And then to Spain

August 31, 2017 - Barcelona, Spain

Gawd, here we go again! Up and packed and ready to meet our driver at 5am.

As we trundled our cases into the foyer we were met by one of the staff who said our driver was there and took our bags while we did the check-out thing. All very easy and we were soon sitting back in the comfort of an Audi A8 on our way to the airport.

Our driver pointed out where he thought the Emirates Check-ins were but it still took a little finding. A helpful fellow told us we would need proof of our boarding pass before we could join the line for those who had checked-in online. A bit of a problem as we had checked-in but not printed our boarding passes. After a bit of faffing about trying to get out computers our helpful young man pointed out that if we had our booking reference we could print our passes at the check-in machines. That sounded much simpler ... until Max said yes instead of no to the question about flammable and dangerous substances. Whoops! Start all over again.

Once we had our boarding passes it was pretty easy and quick to drop our luggage and head to immigration and security where there was a longer wait to go through screening. We were still through with plenty of time to walk along towards gate A2. In fact the A gates were in a separate terminal with a Metro connection to get there. It was very efficiently organised with lanes for people getting off and for those embarking. Of course there is always one or two that confuse things a little but we were whisked off to our terminal area with little fuss. Once we made sure of the location of our gate we then headed off to find somewhere to eat. That turned out to be a place with good coffee, breads and pastries. Just baguette slices with butter and jams for Margaret and a couple of filled croissants for me. While we waited for the food and coffee I slipped over to exchange most of our UAE Dirham for Euros, just keeping some aside for our return stopover. And also to pay for our breakfast which turned out to be AED116 and they were very surprised when I paid in cash. I suppose there are many people in transit and therefore not carrying currency.

Our time slipped away a little and we were soon hurrying for the final call. No announcements here so our misreading of Boarding Time and Gate Closes Time put us under a little pressure but when we passed through the gate and downstairs we found ourselves in another lounge area where we waited once more for the boarding routine. It was supposedly organised by zones but just turned into the normal free-for-all.

This time our seats were a long way back (Row 76) but it was reasonably quick to get to our seats and settle in for the flight. A snack and a movie ('Another Year') a sleep and a bit of trivia. (I always try to set the highest score on board and managed easily this time. I think the only other player was Margaret.) Lunch and a movie ('North by North West' - going for the classics) and we were beginning our descent into a damp Barcelona.

By the time we emerged from Immigration and customs the rain had stopped and, after shuffling down the queue, we found a taxi to the Hotel Espana Romblas. €25 was about the same as bus fares for 2 and without the hassle, or walk, or finding the right route.

After establishing ourselves in the room we took the map and walked to the Palau Musica to familiarise ourselves with the city once more and to visit Explore Catalunya offices and confirm our tours for tomorrow and the day after that. Once that was done we walked back to the hotel to have a bit of a sleep and relax a little.

It was then time to head back to the Palau Musica once more. From home Margaret had booked tickets for 'La Traviata' and tonight was the only time that would fit our schedule. When we arrived it was a bit confusing to find the right place to line up but we seemed to be in the correct place and were through quickly and shown to our seats. Last time we were here we had a quick look in the foyer as one of our tour guides recommended it but that did not prepare us for the hall itself or for the stage surrounds. Very Art Nouveau with figures and bright glazed tiles.

We were expecting a concert with several arias from the opera. In fact it was the complete staged opera and therefore a late night. The performers were all very good with the soprano, Marga Cloquell, being a real standout. The chorus had a brilliant blend of voices as well. The limited space for the orchestra (behind the set) meant a smaller number of instruments which is a real drawback with the music of Verdi but we still enjoyed our night. Unfortunately our run of early starts and long plane journeys meant that we both found ourselves nodding off and having to nudge each other so we missed large parts of each act.

We managed to stagger back to the hotel with our heads filled with music but also feeling like our brains were stuffed with cotton wool, we were so tired.


Max makes himself at home
The bathroom looks spacious
Our driver dropped us at the end of the Carrer
Fuzzy Travel · Next »
Create blog · Login