8 December – shore birds

Dad and I were offered jobs a dishwashers today when we expressed an interest in not going ashore! We decided that life on the Viking Star as a dish washer wouldn’t be as marvellous as life as a passenger. So with sad hearts we walked down the gang plank one last time dragging our little wheely bags behind us.

We’re staying in a pleasant hotel in the heart of the gothic quarter, very close to the grand cathedral we visited yesterday. We’re hilarious – the beds aren’t as plush, the lighting isn’t as good, the cups are plastic, there’s no free stocked fridge, no soft carpet on the floor, the chairs aren’t as soft either. It really is a nice place and the bathroom is palatial – with a balcony no less. Have we ever become spoiled!

Free of the lollipop, we headed out armed with a map and got ourselves to the desired hop on hop off bus stop. It too is handy to our shore side digs. We hopped off and on in several spots. One was the beautiful land mark museu Nacional d’art de Catalunya. We toured two of the extensive exhibits – both to do with medieval art. Both brilliant installations. A beer and lunch over looking the city – outside – it is warmer here! Then continued on to a couple of Gaudi’s houses. We went into Casa Batllo which is complete imaginative magic. The man was a genius! Who’d have thought such a building could be conceived of never mind built! Not one square corner, not one straight line, all curves and swirls and ingenious use of light. I’ll send a couple of pictures – but if you’re curious google Gaudi’s Casa Batllo, I’m sure you’ll be as amazed as we are.

Now having a short rest before heading down stairs for tapas for dinner. It’s only 6:30. Dinner doesn’t get started here til after seven. Although we’ve taken the edge off our thirst and hunger with some of our remaining cherry brandy from Dubrovnik and figs from – hmm where were they from? – Kotor I think. It’s all becoming a bit of a blur!

Cheers from the incredible city of Barcelona. I think it might be odd to go to sleep in a “still” bed without the background purr of the ship lulling me to pleasant dreams.

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