Sunday, August 12, 2012

Getting There -- Barcelona

You'd think being Canadian I would long for heat but D and I aren't typical in many ways.  The "dream" for many Canadians is to be able to go somewhere warm to spend the winters, thus the whole "snowbird" phenomenon.  The ultimate dream would be to retire in a tropical place where the cost of living is lower and you could live like kings.  Costa Rica is popular for many. 

Tropical wouldn't work for us.  I would want to be in a place where I could spend most of the day outside without sweating like heck.  Or be forced to stop moving and hide away inside for 4 hr every afternoon.  Seriously I sweated more standing and walking on this trip then I ever did running 10K. (probably more info than you'd cared to know)  No need of Bikram Yoga for me! 

It had been 5 yr since I last set foot in Barcelona.  We had good memories of our short visit and made a mental note to go back.  I've tried to fit it in since then and hadn't been able to for one reason or another (usually apartment related) until now.  I wondered whether I'd still find the city fascinating as I've been to a number of places since then. 

If D was a betting man, he would have bet I wouldn't have been attracted to Barcelona as much as I remembered.  And he would have lost because it even surprised me how much more I enjoyed the city this time around.  When I called D to let him know I had arrived, I wasn't able to contain my excitement.

The flight part of my trip started and ended on a high note (not counting my sock incident).   I don't know if it was marketing ploy by KLM but I was lucky enough to be upgraded to their World Business Class both ways! 

It was such a luxury.  I didn't find out until I was boarding and my boarding pass scan beeped loudly and they went to grab a new boarding pass and told me I had been upgraded.  You should have seen the look on my face.  The cost of that class of flight had I purchased it would have been around $4500!  I had paid for economy comfort at a cost of about $1400.   And I got a couple of their miniature Delft Blue houses as a gift on top of already superior service and many various perks. 

Being able to lie down made a bigger difference than I would have guessed.  Even though I didn't sleep, I felt very rested.  If you are going to have extra energy,  Barcelona is a great place to be.  Hungry at 1 am?  No problem.  I didn't end up going to sleep until almost 4:30 am the first day. 


  1. Welcome back from what initially appears to be another interesting trip to the other side of the Atlantic. Looking forward to your reviews of Barcelona. It's been many a year since I've set foot in that country.

    Any sign of Spain suffering from the Euro crisis or does it just make good headlines for the media?

    I'm with you and D on not rushing to escape the winter months. It's nice to live geographically where we can truly enjoy the 4-seasons.

    Each one is special in its own right and provides unique opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in a variety of ways. I really enjoy each one and while the passing of one leads sometimes to regret of the things we didn't do, it's nice to know it will be back again in roughly 8-9 months.

    Like yourself a while back I've made the decision to work part-time. It is about the quality of time spent pursuing one's interests versus the quantity of time spent in the workplace.

    looking forward to the fall season that will soon be upon us, yet enjoying these late summer days to the fullest.

  2. Thanks! How did your sailing races go? I read there wasn't too much wind in Chicago. D was up north visiting some friends and saw part of the Georgian Bay Regatta.

    No sign of recession whatsoever in Barcelona that I saw. I was kinda shocked to see on TV the rally and rail strike in Madrid. It was as if I was in a different country. Italy however was a different story. I'll elaborate in a future post.

    Our seasons help keep the bug population down too. Another reason why I wouldn't make it in a full time tropical locale.

    Have you considered blogging? It would make for a real interesting read. Thought I'd take this opportunity to plant a seed or 2...

  3. Great... thanks for asking.

    Chicago Mac went well. Placed first in our section, 10th in Chicago Mac cup division. A great race after a slow start. Within 15 min of crossing start line, flew spinnaker(s) entire distance up the lake to the finish line. Didn't touch the genoa until the delivery back home. Unusual weather as well... t-shirts and shorts; usually we have to get into our foul weather gear at some point during the race.

    GB regatta was a lot of fun as well. More emphasis on the social aspect of racing versus that of the Chicago Mac. Got to see some new sailing grounds by participating in the Regatta this year. The Midland bay area is like the 400 HWY compared to where I normally sail.

    Off to the N Channel for a few weeks of gunkholing and hiding from society. Sept is a wonderful time to be north. Anchorages are not crowded, water is warm and we occasionally get wind... good thing for a sailboat!

    Not sure about the blogging thing... don't know if I'd have much to say that would interest others. I'll give it some thought over a morning coffee & bailey's once we're on the hook.

    BTW... looking to your review of Cinque Terre... see if it matches that of my daughter.


  4. Congratulations on going part time. It sounds like you are already making the most of your new found time.

    Super sailing results!! I know what you mean about the Midland bay area. Penetang isn't that much better.

    We've kayaked there in the past and boaters aren't always observant of us little guys. I have a mini air horn attached to my life jacket for those potentially close moments where a whistle just won't cut it.

    My review is coming, after Amalfi. I can just imagine how beautiful Sept in the N Channel is. Hard to beat fall up north. We are lucky to have it in our backyard.