guide

Checked out various Gaudi architectural accomplishments, including Casa de Mila and La Sagrada Familia

Went to the Olympic Stadium and Parc de la Ciutadella and saw amazing views of the city

Visited a creepy Cathedral in Placa del Rei in The Old Gothic Town (Barri Gotic)

Shopped in Placa de la Catalunya

Had lunch in a restaurant named "Cerveceria", sat upstairs and had a nice view of Las Ramblas below

Strolled down Las Ramblas, checking out the selection of pets for sale, chinchillas, white ferrets, birds, etc.

2nd Night-

Met up with Isabel and Olivier for dinner

Had a traditional Catalan dinner at "Origens", a restaurant run by Olivier's friend in the Old Gothic Town

Found pub off of Plaza de Reial where we met Frasier

3rd Day-

Tried to find breakfast at McDonalds, it was closed

Settled on an even better place on Las Ramblas

Strolled down Las Ramblas one last time

Checked out a farmers market, where they sold seafood (fish, mussels, clams) vegetables, meats

Met the ship at noon to prepare for embarkation

Food We Ate:

Seafood Paella- A typical Spanish dish, traditionally cooked in a round flat pan with two handles

Pan con Tomate- Toasted bread rubbed with fresh garlic cloves, juicy tomatoes, and sprinkled with olive oil

Crème de Catalan- Like Crème Brule with a Catalan twist

La Navaja- A shellfish shaped like a knife, somewhat resembling bamboo. Thick texture, light flavor

People We Met:

Rana- A young Pakistani professional we met at the airport. Owns his own software company. He had a great sense of humor, was very down to earth, and loved our "local" snacks. Camille confused him for an Indian, than proceeded to ignore him when she found out he was Pakistani.

Victoria- Our tour guide in Barcelona, she was born in a village in the Catalan countryside, but now lives in Barcelona. She was beautiful and friendly and offered to help us practice our Spanish. I developed a little crush on her.

Isabel and Olivier- A couple living in Barcelona. Friends of Tim Hill. Isabel is French, and Olivier is Argentinian, they both speak French, English and Spanish. They have two daughters. He has lived all over the world, including America. He says he liked New York and San Francisco because of the European style of both cities.

Frasier- A Filipino Fijian bouncer born in Greece but raised in Australia.

Suthan- A Thai cocktail server on the Grand Princess. He has been on the ship for a month and a half, and has a contract for 10 months. He has a wife and newborn baby back home in Pattaya, Thailand. He showed us his work schedule and explained to us what life is like on the ship. He says that this is his first and final cruise. He was our first friend on the ship.

Lito 1- A Filipino bartender.

Lito 2- An Indian Cocktail server. He would call Camille "Baby" and she would call him "Sharuk".

Ariel and Jorge- Our Head and Junior waiters respectively. Both are from Mexico. By the end of the cruise, Ariel came up with a suspicious amount of "bakla" jokes.

Francine and Keith- A couple from Santa Barbara, California. She is originally from Kaua'i.

Phon- Our stateroom housekeeper from Thailand. She is a year older than me, and this was the final cruise of her contract.
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