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Mr Rumor

Splendor! The Pre-Christening Inaugural Transatlantic Cruise! A LIVE Joint Blog!

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21 hours ago, Mr Rumor said:

...Although we’ve never been to Madrid Barajas, we’ll have two hours and 45 minutes there, which should be plenty of time for us to navigate immigration and security and make it to our Barcelona flight....

Barajas is a lovely, modern airport but it is BIG.  Very light and sunny too.   You have to enter Schengen on arrival at Madrid and very likely transfer between terminals too.  But based on our experience with Iberia you will have plenty of time to do this and there is a decent Business class lounge too.  Fly safely!!

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Can someone post a link to the Facebook page that has the pictures of Splendor - I can't seem to find it? Thanks in advance.

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23 minutes ago, ClefsDor said:

Can someone post a link to the Facebook page that has the pictures of Splendor - I can't seem to find it? Thanks in advance.

 

Can't remember if we are allowed to do so, but you can search "RSSC Social Club" on FB. Francesca showed amazing photos over the past few days.

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Thanks 2012 Alaska Bound - found it and enjoyed seeing all the areas that were featured. Looking forward to seeing it for ourselves in December - by then I'm hoping for many more live blogs 🙂

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1 hour ago, 2012_Alaska_bound said:

 

Can't remember if we are allowed to do so, but you can search "RSSC Social Club" on FB. Francesca showed amazing photos over the past few days.

Thank you, will check it out.

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I think you have to be a "member" of the RSSC group to access the posts...  so why not join?

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Hello from Barcelona!  We made it—finally!

 

Gerry, it was a breeze navigating Madrid Barajas.  In fact, everything was going swimmingly at at the airport until the captain took the microphone shortly after we had settled in our seats. He announced that a pre-flight safety check had turned up issues with a couple of the tires.  Off the plane we went!

 

We reconvened at a neighboring gate an hour later to be bused to plane No. 2.  Again we had just gotten comfortable when the captain returned to the PA.  Now a couple of DRONES had been spotted near a runway, so not only was our second plane not going to take off, the entire Madrid Barajas Airport was being shut down until further notice!! In all our travels we’ve never had two connecting flights aborted from one airport on the same day!  (“They know who the guy is,” one of the stewards told me.  “He’s going to be in big, big trouble!”  No kidding! )

 

Onto the waiting buses we went for a return to the terminal.  A line about half a block long quickly formed at the nearest Iberia information desk.  Finally after about half an hour a staffer announced that he had no information but that he hoped to at some point in the afternoon (!).

 

Luckily the Iberia lounge—packed, needless to say—was a short walk away, so we returned there to await word of the rescheduling.  After about an hour we got a gate and a tIme.  Big sigh of relief!  One more bus ride to plane No. 2 and, finally, eight and a half hours and 12000 airport steps after we had arrived at Barajas, we were on our way to Barcelona. 

 

By the way, I found it remarkable how calmly and quietly our Spanish fellow passengers reacted to a Barajas afternoon gone haywire.  And I was also pretty proud of us for not blowing it with complaints and hand-wringing.  By the third time we filed back onto a Barcelona bound plane, many of us were greeting Purser Jose like a friend!  Thumbs up, Jose!

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Rich, sorry to hear about all of the trials and tribulations you encountered to arrive, but I am confident that your experience on the Splendor will make it all well worth it!

Bob

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Oh dear me - sorry to hear of your travel misadventures R&G, but happy you are now safely in Barcelona.  

I wonder if you knew that during all of this there was an Air Canada plane (Madrid-Toronto) which was circling Madrid airport for 4 hours to burn fuel as they had mechanical problems and needed to return to Madrid airport.  This no doubt added to your delays.  Happy to report, the AC plane did return safely.

Once again this does confirm the wisdom of always arriving in your "departure city" at least one day prior to boarding the ship.

Our time on Splendor will surely make up for all the travel tribulations.  Have a great stay in Barcelona. 😊

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My plan for a stroll around our Barcelona neighborhood and a Catalan dinner out went by the wayside following our late arrival.  Ginny was not up to a short walk after our long day, but, with her blessing, I took off along nearby Passeig de Gracia, snapping these shots along the way.

