Barcelona-city full of insane taxi & moped riders!
Trip Start Dec 26, 2009
41Trip End Feb 06, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
OK, so as you can see, we are now back online but today is now 12/1 (at 3am) and I need to play "catch up" with you all and get you up to speed so I will go back to Saturday night.....
Side note - it's funny how much you rely on technology especially in a foreign country, if you at least have some form of communication (and can actually read things in English) it helps you not feel so isolated as you can communicate with friends and family.
We managed to get to the apartment without being killed by the crazy (but very likable) taxi driver who thought that green meant go and red meant go faster and then there is yellow, which apparently means go much faster and “duck and weave” through the traffic like a possessed madman on speed – despite his obvious madness, he appeared sane when compared to the moped riders (which there like 1 million of them everywhere) who appear to want to be in the Guinness Book of Records and see how many mopeds can fit beside each other in one lane and who can beat who at the lights (which haven’t turned green but that doesn’t seem to matter, they rev their little bikes and go through them anyway – even when pedestrians are walking across)
So, as I said we got to the rental office in one piece to pick up the key for the apartment, which is really lovely - thank goodness (it has double glazed windows which makes it so quiet)! All the buildings around here and many other places are heritage listed and not a lot can be done to them due to strict regulations (and most of them have no lifts so you have to carry all your luggage up tiny little stairs but of course, we didn’t have a problem because we had no damn luggage did we?????) Our apartment complex has got a lift (again, didn’t matter due to the absence of said luggage – this is going to be the whole “LL Bean, didn’t get our cold weather gear” obsession all over again – I can feel it! hahahaha)
Unfortunately, we didn’t plan very well (our friend Cheryl Poulus’s words came back to haunt us when we were informed that our luggage had somehow magically disappeared – “make sure you pack important stuff in your carry-on luggage” – sorry Cheryl – didn’t listen – learnt a very valuable lesson the hard way). Our carry on luggage had headphones, mobile phones, sukoshi the netbook, camera, video camera, my puffy jacket (not Bills, that’s most probably being worn as we speak by some homeless person at the airport – hahaha) – what our carry on luggage didn’t contain was power leads & battery chargers, spare pair of underwear, Bills puffy jacket (he only had a light jacket on for the plane trip to Barcelona) Bills new Gortex shoes (he decided just to wear his black leather shoes on the plane as they were more comfortable – damn that decision)
We woke Sunday morning to a beautiful day (no real sleep due to that really lovely chemical reaction your body chucks at you known affectionately as “jet lag” and we had it big time) - we had been awake for about 24 hours by the time we hit the apartment and we were so tired (and upset about the luggage situation) but only slept for 2 hours and then we were up and wide awake – in a foreign country, very dark outside and a fear of pickpockets lurking in every corner, we were reluctant to venture outside until light (which doesn’t happen until 8am here) so we just wandered around the apartment aimlessly, writing lists of the items that we will transfer (once we get our luggage delivered to us) to our carry-on luggage so this doesn’t happen again
Once it was light (8am) Bill ventured out to get milk for a coffee so at least we could feel a bit “normal” again (its amazing how a coffee seems to just help you feel human). Well, the shops don’t open until 10am so no coffee - we ventured outside and wandered around (again very wary of the pickpockets that we had been drilled about by so many people we know who have been here) and found a place open to have a coffee (fantastic coffee I must say) and some cold hard bread rolls with cold fatty meat and cheese on them (still wearing the same clothes as yesterday including underwear – need to start formulating a plan in case our luggage doesn’t turn up Sunday).
As we had lined up at the airport for over an hour last night, to report the lost luggage (they had given us some paperwork with a website and a reference number so we could check our luggage status online so we logged on with the little amount of batter power we had left and saw that there was “no update” so decided to go for a walk – it was a beautiful morning (cold though and I was worried Bill wouldn’t be warm enough in just a light jacket but he was an absolute trooper of course, and we tried to stay in the sun as much as possible). The sky was a brilliant dark blue so I took lots of photos of the buildings here (we had booked for Monday & Tuesday a Barcelona hop-on, hop-off tour where you just catch these special buses around the city and get on and get off when you reach certain interest points) so we didn’t venture all over, we left that until the tour. We had paella for lunch (not as good as the ones I have had in Brisbane and also I did a Spanish cooking course last year so I know what a good paella should taste and look like) but we didn’t care – we were in Barcelona, we were together and we are a team who can take on anything and triumph (even the incompetent morons at British Airways) Side note – look, this is the 21st century for god’s sake, how do you lose so much luggage – even with the current weather conditions – you get off one plane, you get on another, your luggage gets off one plane and then gets on another – it’s not rocket science
OK I am off my soapbox for the moment! As I said, lots of photos, paella, some wine and back to the apartment where we eagerly jumped online to the BA site expecting the message to say “we have found your luggage, come and get it if you want” but no – Sukoshi took our hearts and crushed them into the ground by displaying “TRACING CONTINUES. PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER”. So we had a sleep (bad move but we were so exhausted) and then, because people don’t eat until 8-9pm and it was cold outside and Bill didn’t have a heavy jacket, we sat around again and waited to go and get something to eat. Below our little apartment is a courtyard (quite quaint) and there is a restaurant which opens in the afternoon (it was a bit disconcerting because the courtyard was empty of chairs & tables, etc, just a courtyard, then we looked out again at night and it was all happening – restaurants that we didn’t even notice because they have huge metal roller doors across them so you can’t even look inside, were open and it was a hive of activity)!
So we walked over at about 8:30pm for some tapas (very common here) and we were the only people there, we felt sorry for the owner but by the time we left at 9:30, the place was jumping – who eats that late??? Barcelonians, that’s who! We supposed that because no shops open before 10am, people go home and get to bed about 2am because they don’t have to get up for ages (and the sun doesn’t come up until 8am anyway and its cold). It also gets dark 4:30pm!
So back to the apartment, eagerly jumping onto Sukoshi to check status of errant luggage only to be totally gutted by the message “TRACING CONTINUES. PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER” damn, damn, damn!
I didn’t want to use up any of Sukoshis remaining power to write a blog so Bill put him in “sleep mode” and we tried to get some sleep ourselves – not possible, that pesky jet lag just kept kicking in! So we slept and read (oh yeah, I had taken the latest Marian Keys book in my hand luggage woohoo, what a godsend!) Bill found a book in the apartment that was in English and read that. Day 1 in Barcelona officially over!