Sunday, July 21, 2013

Barcelona Begins

Steps: 26107
Miles: 8.24

That's right, folks, I found my pedometer!

To be honest, I don't have much to post about yet.  I had my impossibly long feeling day of travel, complete with four hour layover in Paris.  I must have walked around the little F terminal a zillion times just trying to stay awake... which I did successfully... mostly.  I'm fairly certain there were a few Zs caught in good ol' CDG.  But I finally arrived in Spain, claimed my luggage and found a cab... which is when I realized my big problem: I am used to speaking Russian to people in these sort of cursory exchanges.  The endless string of "thank you" and "please" and "good morning" and "excuse me"'s all a knee-jerk reaction now.  So I'm Russianing the heck out of all these poor Spaniards, when I actually have the skills to have a full on conversation in Spanish.  And yet, the first thing that always springs to mind is a good Спасибо or Нет.  Then, for whatever reason, random French and German words pop in, like they're jealous or something.  And I just sound like a crazy person...and I definitely don't sound like someone who can function in Spanish.  It's really too bad... it would be exciting on my first excursion to a Spanish-speaking country to involve a little Spanish speaking on my part.  But we'll see...the week is still young!

My first night in the hotel was rough.  The hotel's not great - it's not bad, but it certainly does not live up to its website.  So that was a bit of a disappointment.  And then, when the fire alarm went off around 9:30 (which was, of course, about 2 and a half hours after my jet-lagged hiney had gone to bed), I sat bolt upright and fumbled my way down the stairs to find out what was going on.  It turns out, the desk person had accidentally set off the fire alarm while she was trying to figure out why the entire building had lost electricity.  Awesome.  So, I managed to fall asleep again, and the AC was working again by the time I woke up at 2:00 in the morning, so that's something.  So I sat up reading for a bit before falling back to sleep and sleeping really well, so I think I'm pretty much on Spanish Standard Time now.  Huzzah!

Today was a pretty full day.  I got up for some hotel breakfast, did some more reading, then headed down to find the Institut de Teatre so I could check in for the conference.  Then I walked back up to the hotel, grabbed a light lunch, and walked over to the Hard Rock Cafe in the Plaça de Catalunya, where I was to meet up with our tour group for a tour of the old part of the city.  It took some time to find the group, but eventually we managed to gather, and we headed out for a three hour tour (a three hour tour!).  We saw so many sights and wound around through so many little side streets, I would find the path entirely impossible to replicate, but we sure saw a lot.  I want to head back down to that area some time this week for a little gift shopping.  We'll see if that's in the cards.  I would really hate it if all my family gifts had to come from the shops at the airport.  But it's going to be a busy week... so we'll have to see how strong the shopping force is with me.  I chatted with a few people on the tour, but it's always so awkward at these things.  There was one young woman from Munich who I spent most of the day with, so hopefully I'll run into her again.

After the tour I walked back to the hotel (since I won't be doing much running this week, I'm taking every opportunity to walk instead of take the metro... so go me!), grabbed some dinner on the way, and just settled in for the night.  Tomorrow things get started in earnest... Right at 9:00 we dive into the first working group meeting.  <gulp>

1 comment:

  1. Well aren't you the globetrotter. Literally, with the pedometer and all. Go you.