Wanderung 17

No Rain in Spain, not even on the Plain!

April-May 2008

Prolog: The Best Laid Plans 'O Mice And Men

Since our plan to sail back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean with the cruise ships as they travelled East in the Spring and West in the Fall had worked so well last year, we decided to give it another whirl in 2008. So when we found $850 balcony suites open on the RCI "Navigator of the Seas" on its Spring repositioning cruise to Barcelona, Spain, we jumped at the chance. The Navigator of the Seas is a huge, 3000 passenger vessel and we were curious if it would be different from the smaller ships of our previous cruises.

Besides, since I had become ill at the end of our Spring, 2007, cruise to Spain (Wanderung 14), I hadn't really seen all that I really wanted to in Spain. I still wanted to see the sights in Granada, Toledo, and Madrid, so the chance for another short driving tour after we disembarked in Barcelona was very appealing. After making reservations for the cruise, we searched the Web for a cheap rental car and found relatively inexpensive hotels in all three cities at Bookings.com. All that remained was to put the house in order (Bra Ha Ha Ha!) and pack for the trip.

I tried to pack lightly, but that was complicated by all our old toys (cameras, GPS, computer, etc.) and my new toy, an MP3 player. Since we have rather eclectic, some might say "strange" tastes in music that are not exactly mainstream (sea chanties, German folk songs, Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, etc.), we can't usually listen to music we like when we travel. But I thought that downloading our CD collection onto my new, nifty little Sansa e280 MP3 player just might solve that problem. It was worth a shot, anyway, so after a couple of false starts I spent an enjoyable week "ripping" out CDs onto our computer and thence to the MP3 player. Since neither of us likes to wear headphones for long periods, I searched for a small, portable pair of speakers that would give acceptable sound for a room the size of a typical stateroom. I finally found some small Sony speakers, each about the size of a pack of cigarettes, that promised only 10% total harmonic distortion for the most important part of the sound spectrum, so they came with. But all of that plus the required connecting cords, adapters, chargers, and what-not considerably added to my packing chores.

Copyright 2008 by R. W. Holt and E. M. Holt
Prolog Map of Trip Epilog

April 2008
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May 2007
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