Day 32 – Off to Barcelona (after a very long delay…)

Day 32 = Thursday, April 12, 2012

I did set my alarm for 3:45, but for 3:45 PM. Thankfully, Quinland had set her iPod alarm for 3:50 AM, so at least we were awake when our landlord, Cristina, arrived at 4. She talked our ears off while we were trying to get ready and out the door, which distracted us so much that we neglected to check the apartment before we left, which caused us to leave my weekly medication holder and our toothbrushes and toothpaste on the bathroom counter. Argh.

Because we had to get to the airport before 5, we could not take public transportation as nothing was running that early. David had talked to a taxi driver at a taxi stand the day before and arranged for him to pick us up at 4:15. We got to the airport in plenty of time, only to find that the plane was delayed, and instead of leaving at 6:30 as scheduled, would not be leaving until “at least 10:00.”

We amused ourselves playing Dominion for a little while, but the plane continued to be delayed (we later found out it was due to a local strike). Quinland fell asleep on the floor of the airport at one point as we waited in line for a boarding call that never came. The plane finally left Porto at 12:25 PM, six hours late.

We all slept – or attempted to sleep – on the plane. Sadly, we discovered when we picked up our luggage in Barcelona that the airline had broken the wheel assembly on our new suitcase (the one which we had purchased because it had wheels). We were told that they could not recompense us in any way, as a) for all they knew, it might have been broken previously, and b) it still rolled. They were right –  it did roll – but it did not roll well, and the wheel could fall off at any moment. In our cranky, sleepy state, this news was, shall we say, not well received.

From the airport, we took the train and Metro to our new Barcelona neighborhood. It was a long walk with the wonky wheel from the Metro station to the apartment, but when we arrived, David, the apartment landlord, let us in and got us all set up. We unpacked and checked email (happy to have internet again after the boredom of the airport!) and then went back to sleep.

I neglected to take any photos of the apartment (seriously – falling down on the job, I know) so I found these lovely ones at this website, though I seem to have no control over their sizes. (The bedroom shot is classic, since we spent so much time sleeping in Barcelona.)

David woke up first and went out to explore the surrounding area for cheap eating and grocery-shopping options. He arrived back with an assortment of quiches and hand pies and pizza slices from a local takeaway. My friend Christine arrived from Ireland shortly after that and we had a happy reunion. The three of us were pretty antisocial, though – we all went back to bed soon after dinner. Barcelona fun – and visiting with Christine – would have to wait until we woke up.

By the way – for the next few posts, every time you read the word “Barcelona,” you should imagine it pronounced to the tune of “My Sharona.” Try it a few times: “Bar-celona.”

Do do doo do do doo do doo dodododo do do doo do do doo Bar-celona…

Expenditures: Taxi to airport; hot chocolate and pastry at airport; Metro tickets; apartment; dinner.

Experiences: Our first Ryanair flight – and our first long airport delay. Reunited with Christine!

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