 

“Moon Nights at (Gaudi’s) Casa Battlo” is a brand-new Battllo offering everyday from 8:30 p.m. to 10.  The tab ain’t cheap—39 Euros.

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Making the scene on skates

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Plaza Cataluna couple 

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Glad you two made it OK to BCN. I would have been taken out in a body bag if I went through your experience in MAD. Can’t wait until you guys start reporting from the Splendor. 
Z and TB

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Happy you made so far, and thanks for reporting it the way it was....Now everything should be perfect for the rest of your trip now that all the delays are behind you.  Looking forward to reading about your trip on the splendor, we board April 1.

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Welcome to Europe Rich and Ginny!!   You might pop into el Corte Ingles (you have a photo of it above)  - it is a very nice store...

 

Your ship is currently docked in Livorno, and no doubt will start making her way towards you tonight.  Enjoy Barcelona!  

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Hi Rich,

So glad to hear you two made it to Barcelona. We've had our share of airport snafus, usually in LHR.....not our favorite airport. Photos are lovely as Barcelona is a great place, but please be careful if you're alone and taking photos....The area that you're in, as lovely as it is, can be a little dicey after dark.....yeah, I'm being a "granny", but just be careful!!!

Looking forward to the first Splendor photos!!!

Linda

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We were out and about Barcelona today—19,998 steps’ worth!  It was great walking weather, sunny and in the low ‘60s.  “Like spring,” Josep, our genial veteran guide, enthused.  

 

We spent the first half of our day with Josep, on his “Private Gourmet Foodie Exclusive, Tour,” which included a leisurely walk through La Boqueria, the most famous of Barcelona’s 42 food markets, and some tapas/snacks grazing.  For dessert we toured the medieval Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, popularly known as Barcelona Cathedral.  The cathedral has the distinction of being “all original inside,” according to Josep.  “Never bombed, never a fire.”  

 

After Josep took his leave, we plowed on, visiting the nearby Basilica de Santa Maria Del Mar and, for an hour or so, the Picasso Museum.  That wasn’t nearly enough time to do justice to one of the most extensive collections of works by Picasso—who moved to Barcelona with his family at 14 and received much of his art training here—but by mid-afternoon we were getting pooped.  It had already been a full and wonderful day!

 

A few favorite snaps:

 

At La Boqueria Josep treated us to a scrumptious olives sampler.

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We learned about (and inhaled a few) pintxos, a traditional Basque small snack in which pintxo bars such as Bilbao Berria charge according to the shape of the toothpick.

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Near La Rambla a duo plays American music in the shadow of an arch of a Roman aqueduct as Saint Helena looks on from atop the spire of the Barcelona Cathedral.

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The “guardian geese” of Barcelona Cathedral take their lunch break.  Josep explained that geese served as the cathedral’s “alarm system” in medieval times!

F73E0A69-5C86-41B8-8491-82D402251CFE.thumb.jpeg.22d785cf30f7a4a6ffde313b9f49930a.jpeg

 

I didn’t know that Picasso briefly experimented with pointillism until I saw “Woman With Mantilla” at the Picasso Museum.

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Edited by Mr Rumor

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Thank you so much for re-living my wonderful stays at Barcelona.  We have stayed at a hotel just in front of the Barrio Gotic Cathedral and have enjoyed so much the Picasso Museum and La Boquería.  Wish I was there with you!!!

Edited by Camillus112

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Enjoyed your Barcelona day Rich.  Sitting in the Toronto lounge - boarding soon and heading to join everyone ✈️🚢😊

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Rich and Ginny and all the others - Splendor is south of Cannes right now (0836 CET) headed for Barcelona and the ETA tomorrow is 0430.  I assume you will all be waiting on the dockside!

Gerry

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12 hours ago, Hambagahle said:

Rich and Ginny and all the others - Splendor is south of Cannes right now (0836 CET) headed for Barcelona and the ETA tomorrow is 0430.  I assume you will all be waiting on the dockside!

