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Goood morning Barcelona... (With apologies to Adrian Cronaeur)

And it was indeed morning when we arrived in Barcelona. An overnight flight to anywhere in Europe is always interesting, and often exhausting. We knew that we were going to get into Barcelona in the morning, but not as late as we did.

Our United flight from Dulles International was delayed on the tarmac for nearly and hour due to bad weather along our route over the Atlantic Ocean. After what seemed an interminable wait, we finally took off...and watched our planned arrival time slip away. What was originally 7:45 a.m. Slipped to 8, and then 8:30 and then finally to about 9:05 when we landed.

Though we managed to make it through customs quickly (we just followed a line that was much, much shorter than the first one we were in), we had an extended wait for our baggage, which did make it (something we never take for granted). We were worried about the driver we hired to pick us up at the original time who was forced to wait for us. He was incredibly nice about the wait, but the timing forced us into one of Barcelona's known daily rush hours.

Once at our hotel, we dropped our luggage and headed off to again explore this magnificent city...until jet lag called us for a nap, albeit a short one. That was followed by a trip to the beach and a quiet dinner near the hotel. Now, it's off to bed for what we expect will be a very, very short night.

But before we do, a couple of thoughts:

  • On all of our previous flights to Europe we have always received an amenity kit with, at minimum, an eye shade, toothpaste and toothbrush. Not on United, or maybe not this flight We had bought upgrades seats so we thought there would be a kit. There wasn't. We even tweeted about it and a United representative tweeted back...but never answered the question, just hoped we will fly with them again. Maybe.

  • The adage about a sucker being born every minute is visible along the streets of many major cities where street vendors sell what appear to be name-brand products at ridiculously low prices. Do people really think you can get a Coach or Dolce& Gabbana purse, or Nike shoes for mere pennies on the dollar? The answer: Yes! On the way to the beach we passed dozens and dozens of vendors selling everything from keychains to purses to shoes to watches to athletic apparel. And business seemed to be booming. Maybe they might want to inspect the products a bit before they buy them. For example: One pair of New Balance shoes I saw had one shoe with the “N” backwards. Oops.

On to the ship Tuesday!

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