Jul 13, 2018

Our last 24 hours in Europe

After our visit to Sagrada Familia we went back to the same place ( we went there after the walking tour ) for more of that great quiche.  Then we headed back to our apartment.  We were leaving in the morning and we needed to get ready.  This was the first sunny and warm day that we had here in Barcelona and it was a shame to spend it inside.

I took this photo to show you how narrow the apartment was.  It had everything we needed but it was long and narrow.

This was where Colin hung out to relax.  Here he is editing photos for me.  Those white cups along the floor were to remind me that there was a slight lip to step up into the kitchen.  Mi amore 🙂

I washed my hair and we packed. We enjoyed some wine, read a few blog posts and prepared some photos for the next post.  It has been a struggle having just the one laptop when we travel.  We often both want to be on it at the same time.  We have two desktop computers, one of which we take in the RV and one laptop that we also travel with.  I don’t think that we need to purchase a second one just for travel.  However I do see Colin’s point, why should I hog the computer just because of the blog 😳   Sorry it has taken so long to catch up to real time with our trip posts.  I have no idea what else I can do but finish my posts once we get home.

I just wanted to mention that in Barcelona more so than any other city we have been in on this trip I was offered a seat on the Metro, each and every time, immediately, be it a male or a young female.  Another observation that has nothing to do with this post was that we saw many many dachshunds in Italy, some in Nice but none at all in Barcelona.  We always started a conversation in Barcelona in Spanish and for the most part we were well received.  Many were pleasantly surprised at two Canadians speaking Spanish.   The French are snobs and most were not open to speaking French with me when we were in Nice.  When they did, they all asked if we were from Quebec 🙄

Bags packed, hair washed, photos edited and a few glasses of vino consumed, we were ready for dinner.  Colin had spied a small Mexican restaurant just a block and a bit away.  I really did not want to walk any more than I needed to at this point.  Nice and bright.

They had a huge and very thorough menu.  We noticed that many locals stopped here to either eat in or do a take out order and we even saw a few Uber pick ups.

I had a vegetarian burrito with the works and it was excellent.

Colin’s vegetarian enchiladas came a few minutes later than my meal and he said they were delicious.  I just realized that I was never offered a bite.  We also shared a bottle of Mexican wine as it was much cheaper to buy the bottle than order by the glass.  It was actually very good.  This final dinner in Europe turned out to be one of our favorites.  Our host has added it to her recommended places to eat on her list for her guests.  Can you believe it, a Mexican dinner in Barcelona?  Yes we spoke Spanish with the staff who were all from Mexican.  Great final evening.

Saturday, June 9th, we were up early as we had to walk about five blocks to catch the airport bus. We certainly were perfectly situated to all that we needed here.  Adios Barcelona, we sure hope to be able to return one day and adios to our very special apartment.

We flew back to Canada on TAP Air Portugal in business class.   This is the first leg, from Barcelona to Lisbon.  I wore a scarf around my neck to protect my throat and chest.

After a lovely lunch, we flew into Lisbon.

The most uncomfortable business class lounge ever.  I have my blow up neck pillow at the small of my back and with my feet on the chair I was reasonably comfortable.  Colin sat on the same green chair at a small table just to the right of the photo.  The food was good here and the wine passable.   As you can see, I have my notes spread around me on both sides.  I was writing a post or two.  It might have been the post about Santa Croce in Florence with the tombs of Galileo, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, etc.

Airports in Europe are old and small which means that buses are used to take passengers out to the larger planes that are parked far out at the edges of the airport.  However that means that one must climb up to the plane.  After all Presidents, Royalty and the rich and famous must also ascend to their aircraft.

Adios Portugal, we will be sure to come back and visit.  We are flying to Toronto.

Tap Air is nowhere near Turkish Airlines, but we did have a lovely flight with seats that stretched flat out and all the amenities including a lovely duvet.  The food was very good as you can see by this menu.  The first course was Lobster Canape with Sunflower Seeds ( I cut off the top of the menu ).  Each course was delicious and the service excellent.  The wine was top notch, from Portugal.  The staff were a tad snobbish and would not reply to our Spanish and insisted that we learn Portuguese.  By the way we said no to the pre landing meal, water only was all we needed.

I can personally attest to the best porto ever, well at least that I have ever had.  I might have indulged in three wee ( and yes they only serve in small glasses ) glasses 🙂  Purely for medicinal purposes as it did calm my cough for a bit.

Sunset all the way to Toronto.  We arrived about 10PM and spent the night at an airport hotel.  Rather then head out first thing on June 10th we had decided on a noonish flight so that we could sleep in a bit and help the jet lag.  Of course we got back to the airport with enough time to enjoy the Maple Leaf Lounge before our lovely flight to Calgary.

