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May 30th 2011
Published: May 30th 2011
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Monday May 30th, 2011

Mediterranean Sea off the Coast of Spain

Latitude 41 degrees 21 minutes' north- Longitude 2 degrees 10 minutes' east

We have been back on the boat for a couple of days now. It seems very comforting to be back onboard even though it is a different ship. We are on the Ocean Princess and it is the same size and layout from our previous ship, so everything is very familiar. It took awhile to detox from our total Italian Immersion of three weeks in the countryside. We keep wanting to talk Italian on the ship when ordering our dinner and the wine onboard does not taste as good as it did before. Tuscany spoiled us for good cheap wine. It is about the only thing that is cheap in Italy! The last little hill town we visited was Civita and it really was quite unique. An earthquake split the town in the 1600s and now access to the old part of town is from a very long and steep pedestrian walkway as you can see in the picture. We came down out of the hills and turned in our rental car at the Avis office. Then, on our first day back onboard, we made our last Italian port of call in Livorno. We took an excursion over to the Cinque Terre region for the day. They are a group of seaside villages that are connected by scenic walkways and seem to cling to the side of the cliffs. These five little villages were every bit as cute as they had been hyped, but they were very crowded and we were glad to we had decided to stay in the Tuscan Hills and just visit them this way for the day.
The next day we headed to France and the Cote’ de Azur. Cannes was alive with activity, huge yachts and lots of people laying on the beach soaking up the sun. We went up the mountainside to a little hill top village called St. Paul de Vence. It was picture perfect and spotlessly clean. There was a cute little narrow house that perched along the ramparts. Very similar in architecture to the Italian hill towns, I would have to say the main difference was all the shops had a very stylish and clean appearance and the French actually have public restrooms available.
Now we are underway after having spent another day in Barcelona. We rode the public bus into town from the cruise terminal (very cheap) and walked along the famous La Rambla market street in the downtown waterfront area. It was a nice relaxing walk and very fun watching all the people. The weather was great and we spent the day looking at all the stuff for sale in the various shops. They had everything you can imagine and some things that we have never imagined. Whole rabbits, chickens, ducks, internal organs, beef tongue and even some goat heads for sale! Make sure you click on the photos for the expanded view.
Finally we have a sea day coming up, so maybe we can get caught up on our laundry and chores.

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