Monday, March 19, 2007


any resemblance to Queen Mary II as seen in Vigo, Spain, is coincidental

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Barcelona! the second largest city in Spain and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1.6 million people. The place I have been calling home for the past 13 years. It is located on the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, limited to the west by the Serra de Collserola ridge (512 m). Click here if you would like to listen to Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe performing live and singing "Barcelona" to get started (it is awsome! it was part of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games '92). And here is a "Welcome to Barcelona" (short) video from You Tube you also might enjoy .

I see our Captain is already loudly slurping so we'd better get going! Look for the amiga (friend) wearing this badge AND carrying a digital camera, she's the official photographer while you visit this port and she is the person to talk to in case you need any information/help/glass(es) of sangria.
She apologizes for the poor quality of the following pictures but Spain's main actor - the sun- wasn't playing along that day the photographer happened to have the chance of some aerial views. Below is the Olympic Port, built for the summer olympics 1992.

Next you can see the port for the ferry services: Balearic Islands and Mediterranean ports. Separated by the new Trade Center Office Building from the old port (Port Vell - the city's old harbor , which you see on the right.

And below you see the pier where the large cruises stop:

Visual exercise: see if you can find the white communications tower (as pictured below) on the above picture. Hint: it's at about 9:50! we will of course visit the Olympic stadium, for you to see the wonderful communications tower , one of the landmarks of the Olympic Games 1992, designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

But first we will first go for a walk through the ramblas (Las Ramblas in Barcelona is a 1.2 Km walkway through the very heart of the city centre. Here you will see all sorts of stalls, restaurants, bars and street performers along with the many thousands of people that promenade up and down the Ramblas until the early hours of the morning) and maybe sit at a cafe just to watch people go by! one of my favorites passtimes.
For your information you won't find flamenco music in Catalonia, you'll have to book another cruise including Seville, in Southern Spain for that!

A special parade has been extra organized for the cruise

On our way we will stop here: La Boqueria's Market, located in the emblematic Ramblas of the city. It's the biggest market of Europe and, probably of the whole Occidental world. Read more about it here

for the hungry tourists there are fruit plates ready to eat!

If you are not counting calories (and you really shouldn't while you are on this cruise!) you'd love to try the local tapas, available any time, any place, always a delicious little something! particularly appealing since there is no clear sign of the cruise chef and we don't want to be hungry.

After that there will be free time to do some shopping at "El Corte Ingles", the department store found all over Spain. There is no competition, only the new shopping malls which are found in the suburbs.

There are of course many, many chic boutiques and chain stores where you can spend your money! When we are done shopping or if you don't feel like going inside on a beautiful day like this one, we can walk around the Catalunya Square right across the street from the store. Here are different views from the surrounding buildings.

Some are very new like the one pictured below. It used to be an empty lot , just an ugly spot right in Barcelona center. There was a big discussion afterwards because the new building is a modern one and didn't follow the classical lines of the existing buildings... at least it looks a lot better than before and it hosts two of my favorite French stores: Habitat (for home decoration) and fnac (audio, media, books, lots of books, I could spend days in that store!)

Some 5 blocks away from the square you can find one of Gaudi's famous buildings: La Pedrera on Passeig de Gracia.

Afterwards we will go to for a swim or a lazy afternoon, your choice, but I am sure you will enjoy the Mediterranean , Barcelona has many beaches to offer. Just because somebody was asking I found out this information from the net: Although this (Mar Bella beach, metro stop Poblenou in Barcelona)is unofficially a nudist beach there are many people that go here that are not nude. In fact Spanish law says that it is permissible to be nude anywhere as long as it does not cause a disturbance. But this is not recommended. So there is no such thing as an official nudist beach in Spain only one's where people unofficially elect as nudist.
The one you see below is "my beach" as seen from "my" hill during one of my walks. It's a quiet place during the week and 5 km/ 3 miles long but forget the peaceful atmosphere on weekends! That's why we stay home on summer weekends and watch the crowd from the distance. Don't forget sunscreen and a hat. You might want to ask Melli for suggestion on the most fashionable hat. If you lost your shoes while partying in Oslo and Waterloo, I am sure Sanni can find something for you to wear among her 400++ pairs of shoes she brought along!.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

