Monday, September 26, 2005

Paradise Found!

Now I know what treasure hunters feel like when they discover their prize. Susan spent many hours on the internet looking for deals for our vacation, but sometimes you don't know what you've got until you get there. It can be either fool's gold or a priceless jewel.

Every night since we arrived, we sit out on our 4th floor 20 foot wide balcony and gaze at sandy beaches, palm trees, sunshine and that awesome azure Mediterranean Sea as far as the eye can see. We can hardly believe this amazing place is less than a hundred dollars per night Canadian, full breakfast included. We have extended our stay.

We also didn't know that the weekend we arrived was a holiday celebrating Calella's local saint (each city has their own protecting saint that they venerate with a festival), or that the end of their season is September 30. On that day most hotels shut completely down until Easter. Who knows why--the weather is still hot and sunny.

Why had no one told us about this haven before? We've seen very few Americans and no Canadians, but the city is full of English, German, Dutch Russian etc. This is their summer get away place. The many restaurants have every international flavor, but favor the English style pubs (fish and chips and mushy peas, etc.) and as I mentioned before tourists travel by bus from all over Europe to vacation here (25 hours from York, 17 hours from the Netherlands).

The shopping is wonderful!!! There is about a 2 kilometre stretch with no cars allowed, with everything a visitor could imagine. If we had known, we'd have been wise to leave all of our shopping (except in Turkey) for this last leg of our vacation. Because the city will close down in a few days, there are plenty of deals to be made. When a vendor commented "you must be Canadians," we queried, "yes, how did you know?" He answered, "because Americans just pay the sticker price. Canadians like to barter and wait for a lower price." He was right.

Our days have consisted of a leisurely breakfast, then a few hours on the beach. Thankfully the atmosphere is a little more family orientated, so there are relatively fewer topless female sunbathers. After sunbathing we come back to our balcony for a baguette and cheese and there we sit to read and study (I have 5 messages to prepare for my upcoming conference in Halifax) in the afternoon sun.

The town all but shuts down for siesta time from 1-4 PM. At 7 or 8 PM we begin our stroll through the town (these small European towns always seem to have a Roman Catholic church and square in the centre of town). For dinner we sit in a sidewalk cafe, drink our bottled water and enjoy an English or Italian meal for about 5-6 euros each. We come back around 10 or so, but have to sleep with earplugs because the night life goes on for 6-7 more hours. We are delighted with our seaview room at the Hotel Maritim. I'm not sure why it is only rated with a 2-3 stars. We cannot imagine a more lovely way to wind down our once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

Tomorrow, Susan and I fly to London, enjoy dinner with friends, and then head for home to see our precious family on Wednesday, September 28.

This has been an unforgettable journey.


P.S. We disembarked from the Brilliance of the Seas in Barcelona on September 21 and arrived at the Canadian Consulate by 9:30 AM. Thankfully, a young woman named Claudia took good are of us. By 11:00 AM we were off to stroll La Ramblas (a famous shopping/nightlife stretch in downtown Barcelona) with our new temporary passports in hand.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Pastor Buzza-what is your take on the FDA approved microchip implant for humans?