Sunday, February 28, 2016

Getting to Barcelona

We knew flying out of the Israeli airport would take a while, so we planned accordingly.  Jenn arranged for a shuttle to come four hours before our 7:20am flight since it takes an hour to get to the airport.  We were grateful for the shuttle, but that meant getting up and out of the door at 3:00am. We were two tired Hogans.

There was a glitch with the computers at the airport and our flight ended up being delayed a half an hour.  When we arrived at the airport in Istanbul, boarding had already finished for our flight to Barcelona, but luckily, there were so many people on our flight from Israel who were trying to catch the plane to Barcelona that they held it for us.  Thank goodness!

There was a little excitement when we were on the metro from the airport into the city. There was a man with four large packages and backpacks.  He got everything onto the metro and put it by the door so that he could get everything off quickly when he got to his stop.  He took a seat nearby.  At the next stop, another man got on the metro and sat next to the first guy.  We made it a few stops and then the second guy got up and got off the metro.  On the way off the metro, he grabbed one of the first guy's bags and ran.  The first guy ran after him and, as the second guy was trying to jump the fence, he dropped the bag.  While all of this was going on, the doors to the metro closed with the rest of the guy's stuff on the metro.  Luckily, the metro driver heard the guy banging on the door and opened them back up.  It could have been a lot worse, but it was an exciting introduction to Barcelona!

Once we made it to our AirBnB, it around three and were so hungry that neither of us could think about anything except getting some paella or tapas.  Our AirBnB was located right downtown and close to a bunch of restaurants and bars.  There were a few that were advertising two tapas and a plate of paella for 10 euros!  We were so happy to get something to eat that both of us just sat there and ate.  No talking allowed. Once we got some food and sangria/beer in our stomachs, we headed back to the AirBnB.  While at lunch, we both realized not only how hungry we were, but also how tired we were.  Neither of us napped, but it was nice to spend a few hours relaxing.

That night, we had been invited to another Olmsted Scholar's house for dinner.  They were going out of town the next day, but wanted to meet us and swap stories.   Jonathon, the scholar, is a class behind Mike, but was already in Barcelona because he chose to go straight there and do language study, so they had been in country almost as long as us.  Amy, Jonathon's wife, cooked authentic Spanish food and we had so much fun with them.  We ended up staying for four hours, chatting, enjoying good food and swapping stories.  We were definitely bummed that we didn't get to spend more time with them that weekend, but we had a lot of fun meeting them and their two children.

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