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Our accessible Mediterranean cruise vacation (Part 1)

October 15, 2018

If this is your first visit to my blog, you may want to know a little more about my situation before you continue reading. I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 1998. And I live in the Deep South. That’s why my blog is named “MS with a Southern accent.” For the past seven years, I have been blogging about my life with MS. 

This multi-part post describes a recent trip my husband, Charles, and I took earlier this year to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. It was a week-long Mediterranean cruise that included day tours in Barcelona, Naples, Rome, Pisa and Florence. I have posted this information because I hope other people who have been diagnosed with MS, or who have a close connection to MS, will read it, and it will help make their life journey easier.

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Charles and I tour Barcelona.

We planned our trip with help from Sage Traveling, a company that provides European travelers with guides for accessible tours. Sage was of great assistance to us last year when we went to Paris for our honeymoon, so we contacted them again.

For this trip, Sage provided accessible transportation to and from airports, hotels and our cruise ship, and provided knowledgable guides for tours along the way.

 

We flew to Barcelona and spent our first night there. On the following morning, we enjoyed an accessible tour of the city on our way to the port to board the cruise ship. Our tour guide picked us up in a van at our hotel. We took my mobility scooter, which I used during the tour because it is difficult for me to walk long distances. Thanks to our guide, we easily navigated the busy sidewalks and streets of Barcelona as he told us about the fabulous city.

The highlight of the tour was seeing Sagrada Familia — the Basilica and Church of the Holy Family. Designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, this Catholic church is said to have been inspired by nature and faith. I won’t try to describe this one-of-a-kind, as yet unfinished cathedral-sized church. Instead, I hope my photos will provide a glimpse of its magnificence.

 

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Tourists line up to enter Sagrada Familia through the Nativity Facade, which faces East and symbolizes Christ’s birth.

Construction began in 1882. The project was less than one-quarter complete when Gaudi died at age 73 in 1926. Construction is expected to be completed by 2026.

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A portion of the interior of Sagrada Familia, which shows tree-like columns inspired by nature and light streaming in through stained glass windows.

The construction of the church has taken well over a hundred years because it isn’t supported by governmental or official church sources. Initially, it was funded by patrons. Work being done now is paid for by the tickets people buy to tour the church and by private donations.

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The passion facade of Sagrada Familia faces West and symbolizes the death of Christ. This photo shows some of the church’s spires, eight of which were built as of 2010. When all 18 spires are completed, Sagrada Familia will be the tallest church building in the world.

Next up: Our cruise ship stops in Italy, and we tour Naples, the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii.

 

 

 

 

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3 Responses to “Our accessible Mediterranean cruise vacation (Part 1)”

  1. Suzanne Graphos Schoel Says:

    Looks great !

    Liked by 1 person


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