While we wait until the sunset we'll have the chance to drink some cava, the Spanish sparkling wine made by the champagne method, 95% of the national production is actually produced in Catalonia with main producers being Codorniu and Freixenet, salud! (can't let those Vikings go home thirsty!!). Before the stretched limo takes us back on board for fine dining and dancing (and I am not forgetting drinking! the three Dimensions) we will quickly stop downtown to take a look at another Gaudi building, which looks fascinating either way, night or day, the Casa_Batllo.

And here is a small album I found for you to look at while you plan the next visit to this friendly city, which has much more to offer than what one can cover in one day. Buenas noches! Hope you enjoyed the quick and tiny tour and that you still have lots of energy to party and to continue with Mrs. Lifecruiser's cyber cruise! Check the schedule here!! There is a mystery tour tomorrow at our charming ICL's !! does it have anything to do with the missing chef? I guess after a few Salud on board we can all start singing as preparation for tomorrow's mystery destination. Here we go:
Roll up, roll up for the mystery tour.
Roll up, roll up for the mystery tour.
Roll up AND THAT'S AN INVITATION, roll up for the mystery tour.
Roll up TO MAKE A RESERVATION, roll up for the mystery tour.
The magical mystery tour is coming to take you away,
Coming to take you away.
magical mystery tour
Lifecruiser cyber cruise
is dying to take you away,
Dying to take you away, take you away.

The Cyber Cruise Scheduled ports

Captain is slurping loudy
ICL's: in celebration of cyber cruise
Melli's flamenco experience

The cruise:

Day 1: Stockholm
Day 2: Oslo RennyBA's shopping,RennyBA's party,TorAa's
Day 3: Waterloo, Belgium, Gattina
Day 4: yours truly
Day 5:ICL's pirate attack
Day 6:Berlin, Sanni
Day 7:


  1. Wow - my first ever cruise at it's a cracker.....

    I loved Barcelona - what a beautiful city.

    Now I must go to work before rejoining thre cruise later......


  2. Wow! I want to go to Spain now!
    I am having a great time on the cruise! Thanks for pickin me up at this port!

  3. Mar, you did a wonder ! Now suddenly I want to go back to Barcelona ! So far I never wished, apparantly it has changed a lot and me too, lol ! Don't worry about the pictures in the "mist" just tell that you took them the "Turner" style, he too saw everthing through mist and became famous with it ! Gaudis (and Picassos) works are for the moment in New York, I saw at TV.
    En résumé I can only say you live in a paradise !
    And thanks for your visit to my Waterloo Restaurants !

    PS Yesterday I wanted to put the song "Waterloo" (as a link of course) on my blog but didn't know how to do it and were to find the song. Now I know and will haved a look at "You Tube" ! Thanks for the tip ! I love this song !

  4. Hello Maremagnum. This is the DJ here...

    HAHAHAHAHA! I love the ship! It looks really awesome =P. I instantly knew that was the ship I have to board since the word Cyber Cruise was written out SO BIG! =P

    I found the white communications tower in the foggy bird's eye view! It looks really nice, and during its time, it looks futuristic! I love landmarks like that. ;)

    I think watching people is a neat pastime and it's a pretty good way to indulge in the Spanish's way of life. =)

    Yay! A parade for us! Lol! =P

    I think I need some communications help when shopping at La Boqueria's Market. The only Spanish words I know are Si and No. Hahaha...

    Oh, oh! fnac! I love shopping for books! Please drag me out when it's nightfall as I can actually live in there! =P

    I don't think I would want to sunbask with other nudists...I would feel really uncomfortable. Anyway, Barcelona's beaches look very beautiful and tranquil. So does the whole city in itself. =)

    Thanks for the link to the guide to Barcelona. It will help me immensely the next time I make a next visit to Barcelona, not forgetting this trip as well. =)

  5. Ohhhhh, what a a wonderful guided tour around in a lovely city! I've never been in Barcelona, but always wanted - especially for the Olympics in '92. I've only been to Mar Bella and as you mentioned, i got rid off all the tan lines there LoL!