After 90 minutes or so in the business class lounge in Calgary we were demoted to regular economy class back home to Kelowna.   As I did in Lisbon I walked out to the plane which was somewhat smaller 🙂

Home Sweet Home.  We live in what might be described as the tail of an arrow ( the outline of the lake  in the middle of the screen ) .  We are about mid tail, at the top of the length of the lake.

So great to be home after four long weeks in Europe.  I hope that you enjoyed the posts.  Sorry that the last bit has been rather late due to my illness but better late than never 😎   Please email me your thoughts if you want to be private rather than make a public comment as I really appreciate your input.  We are going to be doing something like this again, in about 10.5 months from now.  Thank you my dear readers for sticking with me, I appreciate each one of you.





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18 responses so far

18 Responses to “Our last 24 hours in Europe”

  1. Rae says:

    Wow, first time I’ve seen Yucatecan food (cochinita) on a menu outside of Yucatán!

    Of all the countries I’ve had “Mexican” food in outside of Mexico, Spain has so far been the only where I’ve had anything that even remotely resembles real Mexican food. So I’m not surprised you found this place!

    Blogging from the heart of the action is always a double-edged sword — you want to share everything while it’s still fresh in your memory, but it takes so much time. I rather regret doing it in London, actually. I think for a short trip, like when I went to Durango, taking notes along the way and blogging soon as you get home is best (for me). But on a long haul like you just did, perhaps you need to schedule a lazy morning or two just to catch up! 🙂

    I enjoyed your trip very much!

    • contessa says:

      It really was a fluke that we ate there and as I said it was one of our best meals not to mention the low price.

      Each post takes at least 4 hours to write, if not more, including editing the photos. I did take a full day off per week to catch up but I had too much to share that it just wasn’t enough time. Better late than never. I started to make notes at the end of each day which helped me with the details. So glad that you enjoyed the journey.

  2. ARIZONA GAL says:


    • contessa says:

      I so appreciate your comments every step of the way. Yes it was new to me to see how much effort it took to board and deplane in Europe. Although in Istanbul we came right to the gate but we did have to bus out to the plane to leave for Naples.

  3. Dolores T says:

    It was surely a lovely time in Europe. Love seeing all your pictures. Glad you got home safe and sound.

  4. Joyce F in Kansas USA says:

    I have enjoyed all the pictures and commentary about your recent trip. I’ll never make it to these places so I appreciate your sharing so I can be an armchair traveler

    • contessa says:

      So happy to have you here Joyce and many thanks for your comment. Stayed tuned for our US and Mexican adventures that start September 27th and we will be heading back to Europe next May.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Thanks for taking me along with your gorgeous photos and prose! It looked to be a memorable trip. I love that you always share not only the street scenes and tourist attractions, but the ambiance as well through your photos of delicious food, descriptions of tasty wines, and all the comforts of your home away from home. Thanks for the lovely ride!

  6. What a great way to travel! Looks like it was a lot of fun not to mention the food and service. Very well-planned on your part!

  7. Phyllis says:

    Just found your wonderful blog so just got in on the end of your travels but
    really enjoyed your photos and commentary.

    • contessa says:

      Welcome to the blog Phyllis. Nice to have you here and thank you for taking the time to comment. If you want to start at the beginning of our four weeks in Europe, just click on May ( on the right hand side) to open the month and then click on May 13 which is the day we started. You can then just keep hitting “newer post” at the bottom and it will bring you the entire journey in order. I had a few incidents along the way and caught some sort of European virus which is why the posts have been delayed.

  8. Hannelore says:

    Hello Contessa and Colin,

    You say thank you to your readers, we are the ones that are grateful and thank you for the time, for letting us travel with you .
    We have enjoyed the many wonderful destinations. I am amazed how well you planned and executed all the detailed plans. It must have taken a lot of your time. We loved every minute of Nice, Monaco and Barcelona. Chances that we get to visit these places are pretty well nil.
    Now Contessa get rid of the all that coughing problem and become totally healthy.
    What a special man Colin is, one in a million.
    Take care, cheers,

    • contessa says:

      I really appreciate your comment Hannelore as does Colin :). Yes I did work hard to get it all so very organized but it was an intense trip based on where we went.

  9. Gisele says:

    Greetings Contessa and Colin,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your trip with you. Many places we had been to also, great
    memories. Love your research and your photos, excellent job. Too bad you had
    to have those bad falls.

    Thanks again and stay healthy now. Hugs and cheers, Gisele and Gunther

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