We have some unfinished business, Barcelona and I.

We met seven years ago, not under the best of circumstances. Herb and I had been traveling on a one-week Mediterranean cruise that disembarked in the Catalonian capital. On the last day of the voyage, while walking through the lovely cobblestone streets of Aix en Provence, France, I caught my foot in an ancient trough-like gutter and went flying to the ground. An ambulance ride and hospital visit later, I was back on the ship and headed to Barcelona, where we had planned to spend the next three days.

Five stitches in my forehead, swollen face, black eye, a cut above my lip. I greeted this city wearing sunglasses in the rain and a very heavy heart.

But Barcelona turned out to be incredibly kind. From the staff at our hotel to the servers in cafés and restaurants to strangers who politely asked what had happened, no one seemed to mind that this visitor was a frightful sight. I was humbled by the city’s compassion as we toured the Museo Picasso, Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia and Casa Milà – all places where we had preordered tickets weeks before the trip. I carried on, reminding myself of a travel mantra that has always served me well: I may never pass this way again.

This time, however, there is an “again.” Herb and I will be traveling back to Barcelona this week to begin a bucket list dream-of-a-cruise to the Middle East, a voyage that just happens to fall shortly after our 40th anniversary. Although I’m not much of a returner when it comes to travel – inspired more by roads not yet taken and unfamiliar cities to explore – this is one place where I’m thrilled to return. To have a second chance. To make things right.

We will spend two nights in Barcelona – hopefully dodging our way around the recent rioters – before beginning the three-week journey across the Mediterranean, Red and Arabian Seas to Dubai. We will visit Petra and Luxor and other places that have been dancing in my imagination for a long time. And on the way home, Herb and I will be flying to Cairo to pay homage to my ultimate bucket list destination: The Great Pyramid of Giza.

Throughout our travels, I will be posting photos on The Modern Postcard’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. And as always, I will be sharing stories and photos on the blog when we return.

So here’s to dreamed-of destinations and milestone anniversaries…and second chances in Barcelona!

Looking out over Barcelona from the rooftop of Casa Milà. 2012.


  • Omg Mary! Your trip sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to hear all about it when we get together for our Christmas lunch.
    Safe travels to you and Herb and watch your step😊

    • Haha, Chris – I will definitely be stepping carefully 🙂
      Looking forward to catching up at our annual Christmas lunch…will call you when we return!

  • What a fabulous itinerary. I will be following you to Barcelona in a couple weeks and made note to preorder tickets as you mention in your post. Thanks for the tip!

    • Janet, I look forward to hearing about Barcelona and your travels! Preordering tickets with a timed entry was a great way to visit those popular sites. This time I’ve booked early access tickets to Park Güell and Casa Batlló. Hopefully that will prove to be a wise decision as well!

    • Thanks so much, Marcia. I never thought that a return visit to Barcelona would be in our plans – especially on a trip to the Middle East – and I definitely will treasure every minute 🙂

  • Mary, I wish you a wonderful trip and happy anniversary, no doubt it will be wonderful!
    I am greatly looking forward to your great descriptions and always fabulous photos.
    May I ask what ship you will be traveling on?

  • Hello Bob! Many thanks for the kind thoughts and wishes. My camera and notebook are dusted off and ready for a work-out! We will be traveling on the Regent Voyager.

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