    I so much enjoyed sitting sit at a cafe to watch people go by and the parade was breath taken - Spanish horses are beautiful!

    I'm pretty sure i could see the communicating tower and how nice of you to let us take the time to go to the top of it: What a view - breathtaking!

    The tapas tasted delicious - who cares about counting calories in great companies like ours!!

    The architecture is wonderful and I think the mix of new and old buildings is fine!

    And then your beach - I was tempted to dive in!! I take it you have around 16 to 18 C in the water right now and that is perfect for a Norwegian Viking you know. But awwww; I've forgotten my trunks. Maybe I borrow one of your hats Melli - I mean I wont go there naked LoL

    Mar: the cavas tasted just wonderful and perfect to bring me in the right Viking mood! Sorry I had to take a power nap on your shoulder on the trip in the limo, but now I'm ready to party all night trough with the for fine dining and dancing - yea, dancing and drinking - the three Dimensions!

    Fantástico Mar, You've taken Cyber Cruise into a new dimention:-)

  6. Barcelona seems such a wonderful and vibrant city, I have long wanted to visit it and now I virtually have! ;-) I love the view of your beach from your hill - it looks wonderful. I also love the night picture of the Gaudi building - it is so nice to see something so dramatic and unique in the architecture.

    Fantastic stop on the cruise!

  7. Buenos dias, Mar!

    What a glorious day in Barcelona!

    I especially loved the video of Barcelona! Some great views of the city set to music including Freddie Mercury!

    Your aerial shots are stunning, never mind the mist! And the beach near you is awesome.

    Freixenet ~ love it! It is part of my dog Fergus's official kennel name! We were looking for a champagne like name because his mama was named Chandon Moet. Salud!

    I was wondering if we would see any of Albert Pla on here. Isn't he an off the wall Catalonian? I have a CD called Cover the World where he sings Take a Walk on the Wild Side (El Lado Mas Bestia de la Vida. Good rendition. LOL I bought it when our Spanish exchange student from Madrid stayed with us. She laughed and enjoyed it when she heard him!

    Well I'm off to the beach! Too gorgeous to pass up! Hey I think I see a nudist jogging down there. I'd better catch up!

  8. My nephew had a chance to visit Barcelona last year and he had very good things to share with us.

    I haven't been to any place outside my country and if given the chance, Barcelona will surely be in my list.

    Happy Monday!

  9. Wow....wonderful stop on the cruise! All these special places you've shared with us and gave us such a treasured tour of Barcelona....I'll surely return!!

    The sea looks so inviting!!!!

  10. Ahhhhh, I haver my 2 dozen dozen filled with yummy Tapas, fruits and goodies, and my Cava. The Limousine picked me up a while ago to take me back to the ship after a day of whirl wind wonder!
    Thanks Mar, and my hats off to the Captain!

  11. Well Roomie, you've outdone yourself! Though I AM dreadfully disappointed NOT to be even hearing flamenco - much less that I had hoped to learn to DANCE flamenco! Woe is me!

    I LOVED the Barcelona song -- why was that his last performance? And what/where is that WONDERFUL statue with the circle of people holding hands? What is it called? I LOVE it!!!

    I did find the communications tower in the foggy picture... even before reading that it was at 9:50! I would not have thought to give that clue!

    I did grab a snack at La Boqueria's, and then sat on the sidewalk to watch the parade go by! I DO love a parade!

    I did bring along my SPANISH sombrero for walking along the beach - to keep the sun off my face! (no freckles! NO freckles!) But I really DO want to buy one of those darling little flat top hats that I see some people wearing... do you knOW where I can get one Mar? Black... or maybe red... NO, black! Help me! Do you think they have them at El Corte Ingles?

