The airport in Barcelona could have been any major airport in the US or the world. We finally found our way to the van ride we had reserved and after a scenic ride through the city we arrived at our hotel at about 10:30 am. ( 3:30 am by our body clocks). When we landed we figured we had been awake for almost 20 hours.Strangely we were hungry, tired but not sleepy and felt a little discombobulated. There is a Burger King across from our hotel (!) so we decided to fill our stomachs with familiar grease, and then take a two hour nap.
Our two hour nap turned into four hours, and we woke up feeling refreshed and ready to go. We walked up to the City Centre, a plaza, where we explored and stopped and ate at a few outdoor cafes. This is what I noticed today:
1) This is an exceptionally clean city. We watched street sweepers hose down all the sidewalks as they closed. It is also alive and vibrant! So much life happening in front of our eyes. Barcelona closes in the afternoon for a few hours and reopens later in the day. By 8 pm it is happy and noisy with people outside in the shops and the sidewalks.
2) One of the best parts of traveling is talking to people. This is something I learned from Jon. Usually I hide from people in new places. Today the long customs line went fast because we were engaged in talking to a couple from New Zealand. So much to learn from each other.
3) Teenagers and pre-teens look the same and act the same no matter what their nationality.
4) There are many people here, but not many Americans. It is unusual for us to be with people who are Hispanic but not Latino...after so many trips to Mexico Even though the dialect is different, by the end of the evening Jon was using his Spanish enough to let our needs be known. We need to be able
to converse with each other in this world we live in.
5) Sadly enough , because of the world we live in, we could easily picture a terrorist driving a truck
through a crowded plaza like we sat in tonight. We are being vigilant knowing that Europe is a different place than when we each visited here 20 years ago.