Spending the Night in Barcelona Airport

Trip Start Nov 03, 2011
Trip End Dec 10, 2011

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Where I stayed
Barcelona airport
What I did
Castillo de las Aguzaderas
Zahara de la Sierra

Flag of Spain  , Catalonia,
Friday, December 9, 2011

Juliet's alarm rang at 7 am.  I ate a little rice, took some pills, skipped the doxycycline since it didn't stay down yesterday.  I managed to finish my postcards for mailing and pack up my stuff.

By 10 am, I was ready to leave.  Juliet had marked our exit route on the map and without too much difficulty we made it.  There was one point when we were headed toward Jerez but that was promptly corrected.  I was driving and Juliet was navigating and watching what I was doing as a safety backup.  We had had one close encounter in a traffic circle already.  They have always been troublesome for me.  I agreed to take the route to the white villages...at least one of them....Zahara de la Sierra.

When we got to Zahara, I sat in the car while Juliet went to tourist info.  Unfortunately it was way up the hill, so she decided she might as well check out the Alcazar and the church while she was up there.  I had started to get cold so I got out and walked up the hill and took a few photos of the white houses with black wrought iron balconies and decorated with lots of plants.  Lots of dogs, too....little fussy ones and medium-sized sheepherders maybe.  When I got back to the car, I found Juliet's note that we was waiting by the nearby restaurant.  I had some tea and a piece of her bread and a few breadsticks from her cheese tapa plus 2 of her green olives.  The olives were unusually crisp and crunchy as well as very salty.  A little girl was playing with her father and the two waitresses.  Maybe one of them was her mother...not sure.

Oh, I forgot, before the white village, we stopped at the ruins of the Castlllo de las Aguzaderas.  While Juliet was exploring the tower and I was sitting in the car, a man drove by me with 4 very handsome large, grey horses pulling a carriage.  The horses seemed perfectly matched.  The man was in the drivers seat of the carriage-like affair and an older man was squatting in the back of it.  There were 4 assorted dogs running along.  The scene seemed to be set 100s of years back.  I imagined they were going out hunting wild boar(d)s but the dogs didn't look like pig dogs.  I wrote boar(d)s because we had just seen an interpretive sign that wrote "boards" meaning "boars."  I think that is what they meant.

The drive from Zahara was unremarkable except that it was difficult to find the airport, i.e., no big signs or little airplane icons leading up to it and only one aeropuerto sign on the exit....even then we went 2 k and I wasn't exactly sure it was the right way.  Juliet's map quest had us exiting one stop earlier and there definitely was no airport sign on that exit so we kept on.  We dropped off the car without a hitch and now have to wait hours to check in for our 4:15 pm flight.

We did get to check in for Spanair and I asked about checking my bag through to Albany only to find out that Spanair didn't really have any connection info for us.  Juliet provided her itinerary and got a boarding card for Barcelona to Newark but I didn't.  I had an aisle seat in row 25 and Juliet was in row 5.  I boarded from the rear.  It was a short flight marred only by the Russian woman in front of me whomping my knees every time she leaned back in her seat.  Her party ordered drinks and were in high spirits, especially as we waited to deplane.

On arrival we were kept waiting a long time for the bus to take us to the terminal.  The light went off briefly.  Everyone was tired and getting surly.  I got on the bus by leaving the front of the plane.  I was 5 rows from the back.  When I got into the terminal, I looked for Juliet but didn't see her....wasn't sure what happened, but I didn't think I could possibly find her so I started looking for a nesting place for the night and info on where to get my boarding pass.  In the process I passed out of the arrivals section and was not allowed back without a boarding pass which I could not get until 3 hrs before boarding, approx. 7 am.

I then found some cushioned banquettes at an all-night airport cafe...nicely brightly lit.  About this time Juliet found me.  She was much more resourceful than I and thought about where I might go and asked if people had seen me.  Two of them had and directed her in the right direction.  She had fallen asleep on the flight and didn't wake up until the plane was almost empty so she wasn't ahead of me as I expected, but I think we were on the same bus to the terminal since it was the last one.

I took her to my nesting place but now there was a woman with 2 children there...one of whom was screaming.  We tried to settle down to sleep nonetheless while the child yelled the progression of things he wanted.  Then I heard a voice telling the woman to give her kid some chocolate or something to quiet him down.  There was an exchange of words as the mother said it was a public place and you could cry if you wanted to...sounds like an oldie....and that the young woman should wait until she has had children before she criticizes anyone.  The child miraculously quieted down at this point, the father came, and then all was quiet.  I did get some sleep there covered with my striped red Maasai blanket.

Around 2 am, I awoke to find Juliet talking to 3 South African women...mother and 2 daughters perhaps.  One young woman, a ballet teacher, was the one who spoke to the mother of the crying child.  They chatted and told us all about their travels around Europe.  They had certain definite opinions about the various countries.  They had flown at one point with a planeful of Mecca pilgrims and were appalled by the coughing and were sure they were exposed to TB and other infectious diseases.  Ireland was next or their list I think.  They were quite feisty and we felt well protected but they were off by 4 am to get boarding passes for their 7 am flight.  After that it was quieter again, waking up a various times to see different men sleeping on the other banquettes.  I will arbitrarily stop now before proceeding into another day....they get kind of mixed together during this progression of flights taking us from Stone Town to our respective home airports.

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