Barcelona Journals

Days Ashore In The Med: Part One.

Best of IgoUgo

A September 2004 trip to Barcelona by hagnel2

Pisa a seventh wonder Photo, Pisa, Italy More Photos
Quote: This was a busy cruise with a different port of call each day: La Goullete, Citivecchia, Livorno, Villefrance, Barcelona. Say the names of the ports aloud; their very sound kick-starts your wanderlust. It did ours, so here is an account of week one.

Days Ashore In The Med: Part One.

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Pisa a seventh wonder Photo, Pisa, Italy
Quote:
The Carousel, owned by My Travel group of the UK, was our limo to the ports. We chose this ship mainly for its ports of call. It is a small ship, well run, clean, and of good value. Passenger capacity is around 1,202 in 525 cabins. There are 7 passenger decks and 402 smiling crewmembers. We found embarkation and disembarkation smooth and well organized. Entertainment We enjoyed a full array of daily activities, consisting of pool games, game shows, and a nightly show featuring international entertainers with Broadway-type productions. The Midsummer’s lounge, a small intimate room, featured a classical pianist. It was our favorite place for pre-dinner cocktails. A British-type ...Read More
 St Peters Photo, Rome, Italy
Quote:
Rome for a day?> Yes, it can be done. My goal was to visit St Peters, see the Sistine Chapel, and get a general feel for the city. We knew this was a skimming-the-surface outing, but seeing Rome this way was better than not seeing it at all. We intended to get a train to Rome, but the shuttle bus driver offered a trip into the city for $15 euros per person (dropping us at the Vatican and returning at 4:30pm). A couple we met on the ship joined us. We left Citivecchia at 9:45am and arrived at the Vatican steps at 11am. Feeling like a person winning half an hour’s shopping spree, sans trolley, I was eager to get started. First stop: the Vatican Museum...Read More

Blue Heaven, Sidi Bou Said, and Tunisia

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Story/Tip

 Berber Brides Photo, Tunisia, Africa
Quote:
This is the only ship’s tour we took, and it was on the first port of call. Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, was at one time the center of trade between Europe and the eastern Mediterranean and was considered as one of the wealthiest cities in the Islamic world. Turks took the city in the 1500s and the rulers {Beys} had unlimited power until the French occupation in 1881 to 1956. A salt lake separates Tunis from the Mediterranean Sea. The ships port at La Goullette is about 10k from Tunis. A taxi costs around $6 per person. La Goulette did not impress me. The town seems to be a pattern of narrow streets snaking around decayed buildings. Small cubbyhole cafés a...Read More

Pisa, City of Marvels

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Story/Tip

Behind The Tower Photo, Pisa, Italy
Quote:
Livorno is the closest point to Florence and Pisa, two of Tuscany’s most entrancing cities. Our first choice for this port was Florence, but due to rotating strikes, we had to go to Pisa. The shuttle bus at the port serves all cruise passengers and costs 1€ roundtrip. The drop off zone is a 5-minute walk to the main square. {Turn right when you alight.} From there catch the no. 1 bus to the train station. As time was of the essence, we did not want to walk, as it is a good 30 minutes from the square. You can pay the driver. {1€} Taxis to Florence were quoting 35€ roundtrip (per person), and you must have six to eight people. The station was a mass of confu...Read More
 Chapel of St Pierre Photo, Nice, France
Quote:
Villefrance-Sur-Mer is one of the best-kept secrets of the Riviera. Having visited many times by car, it was thrilling to approach it by boat. Surrounded by green hills, multi-colored houses, and cafés lining the waterfront, it’s a painter’s view.src=http://www.igougo.com/photos/journal_photos/Villefrance_Harbour.jpg border=2> A great deal remains of its historic past, especially in the labyrinth of alleyways. Houses with ice-cream colored shutters and doors, its medieval church, and a charming Romanesque fisherman’s chapel seem untouched by time. The chapel, decorated by Jean Cocteau, is a must-see. He dedicated it to St. Peter, and its frescoes are stunning. ...Read More

Buzzing Around Barcelona

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Story/Tip

 Bari Gotic Barcelona Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Setting Off A magic carpet could have been put to good use in this city; instead, we settled for nature’s transport and the metro. As time was of the essence, we took a taxi from the port. Having visited Spain many times, we always skipped this city but were prompted to visit by reading IgoUgo guide Jose Kevo’s journal If I Had To Live In Europe. I cannot imagine a more exhilarating city than this one, especially the Ramblas, with its long chain of boulevards and broad walkways, stalls filled with flowers, and shaded plane trees, rustling in the Mediterranea...Read More