Barcelona – we have arrived!
By the time you read this, we will have already been in Spain for more than 36 hours. Just know that as I type this it is still Tuesday night in Arizona and it is Wednesday morning in Barcelona, but I’m setting this to post on Wednesday morning in Arizona and when it does, it will be Wednesday night where I am. I always have a hard time figuring out and communicating time differences, so from here on out, I won’t worry about my time vs. Arizona time!
Our flight on Monday morning from Phoenix to Philadelphia was packed, sold out. Sky Harbor was overflowing with travelers at 5:30 AM when we arrived. We then had a 4+ hour layover in the busy Philly airport, which we spent in the US Airways Admirals Club lounge. We drank too much free wine and ate their complementary snacks as our late breakfast.
The best news of the day came when we boarded our flight to Spain… it was empty! Just about everyone on the plane could have had his or her own center row to lay down in… and we did!
Bad news, even with the luxury of having a place to lay down and sleep the flight away, I barely slept a wink. No matter, it was a joy to have room to stretch out. Trust me, I tried to sleep, but after much tossing and turning, I ended up watching two movies instead; 2014 Best Movie Academy Award Winner, 12 Years a Slave and Enough Said with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late, great James Gandolfini, in his last film. Recommend them both!
When we landed in Barcelona, we were shocked at the emptiness of the airport. I think our flight may have actually been the first of the morning, arriving at 7AM. It was a virtual ghost town. There were no departing flights scheduled for hours! Spaniards know how to live right!
Natalie, met us at the airport. We took a bus and the metro to get to our condo. It was not ready, so we left our bags. We grabbed some lunch at a nearby creperie and then we headed out to explore.
The condo is close to the The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, more commonly called Sagrada Família. Tickets to tour the grounds and the inside should be purchased ahead and the line was impossibly long, so we just stood and marveled at it from the street and visited the gift shop. We’ll be touring it later this week.
All three of us were ready to pass out from exhaustion, but we knew we needed to stay awake as long as possible, so we pressed on.
Natalie needed to get to a class, so she rode with us on the metro to the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria and went on to school from there.
La Boqueria, as it is referred to is a beautiful and expansive public market. We roamed the aisles and marveled at all we saw. Since we hadn’t even seen the inside of our kitchen yet, we didn’t buy anything.
Without knowing the size of our refrigerator or what sort of appliances or tools we’d have at our disposal, we didn’t want to risk buying too much. We can’t wait to go back and indulge!
That’s about it for Day One. We checked into our new home, unpacked, went to the corner market for wine, cheese, bread, olives, and fruit. We ate, we convinced each other to keep our eyes open and finally gave up at 7PM.
The real adventure begins today…
P.S. There will be a second blog post today… for a special friend’s birthday…