A Very Summer Holiday

Oh man, how come I’m awake? I’ve only been asleep for 2 hours. Well, best get up and get going. Might as well since it is an early flight. I guess one’s subconscious is alerted to not missing it. Casual clothes, onion style – peeling off layer by layer as you arrive in warmer and warmer climates. In true Kerry fashion, it is an unpleasant night with heavy rain and blustery winds. Definitely time to get to the Mediterranean for a bit. The roads are quiet at this time of night but Cork airport is surprisingly lively with several early departures.

And then one of those synchro-destiny occurrences. Queuing for check-in, I’m complimented on my wild coloured suitcase (Kerry colours or Brazil, whichever you’re in the mood for) by a well-dressed and seemingly well-travelled lady. From comparing travel luggage we enter into a very vivid and completely unexpected conversation about life as an addict of substance, life as a wife, life with the departed still around us. Standing between the Aer Lingus check in counter and Gate number 1, this colourful suitcase of mine has created a new and very colourful relationship for two women. The number 222. Mixing our gene pools, living only 25 miles apart with parallel lives and experiences. In those short minutes we laugh, we exchange views, we compare similarities and most of all, we are in awe of how there are no coincidences. Marian, I look forward to the beginning of a new friendship. Safe travels for now. Thank you for your inspiring words and I will look out for “her”.

Day 1. This is the beginning of a two week solo cruiser holiday for me. And it began with a bang. Shortly, I will arrive in Barcelona where I will board a Royal Caribbean Cruise liner. Completely open and awake to what’s going on around me. Completely at ease being on my own but, as proven this morning, not alone … not alone at all.

I arrive in Barcelona and take a coach to the city. Easy peasy. While navigating the map with my female brain, i.e. turning 180 degrees back and forth of course, my neighbour, in a London accent, asks if I’ve found my destination. He just flew in for the day to perform some body pyramids with local Catalonians as part of the celebrations of their Catalunyan holiday. Bless London’s airline diversity. We can barely get off the Green Isle at all .

So Mark, the Londoner, gives me some tips on where to go and it’s greatly appreciated. He briefs me on where it all might be happening, celebrations and body pyramids but, when the time comes, I can’t find the actual performance. But, later that evening and what do you know: I’m flicking through approximately 56 Spanish/Catalan TV channels in my hotel when I stumble upon some local evening news. And there they are, the body towers. And there he is, Mark. Hilarious. Day 1 – great!

Day 2. Barcelona. 9.30 am and THAT’S how you measure the local temperature (see photo below). Love it. It’s very pleasant and warm and the Irish non-summer is quickly becoming a faint memory.


First stop, the Market. I adore summer fruit and while they’re still available I’ve got to get me some! Fresh figs, pound of cherries and a couple of Avos. Sorted. Now I’ll just wander and ramble. And what do you know. A tarot museum. Just around the corner from my hotel. I have little knowledge of this ancient art but love it all the same. It fascinates me and the art of reading those cards is unique to just a few. There is a selection of hundreds of sets and the lady serving me offers readings. In Spanish only. So I take some photos for my friend and purchase a deck of cards recommended to me by the owner.

barcelona tarot shop

Day 2 passes by very quickly. The most unusual event? It rained … twice. But at 28 degrees, it’s not a big deal. Tomorrow, Ship Ahoy. I can’t wait!