Gerry

Thanks for tracking Splendor for us, Gerry.  We’re planning to show up early tomorrow, but not quite that early!   Brief report on today’s doings to follow (tease: only a Splendorific Thursday—and Friday, Saturday, etc.—will be able to top it)!

Edited by Mr Rumor

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A cool, sunshine day in beautiful Barcelona after midday arrival.  Tired but muy contenta.  Afternoon walk followed by tapas y vino at El Nacional - a great centre of Spanish eateries and bars.  An early night!  
I will see the Splendor arrive in my dreams at 4.30 Gerry!  

Tomorrow....... 🚢

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Our date with Gaudí was everything that Ginny had hoped for, and more. It was obvious to our wonderful guide, Josep, that he had a Gaudí fanatic on his hands, as he indulged Ginny and me with extra time in Sagrada Família so that she could snap a few dozen extra shots.   Also on the program:  Park Guell, the fiasco of a residential development that was fated to become one of the master architect’s six UNESCO World Heritage sites, and a first visit to Gaudi’s Casa Mila, located around the corner from our hotel (the boutiquey Casa Mimosa).

 

To the photos:

 

A portion of the Hall of Columns (86 in all), which were intended to support Park Guell’s never-finished town square.

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Tiny detail from one of the seven-meters-tall ornate bronze doors to the Facade of the Nativity at La Sagrada.  (Photo credit:  Ginny)

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The baldacchino of La Sagrada Família, from which Christ on the cross hangs.

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A mesmerizing play of light cast from several of La Sagrada’s stained-glass windows.

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Gaudi’s Casa Mila is most famous for its rooftop terrace featuring 28 chimneys.

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The Gaudí fan poses next to one of the chimneys topped by Gaudi’s signature four-armed cross—so designed so that “if you’re an angel flying above, you will always see a cross,” Josep explained.  
B4260C3A-FA1B-433E-92A2-B8171C02F462.thumb.jpeg.e89bbbb48b3d73791ab31843aeb8b279.jpeg

 

This wraps up a wonderful stay in Barcelona in which we lucked into unseasonably warm weather and, in addition to our two great tours, enjoyed tasty tapas (loved our helpings of pan con tomates, Z) and two excellent dinners, and didn’t get close to being pickpocketed!  (I appreciated your “granny” concern, Linda, but we were always careful and observant!  Good thing, too, as we had just met up with Josep outside the Hard Rock Cafe on Tuesday when he pointed out that the two gentlemen striding in front of us were “known pickpockets”!)

 

Ginny has already begun her final sleep before Splendor, and I’m soon to join her.  Hasta manana de la Dana!

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Wonderful, Rich!  Barcelona is one of my favorite cities - especially the gothic quarter and the Picasso museum.  Although, I was so in awe of Sagrada Familia that I felt like a pilgrim seeing Chartres for the first time.  

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2 hours ago, Mr Rumor said:

Our date with Gaudí was everything that Ginny had hoped for, and more. It was obvious to our wonderful guide, Josep, that he had a Gaudí fanatic on his hands, as he indulged Ginny and me with extra time in Sagrada Família so that she could snap a few dozen extra shots.   Also on the program:  Park Guell, the fiasco of a residential development that was fated to become one of the master architect’s six UNESCO World Heritage sites, and a first visit to Gaudi’s Casa Mila, located around the corner from our hotel (the boutiquey Casa Mimosa).

Was this a private tour that you arranged. If so, I would love to know how to arrange this. We already embarked in Barcelona last July with Regent, and took their paid excursion and it was just a panoramic bus tour. We saw more on our arrival day when we had a bus to drop us off in town, but since we had no tickets to go inside any point of interest, we could only walk around the outside.

I am also a Gaudi fanatic, and would love to take the tour that you just did. We have a Splendor cruise in September 2021 that ends in Barcelona, with an early arrival and a night in port. I want to do that tour while we're there. I suspect Regent will offer the same panoramic bus tour that we took last time, and the post cruise add-ons were not appealing. Thanks in advance.

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