Arrival in Barcelona

Trip Start Nov 16, 2008
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Trip End Nov 29, 2008


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Where I stayed
Rental Apartment

Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Catalonia,
Monday, November 17, 2008

The plane finally flew above Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea. We landed and entered a very nice airport (BCN), went through customs, and quickly got our bags.

We called Maria, the contact at the rental agency for the apartment. We had some problems with our rented phone at first, but did get through. We got a taxi to take us to the apartment, but the line was crazy. No one followed the queue, and it was very frustrating.

The driver didn't speak English, but he was very nice, and we were still able to communicate effectively with our limited Spanish. He dropped us off on La Rambla at the entrance to our street (which is a one-way street and pedestrian only after a certain time at night).

We dragged our bags up the cobbled street to the right entryway. Morgan, the girl with the keys, showed up right behind us. She unlocked the entry and we walked through a downright scary hall. I though, "Oh my God." We went up one flight of stairs and she opened the next door to another hallway, which was very nice. "Phew!" Then she opened the door to our apartment, which was among 3 in this hall.

Our apartment was charming. I loved the beamed ceilings. The kids had their own bedroom with bunkbeds, DH and I had our own bedroom, there was a kitchen/living area, and a bathroom with washer. A long hallway connected all the rooms. Old wood shutters opened up to the street, which was a cool collection of tattoo shops, alternative clothing stores, cafes, and music stores; all on a tiny, ancient, cobbled street. Our location, right off La Rambla, couldn't be better. The best part was that our apartment cost less per night than one room at the conference hotels which are modern and charmless, and we would have had to get TWO rooms. :)

Once we got settled in, we went exploring. We walked through the Placa de Catalunya and just walked around. We stopped at this basic place for lunch. I had grilled cuttlefish. Everyone tried it, and we all liked it; it was garlicky goodness. DH had this huge breakfast dish--he loved the bacon. DS and DD each had a small salami sandwich and shared churros with hot chocolate. The churros were weird...no sugar. We realized later, they are just meant to be dipped in the hot chocolate which is basically melted chocolate in a cup.

We went back to the apt and took naps. Afterwards, we went out again. We found a place for dinner and they took us upstairs. Amadeus, the host, sat down with us and talked, and did parlor tricks for the kids. He was hilarious. For dinner I had roast suckling pig (cheers to you Anthony Bourdain!), the kids had lamb, and DH had pepper steak. It was all very good.

We had picked that place because the tapas in the clear counter had looked so good earlier in the day. But the stuff was gone at dinner time, and they swept us upstairs.

We went shopping at the Carrefour to get some things for the next night's party. Then we went back and fell into bed. ZZZZzzzzzzz.
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