    I must say Barcelona is even MORE beautiful than I had expected! I now know for sure that everyone is going to be bored stopping in Chesapeake Beach... and there is just NO CURE for it! I have NO Casa Mila's!!!

    Thank you sO much for sharing the little photo album! I might have to jump ship for a day or two to do MORE visiting in Barcelona! I neeeeeed to go visit the Parc Güell and that Hospital Sant Pau is more beautiful than some of our Cathedrals!!! Goodness me! SO much beauty in this city - I need at least a week here to see it all! And a MONTH to enjoy it all!!!

  12. yep, one day soon, I'm comin' over to visit. :) Good overview of your hometown. :)

  13. ¡Buenas Tardes! After my well-earned sleep, it was some waves on the way here this night...

    Now, I've been out walking and walking! Oh my god!

    I've always wanted to come here, so can you see my very very BIG smile that I can't wipe away!!!!

    I LOVE you - and obviously Barcelona - for taking us out on this tour! I love everything.

    A parade! I love parades with horses. And that Casa_Batllo with the unbelievable balconys and chimneys - oh, I wanna live there!

    The Limo was a niiiice touch which definitive will give you bonus points in Captains Logg!

    But, at last, the beaches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That was a real treat! Obviously none of you found me in the sand dunes (small one I built up) so I got to be for myself and recharge my batteries.

    I am just soooo pleased that it goes without word....

    And Tapas... Say no more.

    So I'm really looking forward to the nightlife! Must shop that dress I saw back at the ramblas.

    C U

  14. Oh, I forgot the usual *smooch on both cheeks*

  15. Sooo now I'm back again after have seen the album through properly....

    Please, can we come and live with you for a couple of years or so? I think it will take me that time to see all I want to see over there - you have so much! *lol*

    Loved that dragon door and the butt out of the window at Vila de Gràcia - of course, I always love butts ;-)

    I'm getting totally SPOILED on this cruise!!!!!!!

    *jumping up and down in excitement*

  16. *HOOT-TOOT*

    ¡Hola Mar!

    Barcelona is beautiful. I enjoyed your guided tour a lot. The pictures are fantastic. I guess I found the communicating tower (after getting rid of my sunglasses).

    I so needed to sit in a Cafe, have a Café con leche and watch people going by... after I went shopping at Las Ramblas - I´ve got 3 new pair of shoes in stock now. El Corte Ingles is a great place to quarry, too.
    My parents in law moved to Mallorca 2 years ago, so I´ve been to El Corte Ingles before, but shopping during a cyber cruise is much more fun =)

    And the Tapas... Oh, I´m full now! I will go on counting calories after the cruise. So I had:

    Patatas bravas con Salsa brava, Albóndigas, Boquerones, a Pincho moruno, Chorizo and about a kilo of Alioli *yum-yum*

    Now I´ll take a rest at one of those pretty beaches - I´m glad I brought my fave bikini =), having some Sangría (preparing my vocal chords for "Roll up, roll up..."

    Muchísimas gracias...

    ¡Hasta mañana!

  17. Melli: Have no fear, all of us will LOVE to have some small town time shen we arrives to your port on Saturday AND you’re such a Mellillous (I just invented that word) so how on this earth could we be disappointed at any point? No chance I’ll say!

  18. Barcelona looks absolutely beautiful! Now, I totally have that song in my head now....

  19. ¡Salud amigas con amigos!

    I'm ready for some pre-dinner drink now, dressed up for the dinner out and nightlife in Barcelona.

    What do you think about my new dress I have bought?

    (Ive updated my post with a picture of the dress too!)

  20. LC: Your dress is just lovely. I know you have said no photos taken - I'm glad I have my mobile phone at hand: I just have to have on for my private collection!
    Mar: is there more cava left - I'm feeling a bit dry:-)

  21. What a blast. After this extrodinary sighseeing in Barcelona, with all the shopping, eating and drinking, my old legs refused to move a cm.

    I had to sit down and watch over and over again all the excellent pictures from wonderful sites. People, buildings, streets and markets. And a beach, where to swim without thinking about bringing my swim-wear.

