I have now officially been in Spain for almost two weeks and I have yet to write a blog post. In my defense we didn’t havve internet for a while, and then we were out a lot, and then my grandmother passed so there just hasn’t been a god time to sit down and really reflect on my first week here.
We left Frankfurt, Germany around 8pm and arrived in Barcelona, Spain at about 10pm. It was a stress free, short flight…at first. We got off the plane and walked through the airport to baggage claim in relatively high spirits. We sat, and waited for the luggage to be unloaded, and we started to gather our things. Now because my God family is moving to Spain permanently, they have a lot of bags to keep track of. We got most of them, but there was one missing. So we waited, and waited, and waited some more until the airport was almost empty and there were just a few stray bags going round and round in a continual circle. We took stock of everything and discovered that, of course, the missing bag was the bag with all the expensive recording equipment, (Luckily my God father is smart enough to keep a lock on his equipment case). So my God father stood in line for an hour or so just to be told that the luggage got left in Frankfurt, but would be on the first flight the next morning. Tired, and annoyed we left the airport and called the hotel shuttle to pick us up. We finally got in the van around 11 pm and, luckily we had a very kind driver. He didn’t speak much english but we knew enough Spanish to communicate. After getting tot he hotel and getting settled for the night we went down to the little store in the lobby of the Barcelona Best Western (which is beautiful by the way highly recommend it) and bought sandwiches and water. For five of us it came to almost 50 Euro which is ridiculous for pre made sandwiches and bottles of water, but beggars can’t be choosers. I called my father and chatted for a bit and then drifted off into a very comfortable sleep.
The next morning we were out the door by 10am to meet the man who owns the house we have rented. He had graciously offered to pick us up from the hotel and take us to the house, but as soon as I saw his compact, four passenger car I looked at my oldest G-Brother and said, “There’s no way we are all fitting in THAT…” and I was right. 20 minutes, and a lot of failure to communicate later, I found myself sitting in the Best Western lobby waiting for the boys to get dropped off and for my G-father and the owner to come back and pick me up. I would say I was there a good three or four hours, but I had wifi so who’s complaining? Plus I had lunch at the hotel restaurant which, while a little expensive, was incredibly delicious and my waiter was a very nice man who forgave my poor Spanish and made conversation with me as far as I could communicate. Eventually I was picked up and we made our way to the house.
We are staying in a lovely little house in Torrelles de Foix which is about forty minutes outside of Barcelona by car. It is a neat little town with close set building and little alleyways where people hang their clothes out their windows and on lines across the sky.There is one little market with a meat counter in the back, and I’m pretty sure we now own the only box of cereal in the entire town. There is also a Panderia owned by a wonderful man named Pedro, and a meat and wine shop owned by a coupe names Jaime and Marcella. There are maybe two thousand people in the whole town and we have met a lot of them. Inclusing an Australian (that old travelers joke about Aussies being everywhere is so on the money).
The first time we went out we met Jaime and Marcella who let us try every one of their meats so we knew what we liked and wanted to buy. Next we met Pedro who is very kind and always up for a chat even though he speaks no English. then there is the restaurant/bar that serves the best coffee I’ve ever had in my entire life, where a young woman works who speaks Spanish, and apparently French as we learned after she served a french couple one night, but no English. Basically no one speaks English but they are all so incredibly kind and patient with our poor Spanish.
We also live about fifteen minutes out of Villa Franca which is a decent sized town where we go to buy groceries and essentials for the house. I can’t tell you how many times we have stopped to ask directions and someone has just dropped what they are doing to take us to where we are going. We even met an Englishman who took us to two different places to find Visa information, and THEN found us in a grocery store later to give more ideas on the solution to some of our problems. People here are so kind it’s staggering.
This post in getting incredibly long so I will save my Barcelona trip for another day, but my conclusion so far is that Spain is lovely and so are its people.