October 14, 2004

Basking in Barcelona

We had an uneventful flight to Barcelona, leaving the freezing, freezing Berlin behind us (mercifully). Barcelona weather was a huge improvement - sunny and pleasant (thankfully).

At the weigh-in at the airport, we learned that our packs have reached an all-time high - tipping the scales at 18.7 and 18.9 KG a piece. That´s about 42 pounds! It is definitely time to lose the baggage if you know what I mean.

Unfortunately, housing in Barcelona proved to be a bit more challenging than we are used to. Afoot with our ridiculously overweighted packs, it took 3 hostel visits before we found one with availability and a decent price (this is when a phone would have come in handy). And more unfortunately, most hostels are located on the 3rd or 4th floor of buildings, so we were lugging our bags up multiple flights of stairs. Get the picture?

As soon as we got settled, we headed out for some celebratory Sangria. And as a birthday treat, Jim took me shopping for the day. This is a big deal, as he has proved time and time again on this trip that he is NO girl. He is no fun to shop with - he doesn´t shift through the racks of clothes helping you find the perfect "something" or test out every hand lotion available for the subtle differences in texture and smell, nor does he follow you to the dressing room making himself available for an immediate opinion or to see if you need a different size in anything.

As the fates would have it, he had more shopping karma than I. But I did manage to find a skirt so I could wear my super fabulous boots from Turkey out to dinner. I can´t believe we didn´t get a picture of that!

We had dinner (yet another splurge) at Set Portes, a Barcelona institution that opened in 1836 and specializes in paella. It lived up to the hype - undoubtedly the best paella we have ever had.

Family Van Sprocket at dinner

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