Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Adventure: Arrival, Local Parks & City Center

(If you are new to Coffee, Crafts & Conversation, here is the basis of my recent posts: My next great adventure is beginning on July 10th, 2016 when I'll be flying to Spain for the summer. July & August will be spent with a wonderful family serving as their aupair and the last month I'll be hiking El Camino de Santiago [which is a 500 mile pilgrimage] through the country with a friend.)

Flight Itinerary

I said my final goodbyes on Sunday morning, 7/10/16 and left for the airport at 11AM. Made it through security with only one minor misunderstanding - long story short, TSA gained a brand new swiss army knife (sorry dad) and they now know I wasn't hiding anything else!

My flight from MSP to NYC took off at 1:30PM CST and the flight from NYC to BCN took off at 10PM EST. I felt SO blessed when I realized that my seat-buddy wasn't flying with us so I got both seats in the row to myself! It was ideal because I was able move to the window and stretch out for the entire over-night flight! #favor
We landed at 11:30AM EUP timezone on Monday, 7/11/16.

After getting my passport checked, I gathered my bags and headed towards the exit to meet my new host family... Anna, Marta and Albert where in the front of the crowd waiting with a bouquet of candy flowers and signs with my name! They are such a warm and welcoming family!

Made it!

Anna suggested I stay up all day in order to avoid jetleg so after lunch, we took a car ride to see the city from the mountain top.
Albert, myself and Marta
I wish you could see the vintage flats, 
colorful buildings, fast motorbikes, lush 
green mountains, and the perfectly blue ocean. 

First Full Day

Our big adventure for my first full day in the country was visiting a local park! Parks are ALL the rage in Barcelona with some pretty impressive arrangements. Albert and I visited one near the house while Anna and Marta ran an errand.

We met a new local mom from Oregon with two young daughters whose husband recently accepted a job with HP Corp in the area and two other aupairs.

After the park, Anna took the kids and I to the City Center to explore and get ice cream! It's walking only in the City Center between shops, movie theater and restaurants. The streets are narrow and old, built centuries ago with such careful craftsmanship. The character & beauty is unparalleled. As the main focal point of the City is an old Cathedral built in the 9th Century (front is pictured below). Monks lived on the complex up until the late 1800's and now it's used for Mass and tourism.

Cathedral - more photos to come!
The rest of the day consisted of avoiding the direct sunlight (okay, thats impossible) and relaxing.
Enjoying a great book, Spanish coffee and the hot sun!
So, when in Barcelona
  • Take in the view
  • Visit a park
  • Admire the architecture
  • Wear sunscreen

God Bless America