Staying Awake in Barcelona

Friday, August 23rd. We have now arrived in Barcelona. Once we had checked in to our room, we decided to accomplish two basic goals.

Goal number one: eat lunch.

Goal number two: buy stuff that we did not transport from Canada.

Both goals proved to be a bit difficult but not because of language. We found that almost everyone we encountered in Barcelona could speak English. And they could speak English surprisingly well.

Wandering around a tourist area looking for lunch is a task filled with possibilities. So many restaurants for only just one meal. Which one should we pick?

We settled on a lovely restaurant called Divinito. As we were in Spain, we elected to eat Italian. I’m not sure why. I had spaghetti, Matthew and Lorraine shared a pizza. I know, I know. We should have been more adventurous but we were also very jet lagged. I was surprised that I could even eat a lunch at 12 noon. We were still very much on Eastern Time. And Eastern Time was 6:00 am.

To pack light, we decided to purchase a few items in Barcelona. Things like toothpaste, sunscreen, deodorant, vitamins. We had to cover a lot of ground to find a place that sold these items at reasonable prices.

We entered a huge department store called El Corte Inglise. They had a grocery store in the lower level with all of the products we needed. Although it did take us a bit of time to interpret the packaging. A simple product like toothpaste can appear mysterious in a foreign language. When presented with several dozen varieties of product, from a number of unknown companies, it becomes an interesting challenge to pick one that will work. Fortunately, they did sell some products from North American companies. Colgate, for example, sells their products in Spain. And it did not take us very long to find other products that were similar to the ones we use in Canada.

I had read that we needed to be concerned about pickpockets in Barcelona. I wore a security pouch with the basics: a hundred Euros and my American Express card. No problems using American Express in Spain. No problems with pickpockets. We walked extensively through the downtown area and never once felt threatened or concerned. Barcelona is an amazing city to explore.

I did have one minor incident. A link on my watch had come loose and it was threatening to fall off my hand. We stopped at one jewellery store with the hope that someone could take a minute or two to tap the link back into place.

This was the type of jewellery store where they open an automatic door to let you in. A lovely lady came over to help us. When she noticed that the watch I was wearing was not a Rolex, she declined to provide any help.

All was not lost however. We went back to El Corte Inglise and someone there was kind enough to put the link back into place. Literally within a minute or so and at no charge.

We managed to explore many of the major sights of Barcelona and headed back to the hotel at around 7:00pm. We brought in room service as we were really too tired to try and find a restaurant.

We forced ourselves to stay awake until 9:00pm. I slept for ten hours. An incredible sleep. Probably one of the best sleeps in years.

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