Sunday, February 14, 2010

the beginning: barcelona 02.11-14.10

The snow created some problems for the beginning of my trip to Barcelona and Morocco. My flight on Thursday was canceled, of course. This was a very big deal. Eric came to my rescue, and made a bunch of phone calls and managed to book me on a new flight to JFK. Unfortunately, this flight was from BWI (just over an hour from my apartment). The metro and buses weren't running to the airport, and my car was completely buried from 2 consecutive snow storms, and I wasn't about to try to shovel it out (I left for my trip with my car completely covered and trapped, and when I returned there was only a slight pile of snow left that took me less than 30 minutes to clear). Billy saved the day! And got permission to leave work to drive me to BWI to catch my flight, he said he'd do anything I needed to get me to my flight :) We made it to BWI without any problems and I was off to JFK.

Wandered around that airport to board my next flight to Barcelona. This was a red-eye flight, and I watched The Invention of Lying before napping for the rest of the flight. I woke up a few times, but overall the flight was uneventful and uncomfortable, which makes it a good flight. I arrived in Barcelona around 7AM (+6 hour time difference). I expected Brie, Eric and Janine to arrive a few hours after me, except they didn't. After waiting around for a few hours and trying to figure out where the hell their flight was, I decided to call Brie's cell phone and hope that she had it on. Luckily, she did! They were in Madrid, and were expected to arrive in Barcelona around 2:45PM. At this point it was around noon, so I had a few more hours to myself, in the airport. I made some friends with people who worked at the airport, had lunch, napped and played Legend of Zelda on my DS. I found the gate they would be arriving and FINALLY they arrived!

And we were off! We left the airport and found the bus that would take us into the city, so we could find our hostel for the next 2 nights. We found it pretty easily and once we got settled, set out to explore Barcelona. First, it was colder than I was expecting. I was glad I brought my hat! I hadn't had much time before leaving to do as much research and preparing as I should have, thanks to school (and the fact that I was blowing off class for a week, and my trying to keep up with each class schedule so I wouldn't be behind once I was back home) but I managed just fine. We mostly walked around that night, ate tapas for dinner and started our montage of pictures. We explored also to a local bar with a live jazz band, which was pretty hoppin'. I had forgotten that we are spoiled Americans, and everyone in Barcelona can smoke wherever they want. By the end of the show, we all smelled of delicious cigarette smoke and beer, but was worth it as we all really enjoyed the music.

The next morning I woke up last and had to rush to get ready. Eric and Brie told me they forgot to wake me up, and I sleep really soundly so I didn't hear a thing. But they were nice to wait for me before heading out to breakfast. I didn't pack my rain jacket to bring with me as we headed out for the day, and this turned out to be a really bad idea. It was drizzling, but not too badly initially that I didn't think I'd need it. We set out for a full day of walking and exploring of Barcelona. I bought a new pair of hobo gloves that were only 1 euro. We explored churches, parks and buildings. We bought delicious food at this very large outdoor market. I had a warm and toasty crepe with some sort of meat, cheese and tomato. By the end of the day it started raining more consistently, and my left knee started being a pain, literally. We decided to try for a restaurant that had been recommended to us and hopped the metro. There was a parade in honor of Carnival at the metro stop, and also wintry mix - sleet, rain, etc. This is where I really wished I had my rain jacket. Limping to the restaurant, I am now soaking wet and irritated with my knee, and we find the restaurant is closed. Not only that, but the metro is packed from people watching the parade and wanting to escape the awful weather. More hobbling along to another metro, we finally make it back to the area where our hostel was. We ate deliciously warm foods, as we were starving by this point, and were glad to be back inside with warmth and dry clothes. We had to get up early to head to the airport for our flight to Marrakesh, so we stayed in and prepped for our next destination.

We decided to get breakfast at the airport and arrived pretty early. We had delicious fresh orange juice (yes, at the airport!) and croissants and fruit. I bought a pretty red watch from the airport, as I had extra euros and I wanted it (at the time I didn't realize how loudly this watch "tick, tocks" I guess that makes it a successful watch?). The flight was pretty quick and we excitedly landed in Africa! I wish I had spent more time brushing up on my French skills before we went, but I think I managed well enough to get us by. Upon leaving the airport, we quickly began our next destination adventure!

For many more pictures from Barcelona, Brie has them all posted here!

1 comment:

Brie said...

Dear Diary: Brie and Eric abandoned me twice. THE END!!

I felt sooo bad about making you wait for us!