Barcelona, Spain – 08:00 to 16:00
This was one of the ports I eagerly awaited, as Princess had a tour to the Barcelona FC Nou Camp Football Stadium. Rest assured, this was one of the first tours I pencilled on the schedule. However, with the recent change to our post cruise plans, priorities must be addressed, as I have extensive accommodations in Australia to cancel. Therefore, I had already cancelled the tour and we planned to head ashore to find internet connectivity, so we could Skype with our daughter and get to work re-arranging the post cruise schedule.
Temperature: High 34C/93F, Low 24C/75F
Wind/Weather: Light onshore breeze by mid afternoon of 10 to 15 kts. Fine and clear
Clox: Z+2 (no change)
Yet another clanger dropped by the not very detail oriented bridge team, as the “From the Navigator” section of today’s Princess Patter has Sea Princess steering S’ly course from Cannes, which by my estimation would take you across the Meddy to Africa, not down the French and Spanish Coastline to Barcelona.
After actually steering SW’ly courses, Sea Princess entered the South Channel approaches into Barcelona about 05:30, with the pilot boarding shortly thereafter. Sea Princess berthed alongside the assigned berth shortly prior to 07:00.
Departure was scheduled for 16:00, but bunkering operations continued until well past 17:00, so actual departure was closer to 17:30. Once clear off the breakwater, Sea Princess set generally SW’ly courses along the Spanish coast towards Gibraltar and eventually our next port of call in Lisbon.
Barcelona is located on a coastal plain bounded by the Collserola Mountains inland and rivers to the North and South. The city has grown to a huge metropolitan area of almost 5 million people, which is 2nd largest in Spain and 6th largest in Europe. With a number of UNESCO listed heritage buildings, the city is an important tourist destination.
This morning we had planned to take the shuttle ashore and find a cafe or Starbucks with internet access. However, being so tired the past few days after the punishing tours, I had forgotten to factor time differences into the equation. By the time breaky was complete and we could disembark, it was already 23:30 at home in Vancouver. If we took an hour to reach the shore, it would be too late to call our daughter Heather. Therefore, we decided to try Skyping using the ship’s satellite.
Judi contacted Heather on Facebook, and while already in bed she was lying awaiting our call. Perfect timing, so we found a strong signal and fired up Skype. It wasn’t the best, but with a few re-connections required we were able to chat for about 20 minutes. She is having a tough time with a recurring infection and we both desperately want to be home ASAP, to help her and assist with our grandson. Yet again, another change in plans, we have cancelled the week we had booked in Sydney and will now book flights for the day after we return to Sydney, or Sept 5th.
I spent most of the remainder of the day cancelling reservations and working on photographs, finally getting Dubrovnik completed.
For dinner this evening, it was only Judi, Viv and I, as the others were either sick or too tired. Dinner was the usual, actually had a piece of hot salmon, but all the potatoes and vegetables were cold and/or under cooked, with 1 piece of potato water logged and the other almost raw. After dinner we headed to the Princess Theatre for Kym Purling, a fabulous pianist. Kym was born in Vietnam and adopted by a family residing in South Australia. Brought up in Australia, he excelled at music and quickly became a star performer in both Australia and USA. This was one of the best shows performed on board Sea Princess. We will definitely return for his 2nd show.
As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.