Gone to See Europe and North Africa. Semester at Sea Spring 2013 Enrichment Voyage on the MV Explorer. Ultimate Travel Photography Workshop IV with Michael Mariant. Day 0: Barcelona, Spain.
After a long day of travel – Overnight on British Air from Tampa to Gatwick, then Gatwick to Barcelona we made it to the Semester at Sea MV Explorer. The ship was not docked at the location that the SAS folks indicated, but we saw it in the taxi when we got near the port. Once on board we found our cabins and had dinner. We spent the morning visiting Barcelona. The weather was great with blue skies and fluffy white clouds. Our first stop was the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. There were many, many tourists visiting the unfinished Cathedral. My parents had online tickets to visit the inside of the Cathedral. If you plan to visit, get the online tickets – it will save you a line that was blocks long. I went to find Xavi, a friend and fellow student from 30 years ago when I went to Graduate School at Caltech. We had a great lunch of Tapas at Cerveceria Catalina. Xavi also recently retired and is spending his time traveling and doing photography: Xavi’s Blog. Then back to the ship for our mandatory safety drill before sailing off to Monte Carlo, Monaco.
It is getting warmer. I actually started opening windows, and kept them open last night. It is great to air out the house after a long winter. On the down side, the large stink bugs have started coming out of hibernation. Maybe, I should have left the spider inside the house. In addition to the Stink Bugs, I also have Western Conifer Seed Bugs (thanks to Chris Mallory for the ID). Apparently, these also have a reputation to be stink bugs, but at least they are not the blood sucking Triatominae (which look similar)
Now that the temperatures are warming, the critters are coming out of hibernation. The latest are these flying ants. They are actually rather lethargic so good subjects for macro images. The jaws and teeth look like the creature from Aliens.