Monday, September 29: Fly from USA
Tuesday, September 30: Arrive Barcelona
For transfer from airport: After passport control, picking up luggage, clearing customs, and taking the l-o-n-g walk to the exit, continue on until you see an exit sign for buses on the right. Go down the ramp and look to the left and you will see signs for the AEROBUS. If you don’t have any euro, there is a machine that will take debit or credit cards. Purchase a one-way ticket and board the bus and you will be in the city in about a half hour. Exit the bus at the last stop which is Catalunya Plaza. With the Plaza on your right, walk to the intersection and cross the street. Turn right and walk the short distance to La Rambla and turn left. You will see the Hotel Rivoli Rambla (+34 934 817 676) on your left in about 100 meters. Use the rest of the day for recovery from the long flight–shower, nap, explore the neighborhood. 7:30 dinner at hotel restaurant.
Wednesday, October 1: Explore Barcelona
After breakfast at the hotel (daily, included), I’ll provide a two-day “Hop On, Hop Off” bus pass, allowing you to really get to know this beautiful city. There are three sites you really must see, two of them by Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926) who dominated the late 19th and early 20th centuries with his unique nature-organic architectural style. Plan to explore La Familia, his cathedral which is still under construction. A visit of the Mila House is also included. In both cases use the wonderful audio guides while you explore these unique architectural creations. The third site that I highly recommend is the National Museum of Catalunya Art (MNAC). Show me your admission tickets for any or all three of these sites and I will reimburse you. You can reach all three sites with your “Hop On, Hop Off” bus pass. Meet in lobby at 7:30 to walk to dinner.
Thursday, October 2: Montserrat
10:00 meet our guide in the hotel lobby to go on excursion to Montserrat, which will include the daily concert of the Boys Choir. We will also visit the surprisingly good art museum, and maybe have some time to stroll around the monastery. Return to Barcelona, arriving some time around 3:00. Meet in lobby at 7:30 to walk to dinner.
Friday, October 3: Flamenco Dinner
Day free for further explorations. Depart hotel in time (6:00 p.m?) for a Flamenco Dinner Show at the Palacio del Flamenco. We included this in a previous trip and found it highly entertaining–and the food was great too!
Saturday, October 4: Free day
Day free for further explorations. By now everybody has shared favorite “do not miss” sites. Time to wrap a bow around Barcelona. Meet in lobby at 7:30 to walk to dinner.
Sunday, October 5, Train from Barcelona to Paris
Check out of hotel and take taxis to the train station in time for a 9:20 departure on TGV 9702. (Coach 11, seats 25-26, 41-44, 65-66, 73-74) We are scheduled to arrive Paris Gare de Lyon at 15:53. Transfer by taxis to the hotel. John & Gary: From Paris CDG, either take a cab (€50.75+) or for slightly less money, proceed to RER station. Buy tickets (€9.75 X 2) and take the RER to Chatalet/Les Halles station. After exiting the train area, follow signs to Rue du Rivoli, then after taking a long moving sidewalk, diagonal to the left, go up the escalator and take Rue St. Denis exit. Walk to the corner and look right for the Hotel Louvre Rivoli, Rue Jean Lantier, 75001 PARIS Tél. +33 (0)1 42 33 45 38. Meet in lobby at 7:30 to walk to dinner at one of my four favorite nearby restaurants.
Monday-Wednesday, October 6-8, Paris
This morning after breakfast we need to get organized. Hopefully I will have been able to get all of our tickets and passes before, but we may have to go get them together.
Mary, Carrol, Dale, Ron, Cal, John, Gary, Joe, and I will all get 4-day museum passes and a 7-day Navigo passes that will allow unlimited usage of the Metro, RER, and public buses. You may need a passport type photo for the Navigo pass, so bring one along.
Gretchen, Roy & Diane will each get 3 1-day Mobilis passes along with a 2-day museum pass.
How many museums can you visit with your pass? Probably more than you have time and stamina for. The advantage of the pass is that you don’t have to stand in line to get a ticket or enter the museum. Also, you can visit any museum any number of times. Instead of thinking “I’ll do the Louvre today” you can plan on visiting one wing of the Louvre one day and come back for another wing on another day. If you want to go out to Versailles, your transportation pass will get you out and back and your museum pass will get you into the palace. The passes are for consecutive days, so you may or may not want to start them on Monday. Again, meet in lobby at 7:30 to walk to dinner at one of my four favorite nearby restaurants. (Note: If you make other plans for any evening, please let me know in advance so I won’t make reservations for you.)
Thursday, October 9, Paris continued and early departures
Gretchen, Roy & Diane depart today. The rest of us will continue our explorations. Meet in lobby at 7:30 to walk to dinner.
Friday-Saturday, October 10-11, Paris continued
By now you will probably be museumed out. There are a number of attractions that are not on your pass. Time to go to the top of a very famous tower? Shopping? Walk in the park? Again, meet in the lobby at 7:30 to walk to dinner.
Sunday, October 12, Return to USA
Your Navigo pass will get you to CDG on the RER. Yes, you can take a cab, but why waste the money? Plan to leave the hotel at least three hours before your flight.
|Mary Ann Griffin|
|Carrol Ann Smith|
|Dale Fleishman & Ron Jenkins|
|Roy & Diane Ellis|
|John Blue & Gary Behnke|