Finally…travelling by bubble!

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Day 2: Arrival in Barcelona
On September 9th, many people’s first days of school, we woke up, left our spot at the Tryp Diana Hotel at the Madrid airport and flew on Iberia (without our friend Daniel this time but still some complimentary champagne-only for those who weren’t sleeping-wink, wink) to Barcelona. After a good snooze on the plane there seemed to be a bit of a snafu about which luggage bay would find our luggage and we wound up having to go through security again and head to the international terminal to collect our luggage…confusing; but we went with the flow and shortly sorted ourselves out and chose to hop a taxi to the beautiful Wilson Boutique Hotel in downtown Barcelona. When we arrived at this quaint art deco hotel we were met by two lovely people who helped us to our gorgeous room equipped with free wi-fi for our computer (Albus if you don’t already know his name) to work and a modern art feel to the whole place. There’s a chair that looks like a flower on the first floor and a couch that looks like logs covered in fabric in the lobby plus a huge ball that looks like a kids climbing gym with lights inside that makes it look like a huge Christmas ornament.
We checked ourselves in and set out for the metro and some lunch on Las Ramblas one of Barcelona’s most interesting streets with the most unique people.
If you’ve never been here it’s inhabitants remind you of a cross between the street people at Venice Beach, California and the village in NYC at Halloween. Street performers line the streets as statues, as mimes, as anything they can create and some even wow you with their soccer skills and dance routines. We had lunch at Choquito and ate typical Spanish cuisine of tapas and paella. The tapas were yummy; I had fried veggies (what could be bad, right) and Mathew first had an unsuccessful attemp at small fried fish and decided that he couldn’t eat something that although dead was still looking at him; and exchanged it for a Spanish omelet which was super. His paella was chicken and mine veggies and it was outstanding; for his first time trying Paella it was a complete success. We filled our bellies and then thought we should walk off some of those carbs and trundled down to the beautiful marina that Barcelona is so famous for which was of course complete with tons of boats, people and a plastic bubble filled with air that you could go in and try to well…’walk on water’. So of course…how could you ignore a bubble right? For those of you who remember my zorbing experience in New Zealand; you’ll remember that of course I found it irresistible to jump into a plastic bubble and be thrown down a hill. Well, let’s just say that traveling by bubble is awesome but not for the feint of heart! It took many tries, many falls, many tumbles, incredible laughter and there were a few small successes but my husband had the time of his life watching and of course taking photos {Mat note: I’ve still got stomach cramps from laughing so hard) of his ridiculous looking exuberant wife trying to ‘travel by bubble’! Well, there were no inhalers needed and 7 Euro spent but let’s just say that an unbelievable time was had by all!
After that exhausting but fully worthwhile experience (one you only tell your mother about after it’s over so she knows that you’re fully okay and have survived the bubble) we headed back up Las Ramblas passing a market of all fresh fruits, veggies, meats and colorful candy that we had gone into earlier. This was a beautifully colored market that looked like the shuk in Jerusalem or if you’ve never been think the colors of the Great Barrier Reef in Finding Nemo and you’d be close. There was candy as far as the eye could see that would make Ron Weasley skip the trolley cart on the Hogwarts Express and run as fast as he could to this market. There were ripe fruits and veggies some of which were unfamiliar to us, fruit juices that looked like they could quench anyone’s thirst, meat that unmistakably hung from hooks that made me avert my eyes and other treats for all. We wandered through and grabbed a bottle of water which we shortly turned into iced tea courtesy of our crystal light packs (by the way, this came from the Higgin’s first aid kit-Mathew’s of course-bandaids and crystal light packs…what more could a bloke need, right?) and we were on our way. We then stopped into a local supermarket for some bottles of water for the room and some salads for dinner and came home.
We checked some emails, had our dinner in the quaint cafeteria and then headed upstairs to bed ready for tomorrow to be another day in Barcelona…what a way to spend September 9th!
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