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Showing posts from July, 2015

The Mediterranean is a Helluva Holiday. Now I Need a Nap.

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On July 4th, we flew to Barcelona to meet Mom and set sail on our Mediterranean cruise. She flew in from Canada and met us at the Best Western Hotel Alfa Aeropuerto. The reason we stayed at this hotel was because they accommodated three in a room and had an airport shuttle.

Air Transat had lost mom's luggage on the flight over, so we had to search for toiletries for all of us, since Mom was bringing them all. Our flight over was fine, although the website said to arrive 3 hours early and they wouldn't let us start checking in until 2 hours before the flight. We had dinner at the hotel upon our arrival. They didn't have a lot to offer for vegans so we had salad then headed to bed.

The next morning (July 5th), we called Air Transat to see what was going on with Mom's luggage and they said it would be on a flight the next day, and that they would get it to our next port (Naples) on the cruise. We checked out of the hotel and caught a cab to the cruise terminal.

Who Needs the Hop on Hop Off (London, England)

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We were finally on our way to London, after being stuck at the  Barcelona airport for 8 hours. The flight over wasn't too bad, and passed quite quickly. It was a beautiful day out.

We flew from Barcelona to London Stansted with Ryanair. Although the flight was delayed over 8 hours, we still tend to book with Ryanair, as they have some of the cheapest flights we have seen.

El meu aerolliscador està ple d'anguiles (Barcelona, Spain)

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We disembarked from the cruise ship in the morning and caught a cab to our hotel. 
Our hotel was Hotel Regincia Colon. It is listed as a 3 star hotel, but receives 4 star reviews on Expedia.  We picked this hotel as it was reasonably cheap for a room for 3 people when booking on expedia.com. We arrived too early for check in, so we left our bags. It was free to store our bags in their storage closet. All the staff were very friendly and allowed us to stay for a little in the lounge. We then made our way outside and explored the Gothic quarter of Barcelona. The hotel is in the perfect spot in the city, right in Gothic Quarter, very close to La Rambla and on a route of the hop on hop off bus.  Barcelona is a fairly big city, so we suggest using public transit or spending the extra money on the hop on hop off buses. City Sightseeing has 3 routes that go around the city to ensure you see everything.

Monaco and Monte Carlo

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July 10th we arrived in Cannes, France via our Cruise ship. We had to take a tender boat to shore, as the ship couldn't dock in Cannes. Once ashore we boarded a coach bus to Monaco. Rather than just explore Cannes we signed up for an excursion to see Monaco. It included a bus ride and a tour guide showing us the way.

Pisa and Beach

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On July 9th, our cruise ship arrived in Livorno and we took a bus into Pisa. We booked an excursion through the cruise ship to see the leaning tower of Pisa and go to the beach. The guide we had was excellent. He was teaching us Italian phrases, explaining local customs and he was pretty funny as well. He even gave us a sample of some Italian Liquor at the end.

Rome on Your Own

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On July 8th, we arrived in Civitavecchia which is the port near Rome. We decided to go on the "Rome on your Own" excursion which is just a return trip to Rome on a coach bus. We had the day to look around in Rome and see the sights. There were tours you could book with the cruise line that included visits to attractions like the Colosseum and the Vatican.

Pompeii Excavations

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On July 7th, we arrived in Naples, Italy. We left for our excursion at 8:15am and loaded onto a bus that drove us a half hour to Pompeii. We didn't really see much of Naples, we just drove through it on our way to Pompeii but we only had a limited time.