Gaudi, Gold, and Goodbye: Barcelona Bites

The first blush of dawn kissed Barcelona as we sailed in, our anchor eager to find purchase in the azure depths. Our VHF crackled to life with a friendly greeting from Marina Vela, and soon we were maneuvering into our assigned spot. “First-come, first-served,” they’d assured us, though somehow we ended up with the berth furthest from the entrance – a prime location for morning exercise, perhaps? 😉

With the boat secured, we hurried into the city, anticipation buzzing like the midday cicadas. Boris, Jovana, and Sanja, our fellow adventurers from Belgrade, had flown in to join us for the leg to Herceg Novi, Montenegro. As they waited for their bus, a shadow crept into our sunny disposition. Sanja’s bag, laptop and all, vanished amidst the busy bustle. A harsh lesson in the opportunism that lurks in any metropolis, but one we refused to dwell on.

Barcelona beckoned, and we surrendered to its charms. The scorching sun became our companion as we marveled at the Sagrada Familia’s ethereal beauty and reveled in the whimsical creations of Park Güell. La Rambla, Barcelona’s beating heart, pulsed with life as we sipped sangria and traded stories with Jaksa and Boris, who’d explored a different corner of the city. In the warm glow of the evening, we shared laughter and plates of delicious food at a cozy marina-side restaurant.

The next day, the sun remained our faithful companion as we delved deeper into Barcelona’s treasures. Gaudi’s masterpieces continued to amaze, each a testament to his architectural genius. We hopped on a tourist bus, weaving through the city like colorful beads on a string, and later found ourselves mesmerized by the Maritime Museum.

The Titanic: Stepping into the Titanic exhibit was like stepping onto the doomed ship itself. Personal effects like pocket watches and jewelry whispered tales of lives forever altered. Detailed plans and haunting drawings unraveled the engineering marvel and tragic flaws. But the centerpiece was undoubtedly the massive model, split open to reveal intricate decks, opulent cabins, and even cargo holds. It was a sobering yet captivating glimpse into a bygone era and a disaster etched in history.

The Royal Gale: In stark contrast to the Titanic’s somber presence, the Royal Gale exuded grandeur and power. This meticulously reconstructed 16th-century Spanish flagship, built specifically for Barcelona’s 400th anniversary, was a testament to craftsmanship and maritime might. Towering masts adorned with intricate carvings reached towards the ceiling, while the hull gleamed with gold detailing fit for a king. Stepping aboard felt like stepping back into a world of exploration, conquest, and opulent seafaring adventures.

To my surprise, my Serbian passport granted me free entry to the museum – a delightful bonus! My afternoon unfolded amidst the city’s ancient Gothic quarter, where chance reunited me with Miloš, a colleague visiting Barcelona. He eagerly joined me on board our floating home, where we shared stories and dreams fueled by the boundless spirit of adventure.

As the fiery hues of dusk painted the sky, we witnessed the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc in all its shimmering splendor. It was a fitting finale to a day overflowing with vibrant experiences, reminding us that even a stolen laptop couldn’t dampen the magic of Barcelona.

Tomorrow, with hearts full of memories and sails unfurled, we set course for Saint-Tropez, France. But our journey doesn’t end there. Herceg Novi awaits, marking the bittersweet farewell to our dear friends before we continue our odyssey around the world. Until then, Barcelona, we thank you for the sun, the sangria, and the reminder that even amidst challenges, adventure awaits around every corner.

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