    You must be voted the best Catalan guide of the year.

  22. Hope someone shows up! I'm here, waiting for some of the cruise members....I tried out for Barcelona's "Dancing with the Stars" and have the infamous Flamenco Dancing gown. It's beautiful.

    Now, where is the Sangria for the night? I worked up a great thirst!!!

  23. Going around to make sure everybody has plenty to eat and a glass of chilled cava, sangria or whatever your heart desires. The captain is wearing a breathtaking red dress to go out and party tonight, it seems it's going to be a long night! Fiesta!

  24. *whistles* What a Flamenco performance of Hootin' Anni!!!!

    ¡Magnifico! ¡Fantastíco!

    ¡Que bonito!

  25. My best friend lives in Palma de Mallorca. How far is that from Barcelona? I can't wait to go there one day!!! I love your pictures!!!

  26. Olé, Hootin'Anni!
    Ocean Lady: Palma de Mallorca is only 30 min away with a plane, over the Mediterranean.

  27. Wow, your that close to Maysi! I wanna be there! :-)

  28. Where are every one? I wanna see all your smashing dresses!!! Go and dress, don't run around here in your undies everybody - even if this would please our male cruisers ;-)

  29. Thank you for the wonderful tour of Barcelona Mar! The beaches sound inviting and cava sounds delightful.

    Apparently we are supposed to go back and get our evening gowns on. But before I go, could you point me in the direction of that handsome Prince Felipe? I've been so lucky to have handsome prince's in every port so far. And look at the handsome prince's on the cyber-cruiser! All dressed up in their tuxedos!

  30. Butt Balou, another prince, how many shall you have??????? *s*

  31. Wow, what a tour! Truly the best one I've ever had. I've always wanted to visit Spain, but now I HAVE to. Plus, I can just print your post and go! Great pics, too. Enjoyed the sangria.

  32. Now it's sure: I'm here in Barcelona with the cruiser tour but I will come back again!!!to leave in detail these experiences !!! I love the market, the beautiful shops, the special gaudi's architecture, the music, the beautiful beaches...all!

  33. Mar, Mar, Mar, Mar, Mar... MORE cava please! Ahhhh yes! Definitely a bit more cava.... Do you knOw that Anni learned to Flamenco today? She's gonna teach me tonight! Right after dinner! (Oo... maybe we should dance BEFORE dinner, huh?) OY!

  34. Hola Mar

    Just came by to tuck you in or are you still partying strong?

    I'm glad you enjoyed the video of Albert Pla. He's quite a character, no?

    Looking forward to our mystery destination tomorrow. Do me a favour and make sure nobody gets lost on their way over! he he

    Going out to check out the stars at Captain LC's!

  35. Shiver me timbers! Lifecruiser overhauled by pirates!


  36. Lol! Wondeful set of pictures, I thoroughly enjoyed my virtual cruise stop-over.

    p.s. Did you know that you are it over at Blog Fodder this week?

  37. Oh Mar...I have had the best time visiting Barcelona! This was MAJOR! I mean I fwlt like I saw so very much and yet I know how these things go...So this is no doubt just scratching the surface, but I tell you...If I could still travel, Barcelona is a city I would very much love to see...Can we talk about Gaudi! FANTASTIC! I loved all the buildings I saw of his..(Took that other tour you arranged for everyone, too)A fascinating Artist!
    This was a true treat, my did a masterful job! Thank You So Much!

  38. I heard from Mrs. Lifecruiser that sailing from Barcelona to the Irish Church we have pirates on board !

  39. Mar this was absolutely wonderful! I love the architecture of all the buildings and the beach view you have is marvelous! What a view to see when walking! And the food all of it makes my mouth water! Thanks for a wonderful sharing of the country you call home!

  40. Beautiful...especially the ocean and sunset! The food looked yummy too!

  41. Spotted the tower very easily and was swooning over the architecture ;)The food made me so hungry. If only i could pull it out from the computer monitor to try everything! Thank you for the marvellous tour!


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