Monte Carlo is widely known for its casino and attractive location on the Riviera. The country has been visited by royalty and movie stars for decades. It has been featured in numerous films and TV series. The Formula One Monaco Grand Prix takes place every May with cars racing through the streets of the city. The permanent population is about 3,000.

I was here in 2014 with Kay that I won $40 in the casino. I broke even this time. The Monaco casino is beautiful inside and they open it up as a museum each morning and charge 18 euros to visit. Gambling starts at 2pm.

We walked around this beautiful city, had lunch In an outside cafe and shopped a little. No tours are needed. Weather was sunny and 70.

BARCELONA is the largest city in SPAIN. This was my 4th trip to this city. Even though the city is large, a Hop-on-Hop-off bus can be the best bargain to see the sites. Lisa has never been here and wanted to see the famous Sagrada Familia Basilica designed by Antoni Gaudi. Begun in 1882, the structure was far from finished when Gaudi died in 1926. We took a guided tour and the projection to finish this Basilica is 2026. I climbed 750 steps in one of those towers in 1998 while Eddie made it to the top at 1,000 steps. I did not have the correct change in their currency to take the elevator.

We took an hour trishaw tour through the old city streets. There are lanes throughout the city for bicycles and trishaws. The beaches are beautiful. We ended in the La Ramblas which is one of the most famous promenades in Europe for lunch. There was a food tasting festival with lots of fun booths to try foods. The street is lined with landmark buildings, shops and open air tapas restaurants. Kay and I stayed in a hotel for a couple of nights on the promenade and enjoyed some of the night life. You can drink at 18 all over Europe.

VALENCIA is the 3rd largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. The architecture in these cities are extraordinary. Lisa and I attended High Mass in the Chapel at the Valencia Cathedral which was sung by 20 priests. The Holy Chalice was displayed above the alter. The Chalice has been defended by many Christian historians as the true Holy Grail. The first stone was laid in the Gothic-style cathedral in 1262.

Lisa and I took a free 30 minute ship shuttle to the old town, walked around, shopped a little and had a tapas lunch. Valencia orange trees were everywhere we went. There is a Hop-on, Hop-off bus if you want to see the whole city. After seven ports in a row, I am a little tired. I have been averaging 4.5 to 5 miles of walking a day over cobblestone streets with steep inclines and lots of steps. I am ready for our sea day tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “Monte Carlo, Monaco; Barcelona and Valencia, Spain

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