We are back home in Madrid after a lovely Semana Santa on the Mediterranean. We saw a lot of neat places, ate a lot of food, drank a lot of Crema de Irlandes, but unfortunately did not see a lot of spring weather.
Unless you count clouds, cold, and rain as spring weather.
But not to worry, a good time was still had by all, except for my waistline which I'm fairly sure was not prepared for two cruises in 6 months.
Boy, are we spoiled rotten!
Let's start the recap, shall we?
Our cruise left on Saturday out of Barcelona, which is a 6 hour drive from Madrid. Since the kids had Friday off of school we left early and decided to stay the night.
This worked out great, as it made the drive more relaxing and we got to explore Barcelona as well.
Halfway down the road is the city of Zaragoza. We planned a pit stop there because they have a castle and who doesn't like castles? We intended to go inside, but there were some diplomats having some sort of meeting there and they weren't allowing anyone to go in.
This info was nowhere to be found on the website we had checked the day before, but that my friends is quite typically Spanish. Planning and forethought are not high on their priority lists.
No pasa nada, we took some pictures and got back on the road...
...where we passed through the marker for Greenwich Mean Time, or prime meridian.
At which point I became confused. Because I am easily confused.
Isn't Europe considered part of the Western world? But this line is telling me that part of Spain is in the Eastern hemisphere.
Then I stopped thinking about it because I kind of had to pee.
We stayed the night in a hotel in Barcelona, and took the metro down to the Old Gothic quarter where we saw a beautiful cathedral and some other impressive landmarks.
But the most impressive we saved for the following morning, when we visited the Sagrada Familia.
This church is still being built; it was started in 1882 and is slated to be finished before 2033.
It was designed by Gaudi, and it is really incredible.
Pictures can't quite do it justice. At least, not pictures that I take.
My culturally-minded children were enthralled with the
I guess if you can't appreciate greatness, you can at least play in it's shadows.
When we got closer while waiting to go in, we could start to see some of the incredible detail that is carved into every surface.
And the inside. My goodness.
There is a separate museum-like hallway that shows how Gaudi used nature to inspire his design. It was neat to read some of that and then go back inside to see it again, with a better understanding.
The other side was done in gothic style.
This model shows what it will be like when it's finished. We couldn't believe that as huge as it is now, the only high pillars that have been built are the ones underneath that black line I drew. It's going to be ginormous.
I'm not the most culturally aware person out there, so I'll just say: It shore wus perty.
And now our recap has made it onboard the cruise ship.
There was a dress-up night, and so we enlisted the help of our 7 year old in taking a picture of us.
It did not go well.
This is one of about 20 snaps and it will have to do.
Proof that we dressed up:
With the photographer herself, whose tummy looks like she already had dinner.
Spanish cruise lines follow Spanish customs, and so we ate in the "Early Seating" at 7:30pm.
Sheesh! I would have been asleep in my lamb chop if we'd gotten the late seating.
We booked through an American company, and so they seated us with a group of American college students who happen to be studying abroad in Madrid for this semester.
They were young. And I felt old.
And next time we'll get to the heart of our cruise-- seeing Italy and France! Oh, and a zombie apocalypse.
For realz. Do not get in between zombies and their apples.