Here are all the countries we have visited within Europe!
In 2010 my partner and I took a last minute Cruise which docked at five different locations in the Mediterranean sea. We had a rather cheap deal for the Greek Louis Majesty cruise ship at roughly €500.00 per person for 7 days all inclusive, as a few months prior it made headline BBC news for an 26ft wave crashing into the ship killing 2 people and injuring at least 14 others.
We toured the Mediterranean anti-clockwise. Check out the itinerary below as each destination I have created a separate blog post (Some still WIP):
Marseilles, France – Cruise Day 2
Menorca, Spain -Cruise Day 3
Palermo, Sicily – Cruise Day 6
Back to Genoa, Italy – Cruise Day 7
Thinking back to 2010 seems so long ago already, but the experience hasn’t been forgotten. A cruise vacation is definitely something we would invest in again, giving you enough time to visit more than 5+ places during a holiday. The downside of course is not having enough time at those places to do and see everything we wanted, and really only visiting the touristic things.
We met some great people, explored all new locations and the cruise ship experience was very enjoyable, especially with the swimming pool/jacuzzi and the all you can eat buffets from more than 5 different types of restaurants!!
My flight was on time and I arrived in sunny Barcelona excited to see Lennart, who was already in Barcelona for work, so it was a perfect idea to join him for a cheap long weekend.
We had booked ourselves into the Hotel Acta Atrium Palace which is perfect walking distance from the Plaça de Catalunya square. Great hotel with comfy clean beds and very spacious. We tried the pool and jacuzzi during our stay which was relaxing but could of been a little warmer. We didn’t try the breakfast as we prefer going straight into the city and finding a bakery.
We had a rough idea of attractions we wanted to see, however there was also many attractions that we were personally not interested in. For the first day we decided to just go for a walk, and check out the city and the atmosphere. Since Lennart had already been there for a couple of days he had a good sense of where things were, and took me on a route to the harbour. Las Rambles is definitely the busiest street in Barcelona, even for November! All the tourists were found here. We enjoyed the warm 22c degrees walking with our sunglasses on and a bottle of water in my hand.
We planned the next day to visit the Montjuïc castle by getting to the top with the Telefèric de Montjuïc cable car. We got there fairly early (plus it wasn’t busy at all for November), resulting in us having our own cable car carriage to ourselves! We had a good clear sunny day so the views were good.
The castle was pretty simple, paying only €3 to get in and walk around to the top. There was no café and we had no drinks, so we decided to walk around the castle and walk back down into the city to find some refreshments. Behind the castle we found a hidden family café who only took cash, which we luckily had €5 left, just enough for two cold drinks. If we had more we would have tucked into a delicious pancake or something fresh from their BBQ.
The following day we headed to Park Guell for a relaxing walk on the hillside through the ruins and gardens. We decided not to go into the paid part of the park, as we had read that its rather expensive and not really so much to see. Plus this was also a popular place for all the tourists so we didn’t want to queue up and wait to get in. We could see parts of the beautiful architecture from our walk around it and really enjoyed our morning here.
In the evening we headed to the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, which was nice to see but after 5 minutes it wasn’t gonna get any more spectacular. They did use some of the latest music which entertained the crowd though. Even in November it was good to get early if you wanted to sit but we ended up standing and leaving before it was ended.
By the third day we visited the Mercat de Sant Josep. A very colourful place with a large variety of delicious things to eat. We enjoyed walking around it, but didn’t stay long as we were off on another walk around new areas of Barcelona.
A recommendation of dinner, even though you should be eating some of the delicious Spanish cuisine, we found ourselves a unique indian restaurant near our hotel called the Surya Barcelona. Every chair and table was different with the bar in the shape of a bus. Friendly staff and great service. We must of only spent about €30 in total for our corona beers, the curry’s and a warm nutella pancake for desert. Gezellig!
Our long weekend had come to an end and we were satisfied with all we had seen. However it’s a place we wouldn’t return to so fast due to the lack of attractions.
Our flight back home was rather rough, with turbulence most of the journey. When it came to landing, the strong winds that had been battering the Netherlands were giving the plane some troubles. We ended up landing with one wheel on the runway, cruising sideways for a good part of it before landing the other wheel and breaking. We always seem to be on the flights that have problems landing. Check out our vacation to Dordogne, where we so close to landing before the pilot took us back up to try again!