You may have seen Larry Lamb on your TV screen in favourites such as Eastenders, I’m a Celebrity and Gavin and Stacey, but he most recently popped up aboard Thomson Cruises newest ship ‘TUI Discovery 2’ and set off across the Mediterranean to uncover the beauty and interesting local people of Barcelona, Palma and Ibiza.
Larry’s journey was recorded every step of the way and three short films highlight his experiences in each port. The challenge was to meet a diverse mix of local people, in a world-first study conducted by Thomson Cruises and The Human Nature Research Lab at Yale University. These people would have a story to tell and would be known as ‘Cruise Mates’. The theory behind the study was that Brits who bond with up to five new people from different cultures whilst on holiday can experience a happiness boost of 10%, so they put that theory to the test. It might sound crazy, but I would have to agree with this. People are a big part of every cruise I embark upon. I want to see new places, experience new cultures and meet new people, so I was instantly interested in this little project and decided I had to share it with you.
Larry’s Cruise Mates: Barcelona
In cosmopolitan Barcelona, Larry set off to discover the city’s most authentic arts and culture. He explored the world-famous Boqueria market, where he began chatting to Junaito, the owner of Bar Pinotxo, which he runs with his nephew. Junaito then recommended Larry head to Palau Dalmases to discover the most authentic arts and culture scene. After a stroll down Las Ramblas, Larry was greeted by Christine Blanco Eslava and Raphael, who practice the traditional art of flamenco dance and music.
This was the video I could relate to the most, as I have been to Boqueria so many times. It brought back some great memories. If you are ever in Barcelona then please add the market to your list of things to see and do and be sure to buy some of the caramel almonds – delicious!
Larry’s Cruise Mates: Palma de Mallorca
In Palma de Mallorca, Larry was keen to discover a selection of outdoor pursuits within the historic and vibrant city. As a world-renowned destination for cycling, Larry took up a local recommendation and met Thelonious, a Mallorcan born cycling and hiking expert. Thelonious is one of the islands specialists in scenic cycling routes, and recently returned to his roots in Palma to preserve the history of the capital.
I’ve also visited Palma de Mallorca many times and as much as Larry seemed to have a great time, I’ll leave the cycling to him and Thelonious. I am so unfit, a walk around the town is enough for me to contend with, especially in the summer heat.
Larry’s Cruise Mates: Ibiza
In Ibiza, Larry went in search of the freshest seafood on the island. After veering off the beaten track, Larry arrived at a typical Spanish fishing harbour and met local fisherman Miguel, a native Ibizan who grew up in a traditional fishing family who dedicates his life to the sea, catching a variety of seafood that is sold to local restaurants and markets. Larry was then introduced to Ibiza’s best kept secret – ‘El Chiringuito de Dona Maria’, commonly known as ‘the Fish Shack’ – to prepare and cook lunch with owner, Samar.
My favourite of all Larry’s ports. I’ve visited Ibiza many times, but never cruised there, so I found this interesting. I loved the authentic dining and fresh seafood that was highlighted.
I watched all 3 videos and instantly wanted to pack my bags and leave. I’m so inspired by travel and I love seeing pictures from all around the world and the big, happy smiles that go with them. Someone once said that “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” and I completely agree. We don’t need “things” in life, we need experiences, experiences that allow us to connect as human beings and teach each another new things. We need to laugh, eat and drink together, and make the world a better place.
Inspired? Why don’t you step ashore and find your Cruise Mates!