I don't want to hate Barcelona

Barcelona Travel Blog

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The view in front of the ... auto show.

Thursday

Today, we headed to Barcelona, just a few hours up the coast by train.

Carlos gave us a ride and managed to swing in yet one final detour to some more of his favorite buildings. That man sure does love his city! And he was right, they were all cool.

Train to Barcelona? No problem. 

Getting to our hotel.......................

We're staying at the Marriott Renaissance out by the hotel, compliments of my in-laws, who are joining us tomorrow. Should be able to take metro to the airport and a shuttle to the hotel.

Should be.

Turns out our train ticket will also take us to the airport.  Great!

We're told to go to platform 5 for the train.

An ad in the subway designed to look like a morgue!
  Simple!

Get on the train that comes through.  Since there is no metro map and there is no marking on the train other than the endpoint on the very front of the first car (which we missed) we figure all the trains going through here go past the airport.

30 minutes later......

We finally find someone who can tell us where the hell this train is going, since it's clearly not going to the airport.  It's going waaaaay out in the suburbs.

I'm tired, hot, and very sweaty.  So, also grumpy.

Get off the train, wait 20 minutes for the next train. Return to the station.

Still no metro map.  Still no markings on the trains except the endpoint on the front of the first car. But without a metro map, that's not much help.

Several trains go by.

Could have used some of these!
We're afraid to get on. Finally we notice a flight attendant waiting. A HA! Overhear her tell someone that the next train goes to the airport.

Glory hallelujah. 10 minutes (!) later we're at the airport.

Can't find a sign to hotel shuttles.  Hmmmmm, that's usually pretty easy to find.

Stand in line at airport information.  They know nothing about hotel shuttles. Send us to hotel information.

They send us to the bus area by the police station.  No signs there but several large buses.

Ask the first driver if he goes the the Marriott Renaissance.  He says, in very good English, "I don't speak English."

Hmmmmmm.....

As I turn and walk away, he starts giving me attitude.  Again, in good English.  "No, really, you're welcome, glad I could help."

He still has all the hair on his head, so you can assume I didn't respond.

Find another American couple waiting for the same shuttle.  They're standing streetside. I lean up against the building because I am tired, hot, and sweaty. And my backpack is digging into my hip.

Bus whizzes by. Other couple manage to flag it down.  I don't see the markings until I get on it.  Apparently, they don't stop unless you flag them down.

Hmmmmm......

Check into the airport.  Very stylish.  Need your room card to make the elevator work.  oooh la la.  Get into our room.  I´m still tired, hot, and sweaty so Jeff does not get a positive response to his question about whether I´d like to go into Barcelona that night.

He goes to check out the hotel, I decide to rinse out a few clothes and take a shower.

The sink has no stopper and no way to close the drain.  After getting transferred several times by the front desk, a lovely cleaning woman shows up who doesn´t speak English but understands immediately what I´m trying to do and returns with a drain plug.  Bless her!

Get the clothes rinsed and wrap them in a towel to squeeze out the last of the water.  Crack the bathroom counter (which is green glass).  Huh, that´s a new one for me!

Get the clothes hung up all over the bathroom and decide to take a shower.  Weird stylish small shower head.  Get the water at the temp I want and switch from faucet to showerhead. 

There is so much water pressure (something I would normally not complain about) it pushes the shower head straight up and back (and over the top of the shower stall) and soaks the bathroom.

Ah, well, I wanted to get wet and the clothes were already wet.  I turn down the water and take my shower.

Jeff returns and we decide to go downstairs and get some dinner.  The prices are 3 times what we´d pay in the city.  The more expensive the hotel, the more they soak you.  Turns out internet access is also 12 euros / hour. I was paying 2 euros / hour in every other town.  Soak you, I swear.

But as we were finishing up, a group of older people -- 60s - 80s -- comes out from an adjacent dining room, raucously laughing.  Mostly women, 2 or 3 men.  They sit in a lounge near us. One of their members finds the piano and starts playing older tunes (not that well but what the heck).

The women start dancing -- with each other, with the men, with themselves, with the couch pillows.  They laugh. They sing along to the tunes.  They do a circle dance.  They make fun of each other and themselves (it´s all in Spanish but you can tell when women are busting on each other and themselves lovingly). They never stop laughing.

I want to be those women when I am 80.

Maybe I don´t hate Barcelona after all.

Nico22 says:
Sorry to hear about your oh so unpleasant introduction to Barcelona, the sites really will make up for the cultural nuances :). Enjoy the Temple of the Sagrada Familia-its absoloutely breathtaking. Cheers!
Posted on: Jun 15, 2007
LisaBB says:
I love the bathroom/shower mishaps. I am one of those less fortunate people that have first hand experience of Kelly as an unhappy camper and I can visualizie that scene as if I were there. :)

I also loved your tribute yesterday to dad. I really miss him too.

Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Mitchell loved the post cards.

Have a safe trip home.
Posted on: Jun 12, 2007
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The view in front of the ... auto …
The view in front of the ... auto…
An ad in the subway designed to lo…
An ad in the subway designed to l…
Could have used some of these!
Could have used some of these!
Barcelona
photo by: fivepointpalm