One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things - Henry Miller

Saturday, July 10, 2010


9/07/2010 7:08 PM
We’ve just enjoyed a very lazy day at sea catching up after four hectic shore days. Our tour of the Mediterranean is fast coming to an end as the map shows. It is Gibraltar tomorrow and shipping is starting to squeeze up this afternoon as we move into the straits. 9 vessels are visible from our deck at the moment.
Yesterday we did the “Monster Rat” – Montserrat, a Benedictine monastery founded in the 9th century high up on this striking mountain range which is only seven miles long and three miles wide. The monastery itself is is so high up the cable car ride to it takes eight minutes (We went by bus) and the view from the top is stunning.
Having seen my meal of the previous day you may get a giggle out of the come down yesterday – cheese and olives... but let me assure you it was delicious and the setting was just as good.
As you walk into the monastery the local Spanish farmers set up food stalls and offer you samples of their food so that as you come out you may stop and buy from their stalls. Goat, sheep and cow cheeses are on offer as well as a wide variety of stone fruits which are in season at the moment being summer. In the Monastery the monks make chocolate among other things. Our guide told us to try their speciality made with olive oil and salt added to the regular ingredients.
On our return to port, the huge terminal was almost empty but had a little bar selling nice cold beer. So before boarding the boat we ordered a beer and were given a bowl of olives to have with it so we went out on the deck in front of the terminal facing the sea with a beautiful cool sea breeze blowing and had beer, olives and our purchases- sheep’s cheese, cherries, figs and chocolate for lunch which extended into afternoon tea and almost tea as well as another couple came to join us! A great afternoon!!!
I was a little disappointed not to have gone into Barcelona because everyone was saying how nice it was- that was until this morning’s trivia session when our friends Joan and Lindsay shared their misfortune with us. They sat down to have lunch in Barcelona with their back against a post and tucked in against a wall. Lindsay put his bag down beside him with his hat, expensive camera (He is a photographer by profession)and other bits and pieces in it and when he stood up to go the bag was gone. The pick pockets had got it while he ate his meal!!! As well, the woman who joined us for a drink yesterday had lost her camera in Cannes. She put it down on a wall to take a photo for someone else. When she reached back to pick it up it was gone! So now I’m not so sure I did want to go into big crowded cities. Our rural trips are looking far more attractive!
Must go! We’re off to see Duggie Brown from “The Comedians” tonight. Missed the Spanish dancers last night because we sat too long watching harbour activities and the theatre was packed when we got there - disappointing but not as disappointing as having your camera stolen. I’m downloading my photos every night.

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