Published: July 10th 2008June 29th 2008
I had a very early start today. Dad and I left for London in the early hours of the morning and reached Gatwick in good time. I had a lot of time to kill at the airport so we had a leisurely breakfast and I bought a Spanish phrase book and an alarm clock (I can´t believe I left my clock behind - it´s probably the most vital thing when I have early starts for college each morning!!)
The flight was great. It was remarkably clear and as I had a window seat I had a great view of England as we left. There was very little cloud cover in general and I was able to see the ground below most of the time. I had beautiful views of the pyrenees as we flew over and then as we came into Barcelona we circled out to sea and then back inland so I got to see practically the entire city before I landed!
Barcelona airport was easy to get through. I followed the crowd and then followed a nice big arrow along the floor to baggage reclaim. It was a long walk but it was interesting - I saw
some unusual groups of people including a large group of teenage boys all wearing kilts and sombrearos!!! No idea what that was about! I made it to baggage claim and for the first time in my life had my suitcase come out almost at once. I grabbed my stuff and went out to find Ivan waiting for me. I was very relieved to see a familiar face in the crowd and it´s always nice to have someone to meet you when you land in a foreign country. Ivan was a perfect gentleman and insisted on taking my suitcase and escorting me to the right train. The train was a bit late leaving but it gave us plenty of time to chat and catch up on news. We took the train to the city centre where we got a taxi. Ivan has really been so helpful. As he put it Í´m really useful to have around. I speak Catalan and Spanish and am great at carrying suitcases!´
We arrived at my accomodation and I met my landlady and the two dogs and the cat who are currently residing with her as well. Then we set off to find International House
and lunch. International House proved tricky to find, mainly because Ivan is good at getting lost (hard to believe he lived in barcelona for 8 years!) When we did locate it I realised it would be simple to get to each day - just three metro stops away. We stopped for lunch at a nearby pasta restaurant and then wandered around the city. We walked down la Ramblas to the docks and saw Christopher Columbus pointing the way to ´America´ (according to my guide book the statue is actually pointing in the direction of Italy!)
We returned home and I said goodbye to Ivan who had to catch his train back to Girona. My landlady was out so I spent my evening unpacking and sticking up photos of home. My room is lovely and I have my own little balcony. The flat is nice in general - quite old with very high ceilings. I like the animals too and they have been great company!