Food Six Days a Week
The cafeteria is open from Monday morning until Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. Nothing is open on Sunday. The coffee shop is the smokers area, so the doors to the hotel are open on Sunday, but there is no food being served then. Since my grandson said he usually just had toast for breakfast, we went to the coffee shop, and I got pineapple juice and he got OJ (1.6 € each), and we each had a croissant (1.5 € each) and I also had green tea. This only cost 11.55 €, and the buffet breakfast would have been 13 € each, and the juices in the mini-bar are 2.2 € each.
Arriving in Barcelona - 28 March 2008
When we arrived in Barcelona, we were looking out our windows at the water of the Med. The other side was looking at the city.
When we got off the plane, we went to get our bags. Apparently in Barcelona, each little segment of the airport has its own baggage area. So since we got off in B terminal, our bags would be at B baggage claim. They had a little sign over the belts which said which flights bags would be on that belt.
There were little children lying on and riding the belts, and no one said anything to them. My grandson did not recognize his bag because it was upsidedown, so it had to come around twice. My bag when it came had all the zippers partly unzipped. As far as I know though, everything is there.
I had bought the Tuistico Bus tickets on line (I got them on a website that had the price in £, but it came out as $80.00 for two adult tickets on my credit card), and I thought it would be a good idea to pick them up at the airport, so we did, and the girl there marked on the map where our hotel was. I also had printed out where the hotel was, and the information was in my computer bag.
The information people said - oh take the airport bus in to Plaza Catalina - it is just a short walk to your hotel. So I started to get in line for tickets, but I was just too tired and sore and couldn't stand there and wait for the other people to futz around with the machine. So we walked up to get a taxi. My grandson put the computer bag in the trunk of the cab. When he asked me whether I should do this I started to say no and then it was already in there and the lid shut.
Now the taxi driver who speaks no English wants to know where we are going. I say the Reding Hotel. He says there are four Redings. What is the address. Well, I don't remember exactly off the top of my head. So he gets out his maps and looks (while driving of course). He didn't appear to ever find it.
I said it was near the Plaza Catalonia, and eventually he got us there. The hotel web page said 25 € and the information person in the airport said 27 €, but actually it was 20.10 € and he said to skip the 0.10€. I'm not sure how he got 20 € because the meter said it was 14 €, but he added 6 € to it. I think there is a surcharge for the airport and for the luggage.
The hotel has a big glass door which you have to be buzzed in by the desk person. We checked in and I paid for the first night (134 €). She explained that the breakfast was not included and the buffet would be 13€ each. I thought that was a lot for breakfast, and anyway they are not open on Sunday when we leave.
While I tried again to get the computer to boot, and eventually was successful when I went back to the last known successful boot, my grandson watched a pool match which seemed to be broadcast in German. I was relieved that the computer would work, but still I don't know exactly what the problem was, particularly since the desk clerk lady said I would have a hard time getting it fixed on Friday afternoon - forget Saturday.
I transferred all the new photos and the stuff I really need to have to the thumb drive. I wanted to call the desk with a question but could not find out how to do it, so I sent my grandson down to ask and also to ask how to log into the hotel system. She sent him back with the password, but she gave him a card with the hotel's phone number on it and that's not what I meant at all. I wanted to know how to phone her from the room phone.
I left the computer on standby to charge, so we left one of the room keys in the room so that the outlets would still work. I had decided that as jet lagged as we were, and with me being really tired and sore, it would be better to do one loop of the bus right away.
I think the desk clerk was miffed that we didn't buy the tickets from her. and all she said was that it would be up at the Plaza Catalonia. We then discussed the different Spanish accents, because she says Platha instead of Plaza. My grandson said it wasn't that cold and that we wouldn't need our coats.
We walked up to a square, but it wasn't the right square.
I didn't know exactly what the buses looked like except they were a double decker with an open top. We watched some kids skateboarding in the square
and then saw one of the buses and walked up to it, but it was a different company. Eventually after walking around quite a bit, we found and boarded the blue line bus and went up to the top deck.
He was WRONG about the temperature - was quite cool and windy up there.
But we did the whole blue loop aside from the last two stops when I said we should go downstairs - my teeth were chattering and besides if we weren't downstairs I wouldn't be able to get down the steps in time to get off.
When we got off the bus, I was completely disoriented about how to get back to the hotel, but my grandson thought he knew how we came. And he did. He walked ahead of me a couple of paces and then would stop and wait for me to catch up.
We had seen some kids with backpacks running around the "Platha" from the bus as he thought they might have been thieves. So I clutched my little fanny pack close although it didn't really have much in it. The problem with backtracking was we hadn't gone the most efficient way. Eventually we got to a place where I recognized the hotel, and we cut off about three blocks that we walked before.
We were too tired to go out to eat, so my grandson ate the peanut butter sandwiches that his mother packed for him in case he couldn't find anything to eat (He and his mom are both sort of picky eaters)
My grandson took 72 pictures today. I had a total of 172, but that counts from waking up this morning on the plane and going through two airports.
I went to bed this morning after writing the last two emails at about 2 am.
Tomorrow it is back to the bus.