Wednesday, November 23, 2011


After our well-spent day in Palma de Mallorca and our unfortunate Ajaccio incident, Barcelona was the last port of call of our Costa Luminosa cruise.

We knew there are lots of must-see places in Barcelona so it’s very important that we spend our precious 7 hours wisely.  Our priority was to see as much sites as we can in 7 hours.  No shopping, no unnecessary stops, no petiks or banjing moments...  Just pure culture!  We agreed that we’d maximize our short visit, starting it by disembarking as early as possible.

Okay maybe we wasted a few minutes taking photos in our cabin because Karol is wearing the same outfit as Chuppy, our wind-up pet penguin.  How could we not take photos of this? Haha.

Fine.  We lied.  We actually spent more than just 'a few minutes'.

Both of us were wearing light clothing and heeled shoes at that time (which was a relief because that means we will be walking at the same pace).  As we were about to leave the boat, the weather felt colder than expected so we hurriedly went back to our cabin to change.  Karol ended up wearing her flat tall boots instead of her 2-inch booties.

All aboard, the shuttle took us from the port to the city center. 

Barcelona Leg 1

Important sites in Barcelona aren't far apart enough from each other for one to take a taxi, but aren't close enough either to be effortlessly explored by foot (at least for us Filipinos who are not used to too much walking).  So it’s actually up to you how you want to go around the city.  As for us, we decided to walk so we could see the beautiful little details that make up Barcelona.

Allow us to show you how far we've walked.

For the first leg, we made 7 stops .

1. Agencia Estatal de Administration Tributaria (State Tax Administration Agency)

2. Estatua de Colon (Christopher Columbus Monument)
A tribute to Christopher Columbus, it was in Barcelona where he first docked and reported to Queen Isabella after his voyage to the Americas.

3.  Las Ramblas
We planned to simply walk in the whole stretch of Las Ramblas but we didn't know that it will take us that long.  This street has far too many distractions!

It’s like Palma de Mallorca’s Passeige de Born, only busier.

As we’re walking, two policemen approached and reminded us to look after our belongings.  We also grabbed the opportunity to have photos with Spanish men in uniform!

And yes, maybe we didn't start Las Ramblas right because we stopped on the very first souvenir shop we saw.  What can we do?  Karol needed to buy a Barcelona sticker!

And I'm sure if you're there you'd stop too!  How can we let Karol not have a Barcelona sticker on her suitcase?  If we didn't stop, she'd probably regret it the rest of her life every time she looks at the blank space in her luggage... and wonder (just like in soap operas)... "What if?".

As a matter of fact, the distractions, took a big chunk of our time.  We couldn’t help but stop because everything's quite interesting to say the least.

Most of the distractions are perfect photo opportunities and this lolo matador is an example. Macy wasn’t so enthusiastic at first so she took photos of Karol instead.

But after much prodding from Karol and lolo himself, Macy gave in. She appeared happy, don't you think?  It doesn't look like she was forced to do this at all Haha!! 

They don't charge a fixed amount for these photo ops but it's understood that you should give a donation.  Each of us gave at least 1euro.  To save ourselves from getting broke (think about it, if you add up 2 euros per stop, it can amount to a dinner's worth!) we agreed to just walk straight and not get distracted anymore.  MUST. STAY. FOCUSED.

But again, we can't help but stop for a second to take photos, particularly of the funny ones... and the kinda-funny ones... and the not-so-funny ones... anyway, moving on. We thought that's fine because at least we were not spending for it and we were just taking photos really fast.  Right?

Until... we saw Bob Marley wannabe.  Hahaha!  Another perfect photo opportunity!  No connection at all to Barcelona or Spain, but it's just so funny-cool with the jumbo joint and all!  We promised this will be the last and we won't waste any more precious second after this.

We kept walking and saw the policemen we talked to earlier.  In all fairness, they really go around the area, keeping Las Ramblas safe.

4.  Carrer dela Boqueria
The streets intersecting La Rambla look interesting... but we had to remind ourselves to stay in focus.  We still have more important historical places to spend time on! See?  In a span of an hour, we matured!  Yay!  Haha! 

5.  Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria
Simply known as La Boqueria, it is the famous market place of Barcelona. Selling everything from meats like the Jamon, seafood, frutas y verduras, candies, olives, nuts, cooked Catalan food and a lot more. 

6.  Font de Canaletes
Tradition has it that one who drinks from this fountain will come back to Barcelona. But, as much as we’d like to come back in the future, we just could not bring ourselves to drink Font's water. 
Macy:  Inom ka o para makabalik ka 
Karol: Ayoko nga, magka-amoebiasis pa ko!  Mag-iipon nalang ako ng pera pambili ng ticket para makabalik kesa pambayad sa ospital noh. 

Besides, we tried everything we could to see if it's even working. 

We couldn't operate the damn thing so we took photos instead.

Then this man came and started drinking from it.  Oh alright, one has to exert a little bit of effort to turn on the freaking faucet. Now we know! 

 Karol: uminom sya o, makakabalik sya sa Barcelona!
Macy:  Heller taga dito lang kaya sya. 

While walking along the street of Las Ramblas from points 1 to 6, Macy's been complaining about her boots.  Remember she's wearing heels?  This explains our last stop for our first leg...  

7.  H&M 

Walking in heels for a long period of time can be very distressing and painful and that exactly was Macy’s predicament.  Hurting and in agony, Macy needed (or wanted?) a pair of comfortable boots pronto, or prompte in Catalan. Thank heavens for H&M located near the end of La Rambla! Off we dashed to H&M.  Because we're not immaure and didn't want to waste time longer than necessary, we set a time and agreed to meet up outside after 30 minutes. 

Success! Macy found the perfect boots! In truth, Macy had a pair of emergency ballet flats with her but she opted to buy instead.  Now Macy has to change from heels to flats.  Thanks to the benches across H&M!  Watch watch! 

DISCLAIMER: There is no truth to Macy’s socks being 3 days old.  HAHAHA. 

Join us on our next blog post about the second leg of Amazing Race in Barcelona, as Macy wore her spanking new boots... with plastic tags.


  1. I wanna go to Barcelona too! Hopefully next year :D Love the photos :D

  2. Do share if you decide to go Mica! We're sure you'll love it!:)

  3. The man drinking there reminds me of Smurf’s Macy’s got the perfect reason to buy boots! haha, natawa ko nagtago talaga. OT @Karol: did you go to ** back in grade school? You certainly look like a kid (well, then) 2 years my junior…

  4. Yes Mirage I did! (sorry I had to edit out the detail, it kinda gives away my address kasi. Not that I'm significant to the society HAHA just being careful!) You did too?? Small world!!!! Galing! =)

  5. Oh, sorry 'bout that---didn't mean to put you in harm's way... My fave teacher was our grade 6 class adviser---english teacher, Mrs. Monroy :)

  6. I love the photos! Cant wait to see the other legs of the trip :)

  7. hi karol, this is off topic can you recommend a good brand and shade of red lipstick? what's your fave? :)

  8. Hi Amy! Im not a lipstick expert or a makeup expert in general haha but ive been using red lipsticks from chanel --rouge allure #60 Vertige and the Laque #75. I made a switch to Shu Uemura though, as I discovered it stays longer on my lips =) Currently Im using Shu's sensual red =)

  9. Thanks joie! We wish we can find time soon to post the next leg. Happy Holidays! :)