Our baby boomer friends, the 6-Monthers, have moved yet again, and this time, they give us a peek at the way they make the move from place to place. Makes us jealous! What Florence and Mike Lince say about this move is, We Made It Just In Time.
As 6 Monthers, we are equipped with layers of fleece, gloves, wool sweaters, knit caps, and Gore-Tex® parkas. We have withstood winter in Tierra del Fuego, and the driving rain of Scotland. We are not wimps when it comes to cold weather. In Croatia, although we sometimes enjoyed shirtsleeve weather on December days on the Dalmatian Coast, snow had already appeared on the high ridges visible from the coast. It was time to move on.
We chose Spain as our next destination. Having the luxury of time, we chose surface transportation for our journey to Spain. We took the 12-hour Blue Line Ferry from Split, Croatia, to Ancona, Italy. A three-hour train ride took us to Rome where we played tourist for a week.
After strolling along the ancient roads of the Roman Forum, the modern streets of Barcelona beckoned us. We booked a stateroom for the 20-hour cruise on the Grimaldi Line ferry. Not only was the crossing reasonable and comfortable, but also we got to avoid dealing with baggage issues at international airports.
Barcelona is a bustling, modern city with remarkable architecture. The most popular attractions are the creations of native architect Antoni Gaudí. The most famous of all is La Sagrada Familia, the Cathedral of the Holy Family, which is still undergoing construction over 130 years following its initial groundbreaking. Even with all the breathtaking views, structures, public art, and attractions, we came away from Barcelona feeling a bit disappointed. In the 19th-Century, Barcelona tore down nearly all its medieval walls and buildings to make way for the vast city of five million that it has become.
Madrid was next on our list, and it did not disappoint. The city has so many beautiful parks and plazas, churches, museums, castles, and other attractions that we could have spent more than the four days we allotted to play tourist there. However, by this time we had been playing tourist and making daily outings for over two weeks. We were ready to land. We boarded a motorcoach for the last leg of our journey.
Our destination was Alicante, the heart of the Costa Blanca, about 100 miles south of Valencia. The signs were good as we approached the coast. The sun was shining and the views were spectacular. As we disembarked from the bus we shed our jackets and shaded our eyes. The palm trees and flowerbeds along the waterfront foretold of a good choice on our parts. During our first month in Spain, we have seen great sites, met wonderful people, and located an apartment to call our base in Torrevieja, a huge expat community along the Valencia coast. We now look forward to exploring more of what Spain has to offer.