Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 4: Barcelona Hillbillies

Today was moving day.  We said good-bye to the lovely Mallorca and headed to Barcelona.  We had a very interesting experience while boarding the plane.  Directly in front of me as we were walking down the jetway to the plane were a man and his approximately 13-yr-old son.  If I was to racially profile them, I would guess Middle Eastern.  We got to the doorway of the plane and the kid started freaking out.  He turned and tried to get off, but his dad pushed him back on.  The boy was crying and becoming hysterical.  The flight attendants tried to calm him down, to no avail.  The dad, in his frustration, grabbed the boy by his jacket and tried to force him down the aisle.  The kid grabbed onto the nearest seatback and hung on for dear life, screaming and crying.  They were making a huge scene and everyone was so shocked we didn’t know what to do.  They finally stepped into a row so we could all get to our seats.  After a few minutes, security removed both of them.  We had to wait until they located and removed their checked bags before we could take off. 

I have to admit, that my first thought was “I wonder if this boy knows something we don’t”.  As in, intuition was telling him not go get on this plane.  I didn’t think about the fact that they could have been suicide bombers or something until they made the announcement about looking for their luggage.  That just shows how naïve I am, huh!  I guess if you fly often enough you eventually see strange things like this.  Thank goodness the rest of the flight was uneventful – just like I like ‘em!

We arrived in Barcelona about noon under clouds and humidity.  We made it to the hotel with only a few sprinkles on the shuttle’s wind shield.  As soon as we got inside, the skies opened up.  It rained pretty hard for awhile, and then a steady drizzle set in.  The forecast for the next week is rain every day.  We decided to hold off on doing any touring today.  Instead, Bruce logged on and worked all afternoon. 

I discovered that you have to watch out for Expedia’s definition of things.  When I booked this room I searched for hotels that had an airport shuttle, free WiFi, A/C, and laundry facilities. It was titled a “Cruise Special”, which usually means a shuttle to the cruise port.  We’re very disappointed in what we got.  No cruise shuttle, that was just the title but wasn’t in the deal.  The A/C is actually the heat.  Man this place was cooking!  We asked about it, and they said they had turned it off since winter is coming.   Winter??  There’re frickin’ palm trees here – give me a break!!  Luckily the window opens.  We’re on a pretty busy street, so we have a lot of noise.  And it’s super humid – 94% to be exact.  I had planned to wash clothes here so we wouldn’t have to pack as many.  I went looking for the laundry – and found out that “laundry facilities” means there is an iron and ironing board available.  They offered to send it out to be done, but I didn’t want to do that.  So I brought my laundry soap and dirty clothes back to the room and washed them out in the sink.  Just call us the “Barcelona Hillbillies”.  We have wet socks, undies, and clothes hanging from every door knob, window ledge, and chair back in the room.  I’d take a photo, but I don’t believe in airing our laundry online.  Who wants to start a pool for how long it’ll take to get all these clothes dry in this humidity with very little air flow?  I predict that I’ll either be giving the hairdryer a workout, or I’ll be boarding the ship with a bag of soggy clothes.

Next door to the hotel is a nice shopping center with a HUGE store like a Sam’s or Costco.  We bought a rotisserie chicken and a salad for dinner.  We’re sick of fast food and there’s not much in the way of restaurants nearby.  We also got some bread, peanut butter, jelly, Nutella, and chips to make a picnic lunch for our touring tomorrow.  And we got some water, Coke, and beer.  Did I mention that we travel on a budget so we can travel often?  This is one way we cut corners.  If this room had a microwave, we could’ve had lots of options.  But we still had a good meal for little cost.

Tomorrow we plan to take a bus to the heart of the city.  We’ll hopefully tour the Familia Sagrada and Las Ramblas.  I think that’s about all we’ll have time for.  But I’m told that those are the two highlights.  It looks like we’ll be out in the rain again, so I’m REALLY glad I bought a second travel umbrella.  It’s already been christened.  Our sail away and the first 2 ports on the cruise will also be wet.  After that we should start seeing some sun.

Sorry there’re no photos today.  Tomorrow there should be lots. 

Do you suppose I would find some bubbling crude, black gold, or Texas tea if I shot at the ground out back?  I’d LOVE to be a millionaire!

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