A Travellerspoint blog

Vigo, Spain

Making the most of an unexpected stop


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Due to inclement weather in Lisbon, Portugal we were forced to make a detour so our ship took us to Vigo, Spain instead. We will miss not seeing the coach museum and eating the outstanding pastries but such is life when Mother Nature decides to kick up a storm. It was windy and chilly in Vigo. We spent the first part of the morning looking for a place to exchange our US dollars into Euros. First we were sent to the post office which was rather interesting in comparison to ours in the states - no luck there, but the locals were very friendly and suggested we head to the bank. We went to ING bank but they didn't carry any cash, only online transactions. So we gave up. Hopefully credit cards and US dollars will work for now.

We walked past a park with beautiful flowers, interesting lampposts and some very old buildings whose fa├žade was maintained in front of the now new construction behind it.

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We are, after all, on a Food Tour of European Cuisine, so when I found out we would not be going to Lisbon and we would miss our Mystery Food Tour, I searched for possible alternatives in Vigo. We'd already experienced Spanish Tapas so I chose to do a little something different. This time we sought out Casa Marco, an award winning Michelin restaurant. We walked quite a ways to get to the restaurant but enjoyed the sights along the way. And heaven only knows we could use the exercise after everything we've been eating.

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The staff was extremely helpful and we enjoyed the elaborate traditional cuisine of Spain. As an appetizer, we decided on a mushroom dish and scallops. Both were exceptional. In fact, I think these melt-in-your-mouth scallops were the best we've ever had - even beat the ones from the Bay of Fundy.

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For entrees, Eric chose the Branzino and Beka and I had the Veal (we should have shared one!)

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Beka also chose the best dessert - Milk chocolate Brownie with Bulgarian Yogurt... ummm.

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Afterwards we took a shorter route back to the ship, just in time as it started to rain. All in all, we made the best of Vigo with our choices.

Posted by Where2FromHere 02:45 Archived in Spain Tagged marco casa scallops vigo Comments (0)

Chef's Table

Food and WIne pairing - the best of both worlds


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[/float]It's Easter Sunday and what better way to celebrate the day than with a dinner together as family at the Chef's Table, high above the main dining room in the center, third floor, almost like being set on a pedestal. Our private chef for the evening was delightful. She shared the stories of how she became a chef and the influence from her grandmother in her creations.

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First course: Scallops Capaccio

We began with the appetizer composed of large, tender scallops in a yuzu vinaigrette with crispy quinoa. So delicious. A great blending of flavors. This was Beka's favorite. The dish was paired with a Pinot Grigio from Italy.[/center]

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Second Course: Smoked Tomato Soup

This was my favorite. The rich tomato soup was poured over garlic focaccia croutons, and a touch of parmesan cheese. It was accompanied by Conundrum Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc Blend from Napa Valley.

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Third Course Main Lobster Salad

This course was one of Eric's Favorites - after all he's a big seafood fan. The salad included not only Maine Lobster but accents of Pineapple, Cilantro, Hearts of Palm and a Vanilla dressing. This was served with a Sauvignon Blanc from Marloborough, New Zealand

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Fourth Course: Roasted Branzino

Another of Eric's favorites - The Sea Bass was roasted and presented with grilled Zucchini, peppers and a zesty lemon confit and a bit of pesto. It was paired with a Chablis from Burgundy, France.

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Fifth Course: Grilled Filet Mignon

Jeff's favorite, being the Beef eater that he is! The medium rare Filet was accompanied with a truffle potato puree, asparagus and topped with a bordelaise sauce. Outstanding! Perfectly paired with Robert Mondavi's 50th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blend from Napa Valley.

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Dessert - The World

Nothing but chocolate for Beka ... in fact she's ranked the chocolate desserts on this trip and even though this was not ranked number one, she still enjoyed it. This amazing desert consisted of Peanut butter ganache, Valrhona chocolate mousse and salted Caramel Gelato. With the help of the hot sauce, the globe melts into a creamy, soup of splendor. And to top off the meal, the bartender treated us to his specialty - a salted caramel espresso martini (with the assistance of Rabeka).[left]Dessert-2.jpg[left]

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This is one for the memory books and received not only smiles, full tummies but also the "thumbs-up" approval from one of the most renowned food critics in our midst (and within the family).

