Saturday, March 6, 2010

Barcelona beginnings...

After dull optometry meeting on Friday afternoon, I jetted off to the Nuremberg airport, missing my first airport exit, something I have been known to do multiple times in the past. But still getting there and parked with a little over an hour to spare. Nuremberg is a tiny, simple airport with ample, cheap parking.

Inside the terminal, I waited, read, and ate a chocolate bar (dark) for dinner.

We boarded. The door shut. We waited. The captain came on. Flight delays.

About an hour late, we left. I wondered about my 50 minute connection time in Amsterdam but decided it was there was nothing I could do and kept reading my book. If nothing else, I´d spend a night in Amsterdam. This is the only time I relax, so it wouldn´t be the worst thing in the world.

In Amsterdam, I half ran to my flight even though I didn´t want to (thinking if I missed it by five minutes, I´d be really mad at myself) and they were boarding as I arrived, but I think I could have gotten there 15 minutes later and still made it.

The Barcelona aiport is a gorgeous modern marvel. I accidentally took a foot tour of it, as the taxi stand proved elusive, though the sign was in print the size a blind person could see. I had to get directions twice.

After much confusion on the taxi driver´s part (and overcharging me as well) I was dropped off in a pedestrian alley, and pointed in a direction to walk. I wondered if I was in the right place. Not able to come up with anything but German in my flight-numbed brain was frustrating. But finally I saw Ross standing outside and all was good.

Dee and I stayed up chatting until well past midnight, woke up this morning with a leisurely breakfast and black coffee, then headed to the subway to start our excursions.

We boarded the subway car. Dee and I were chatting.

Suddenly Ross got off. I didn´t know why.

¨My passport!¨

He took off running up the escalator.

We followed. I was confused. How did he know who had it?

On the escalator, Ross was accusing two girls of having his passport. Dee came up and had a vice grip one of the girls. I still didn´t know what was going on. If it were my passport, it would have been gone. I had no idea how they knew who it was. (Apparently a person on the subway saw and said something to Ross.) But as we all reached the top, Ross´s wallet magically fell to the ground, dropped by one of the two girls.

A nice Spanish couple was helping us and talking to us and said, ¨Romas!¨ Meaning gypsys. I think they wanted us to report them, but with our terribly feeble Spanish, I´m not sure what could be done. And what would have happened anyway?

Surprisingly, this was my first encounter like this in traveling. Ever. And it ended well. We had hard time believing that it had happened.

We got back on the subway and went on our way. Walking six miles around town, to sites. Coming upon artists on the waterfront. A delicious lunch at a cafe with an owl on the sign. Churches. People watching. The day which started in a flurry ended well.

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