Barcelona Day 0.5 – Getting There
Although Sunday was our first day in Barcelona it was pretty much a blur. Getting here was definitely the hard part. We left our house at 9:00 in the morning on Saturday and dropped the kids off at Barbara’s house. We headed up to the airport and thankfully there was no traffic. We got to the airport and attempted to check-in with one of those automated kiosk things, but I couldn’t get mine to read my passport to call up the reservation. Of course that was user error.
We got checked-in for our flight to JFK, but the system wouldn’t let us get our boarding passes for our flight to Madrid or to Barcelona. There had been two seats available on the flight to New York before ours, but I hadn’t thought to get our names on the stand by for that one, so we were both a little concerned with the time factor for making out next flight. We met a group of ladies from a hospital in Baltimore that were also going to be on our flight to Madrid. They were going on to Tel Aviv. We all figured with that many people on our flight going on to the flight to Madrid that the plane would maybe wait for us.
We made it through the Ibera Airlines ticket counter and security in JFK alright. I got stuck behind a guy that was trying to carry in a bottle of water through security… I could have knocked him out. We made it over to the gate for the next plane and that place was packed. There weren’t two seats to be had in the whole joint. I found one that Jason and I shared. The entire time between flights was spend walking all over the airport, going from one gate to the other. By the time we got on the plane I was ready for a nap. I wasn’t sitting next to Jason so then one of the ladies from the Israel group wanted to switch seats so she could be next to a friend I was happy to do it. Only, Jason was brokering a deal a few rows up and I was able to trade seats with a young-lady. So the good thing was I was sitting next to Jason, the bad thing was we were sitting right next to the bathrooms.
Other then hear the toilet flush every time someone went into the bathroom, or at least you hoped so, sitting there wasn’t too bad unless someone didn’t shut the door again after they finished. A bathroom on a plane is only a step or two up from a port-o-potty. I would have to reach back and shut the doors all the time.
Finally we made it to Madrid. It was almost 7 in the morning and it was still dark so it looked like DC at night coming in for the landing. We got off the plane and had to walk the entire length of the airport just to go through security AGAIN for our flight to Barcelona. When we got back down to the gate you could tell that nearly everyone there were going to Barcelona for the conference. Every one had their cell phones out talking about services and trying to get a good data connection while roaming.
Once we FINALLY made it to Barcelona it seemed like we were walking forever again to get out of the airport. Of course waiting 45 min to make it through immigration wasn’t fun. After getting out of passport control, we got our bags, and that didn’t take anything. No one even asked me if I had anything to declare. We needed some Euro for the cab ride to the hotel and after walking around clueless for a while, Jason actually stopped to ask directions. While he did that, I bent down to adjust some straps on my suitcase and when I looked up Jason was gone. It took him close to 10 min to com back and find me.
We had our stuff, we had each other, and now we had cash, so off to the hotel we go. Our cabbie was nice and got use good and close to the hotel. We had to grab our bags and walk a bit, but as I looked around, it didn’t seem that uncommon. We finally made it to the hotel and dropped off our bags so we could go walking around. It was 11 AM and the room wouldn’t be ready until about 1. We decided to go out and hit some of the land marks that were close.
All in all the getting here wasn’t too, too bad, but Jason and I both agreed that next time we are going to suck it up and pay extra to take business or first class over and back on the Trans-Atlantic flight at least. It would be worth it.