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Posted by Where2FromHere 03:58 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged table chef's Comments (0)

The Rock of Gibralter

Race you to the Top!

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After almost a solid week of eating .... as you've seen .. today we decided to kick out the jams and bike to the top of the Rock of Gibralter. No I'm not kidding. In order to not return home 20 to 30 pounds heavier we needed to get some exercise and that we did. Two hours into the ride everyone wanted to know who's idea was this anyway.
We got our gear and bikes at the local bike shop just a shop.

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We started off through a bit of traffic, a few round-a-bouts and then off toward this quaint little spot along the shore for our first stop, and a view of what we about to head upwards towards. Wow, I guess the sky is the limit!

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Here's our second stop - after we made it through the deep, dark tunnel (with our headlights on, of course). The cool refreshing air felt great but it's good to be back out in the open again. We still look rather rested, in good shape. It's a good thing we got the photo before the grueling work of heading up THE ROCK began.

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. Fortunately, everyone on our team stayed in tact. We had to dodge the taxis and the pedestrians at some points but we got pretty good at shifting gears and were really grateful for the "Turbo" setting.

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We saw monkeys along the way, stopped in Michael's cave, walked the skywalk and stopped in to see the huge cannon which is still functioning today.

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Here's a photo of our ship down below in the harbor which we took from close to the top of the Rock.

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We also saw two submarines along the pier and a lot of cargo ships being refueled out at sea. From where we stood near the top of the Rock of Gibraltar in the United Kingdom we could see the Northern part of Africa to our left and Spain to our right. Amazing.

One thing you don't see everyday is an airport runway with a street intersecting it. Better make sure the cars aren't coming when the planes make their approach!

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We survived the day and Beka told me later that Gibraltar was the best part of the trip, so kudos to Team Groth/Liberto! Way to go! You made it to the top and back unscathed. And we burned over 20,000 calories (at least!) so now we can have guilt-free dessert tonight. Oh, that's right, we're going to the Chef's Table tonight .... see the next blog entry for more (food that is)!

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Posted by Where2FromHere 05:29 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged the cave rock biking gibralter michael's Comments (0)

Cartagena Tapas Tasting

Roman Ruins and Tapas - Fascinating Finds


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We boarded the Voyager of the Seas on Friday and Saturday stopped at our first port which was Cartagena, Spain.

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And of course our food fest continued with our walking tour. It began, however, with a visit to the Roman ruins which were first uncovered in 1989 during an excavation in the area. They calculated this was actually a Roman theater built around 3 BC

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While walking through the streets of Cartagena we stopped at three local cafes to enjoy a variety of tapas. The first were three cod fritters, the second was fried brie on a popsicle stick and the final one was a pretzel topped with potato salad and an anchovy. I tried Sangria at two of the three stops but non were as tasty as the ones from the LeMeridien in Barcelona.

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Great last day in Spain. Tomorrow - Gibralter, United Kingdom.

Posted by Where2FromHere 09:54 Archived in Spain Tagged ruins roman cartagena tapas Comments (0)

Los Caracolas

"The Snail"


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On our last night in Barcelona, we visited Los Caracolas - one of our all time favorite restaurants. It's the second oldest in Spain.

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This time-tested place with tiled walls & wood accents, named for its signature snail dish, which was enjoyed by all!

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Jeff said he thought these were the best snails he has ever tasted and I might have to agree. But we ate more than just the snails. Beka had the roasted Chicken - which was almost the whole bird, I loved the Sole, Jeff had goat, which we don't see very often on a menu back home ... and Eric, well , of course he ordered the seafood platter.

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I finished the fish (ummm, delicious)

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Jeff finished the goat

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And, believe it or not, Eric did finish the seafood platter ....see for yourself!

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So because Moma always said "you can have dessert, if you clean your plate" we did -

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And we finished all of that too!
If ever in Barcelona, be sure to go to Los Caracoles!! You'll be guaranteed to walk away stuffed with w smile!

Posted by Where2FromHere 06:33 Archived in Spain Tagged barcelona snails los seafood dessert goat carcoles Comments (0)

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