May 6, 2021

All the world’s an island: Correspondent Carol-Ann covers the Globe with only a back pack Part Four

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With Michel and RegineBy Carol-Ann Rudy

This is a continuing story of iNews Cayman’s correspondent Carol-Ann Rudy’s journey across Europe.

Barcelona and The Mediterranean

It could be argued that moving at 300 miles per hour and more on the train the next day that I couldn’t possibly be getting the eyeful I wanted of the Spanish countryside, but not so. I’d gotten plenty on the trip to Granada, and now that I was on my way to Madrid and Barcelona, I was happy to spend the better part of the trip engaged in pleasant conversation with an Irishman who now lives in Madrid with his Spanish wife. As an Cristoforo Colombo looms over the PlazaEnglish language instructor providing services to corporations, he was well-read and humorous too. This would not be the only time I would enjoy one of the benefits of travel overseas: the opportunity for chance meetings with perfect strangers.

In Madrid, I had to leave the station, take a bus to second station, and board one more train to Barcelona. I eagerly looked for my first view of the Mediterranean and was rewarded with glimpses of bright blue to the south. Arriving in Barcelona a couple of hours later, I had yet another stretch ahead of me to reach the docks and finally the ferry to Civitavecchia in Italy. This stretch consisted of a subway once again and a transfer to a second one. I had covered a lot of ground in this one day and was very glad that the sun was still shining when I emerged into the beautiful Columbus Plaza by the sea, featuring stunning architecture highlighted by the central statue of the explorer Cristoforo Columbo. Still hefting my 20 lb. plus backpack, I hoofed it another two or three miles to the ferry. Some ferry—it was the equivalent of ocean-going vessels on which I’ve traveled, large and luxurious.

A word about my fellow travelers: everyone I met seemed as untroubled as I felt. I was Another View of Cristoforo Colombo Plazagenerally met with courtesy except in a couple of circumstances—more about that later. I was particularly impressed with the parenting skills of every European family I saw and had the pleasure of visiting. They interacted with each other with a calm, pleasant demeanor, making them a joy to be around.

The ship took a long time to actually get underway but by 11:00 we were heading out to sea with clear skies and the moon overhead. By that time the sun had just set; one of the pleasures of being in a more northern clime is the lingering twilight. My A Long Walk down the Docks to the Ferry in Barcelonaroommate was a lovely Costa Rican girl; she spoke no English, I spoke no Spanish, and we got along great. I spent some time roaming around the ship, enjoyed pizza and beer on the top deck, and listened to my roommate strum her guitar and sing in a soft alto voice for all to enjoy. A good night’s sleep buried in the heart of the vessel—a little like sleeping in a closet in this two-bunk cabin with bathroom but quite nice really.

The next morning I came to the conclusion with the Business Breakfast I had prepaid for that Europeans in general are not Twilight over Barcelona from the Shipbig on breakfast. It was not what I was accustomed to and wished I had bought the buffet. I picked up two packets of sugar for my coffee only to find after sipping it that it wasn’t sugar—it was salt! A closer look at the packages side-by-side on the serving table and I realized the packaging was almost identical. But lunch was a treat. I had a serving of outstanding lasagna and halfway through it realized it was broccoli lasagna. Accompanying that was a filet of fish coated top and bottom with what I later determined had to be crushed pine nuts. I also The Childrens Playroom aboard shiphelped myself to brussel sprouts and carrots, grilled thin-sliced eggplant and zucchini in olive oil and spices. Yum!

Finally disembarking in Civitavecchia about 8:30 that night, I once again boarded a local train for Rome and headed for my B&B for the next two nights. Thank goodness for my Euro Rail Pass! It took a good two hours to arrive in Rome, contact my hosts, follow their instructions to take the subway and transfer one more time. My host met me at my final stop to drive me to their B&B for safety’s sake. It was very nice with an outstanding Moon over Ferry Smoke Stack(shared) bathroom, my first experience with Italian design. And a big plus: it was air-conditioned. Once again, I found myself arriving at the conclusion that I’m downright spoiled!


Captions from top to bottom

With my friends Michel and Regine

Cristoforo Colombo looms over the Plaza named for him in Barcelona

Cruising on the MediterraneanElegant architecture in Cristoforo Colombo Plaza

It was a long walk from the Plaza to the Grimaldi Ferry dock

Twilight over Barcelona from the Ship

Moon over Ferry Smoke Stack

Many fathers could be seen with their children in the children’s playroom.

Cruising on the Mediterranean

NEXT: Rome!

Carol-Ann-Rudy11To read the first part of Carol-Ann’s story of how she covers the globe with only a backpack published in iNews Cayman on August 11 2014 go to:

To read the second part of Carol-Ann’s story of how she covers the globe with only a backpack published in iNews Cayman on August 18 2014 go to:

To read the third part of Carol-Ann’s story of how she covers the globe with only a backpack published in iNews Cayman on August 26 2014 go to:



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