Thursday, June 2, 2011


What an amazing day! I don’t know how these things happen, how one day you just feel ok and everything aligns to aid you, but today was one of those days. It didn’t seem like it would be, though when first I looked out the portholes at that beautiful walled city, my heart skipped a beat, but upon getting to work I discovered nothing was ready and upon returning from work, I discovered my camera was missing…that’s ok, I think it was turned into guest services…and offloaded in Barcelona! Oh noes!!! Don’t panic, they assure me it is in a box in a warehouse in a storage area in an undisclosed location in the city, waiting for me to send the specs via email. No need to worry! Boy do I wish right now I could remember the make and model of that camera. Oh well, I’ll have to send an email to my husband and ask; not going to be able to hide this one. So what to do? I know, I’ll use my camera phone. Ahh, pretty pictures….which have to be emailed…from Europe! Nope, that won’t work either. But wait, I have an I-Pod. It doesn’t currently do anything but I have one. So with great determination, I locate a WIFI sight, plug my I-Pod into my computer…and nothing happens. I try again. Nothing. One last time, like Clark Griswold, lighting the good ol’ family Christmas, I try a third and final time. Suddenly as if by magic, my screen comes alive with activity and a little camera icon appears in the upper right hand corner. Success!!

Now I am sitting at an outdoor cafĂ© and all I want is a cappuccino but I can’t use my debit card for less than 10 euro. I start to leave, slightly defeated but turn back and ask, “How much IS a cappuccino?” “One euro fifty.” And low and behold, I have in my pouch a one euro and a fifty cent piece. It is meant to be.

After a time of catching up and enjoying the act of sitting, leisurely drinking my cappuccino I decide to head out on my sojourn, armed with my new I-Pod camera and a renewed sense of wonder. Pictures cannot capture nor can words describe the beauty of this land, nor the supreme joy I experience treading upon these sun bleached streets of marble and stone. I felt as though I was floating rather than walking and the smile on my face might have bordered on grotesque so permanently plastered there was it, yet never anything but genuine.

I let myself wander, taking in the sights, sounds and scents around me, meeting the people who are as warm and friendly as the land they inhabit. I let myself get lost down side streets and alleyways confident not only that I would find my way back, but that around each corner some new adventure lay waiting for my arrival, another new acquaintance waiting to be met. I play in a fountain and find a shop full of delicious goodies. Pointing out one in particular, I ask, what is that? “Cheese Puff”. No ordinary cheese puff but a light, flaky pastry filled with ambrosic, unpasteurized, unspoiled dairy manna. “How much?” “Forty cents.” There are two unidentified coins in the bottom of my pouch. I turn them over to discover they are in fact two twenty cent pieces. What, you can’t be serious? “One cheese puff please.” “Heated?” Oh, you betcha! I see the most delightful sights and one of my favorite signs of all times. At a museum, one of the exhibits is closed and a handwritten sign in English states, “We excuse ourselves for the inconvenience.” Lost in translation or just honest and efficient? You decide.

In my final hour before I had to return, I met an older gentleman, a local bus driver, who asked me about America and chatted on about his country. I bid him farewell, jokingly remarking that I’d see him again in eleven days when my ship is due to return to this delightful port and he assured me he would look for me. As I left, I turned back quickly and asked for his name.


Hmmm, interesting. Perhaps, in a day of signs and “meant to be”s it is a sign the time is nigh to put the “I” in my own salvation.

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