Barcelona Practice Day 2

Draws are here.

Today was our first full day in Barcelona and it was pretty busy. After a late breakfast (quite a bit different in some ways from an American breakfast though there were eggs, bacon and toast…but there were also fruit, lots of good looking (not prepackaged) sweet rolls, and as a nod to the British, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms (which were good).

Erin Boynton and I went to hit, hoping to get a court at 11, but we ended up with one at noon, as there were only two practice courts allocated despite there being dozens of courts (many were busy with kids camps though). The main tournament area, which looked dead yesterday, was bustling on Monday…final painting touch ups, new furniture was being unpacked and arranged, tents were being erected…it was busy! They redid the bathrooms by the courts too and made some other upgrades.

After we hit from 12-1, we headed to El Corte Ingles for some food and a SIM card for my phone. (Here’s an article about how international data works with Verizon, ATT and T-Mobile in the USA). I bought one from Vodafone which I believe has 28 days of data for 20 euros (just over $20)…140 GB, 20 of which can be used for roaming outside of Spain…but I can add more if needed…I think. And we got food!

Then it was back to the hotel (we took the Metro/Subway…travel tip, the T-10 card is good for 10 rides for just over a euro each…but is good for only one person at a time..but it’s transferable, just can’t travel together with only one card.)

We returned (uphill walk, about 15-20 minutes) to the hotel. Erin had to consult with a junior player regarding a shoulder issue while I went to Lidl, a discount chain in Europe. This one was brand new and HUGE. The prices were good. Lidl is somewhat like the European Aldis. It had an excellent fresh bread selection which was cheap, decent produce, 72 cent dark chocolate bars (100 grams, about 3.5 ounces) and what looked to be a good selection of cheeses, wine, and nuts, lots of frozen foods too. And of course a pretty large canned shellfish department, including snails! But I don’t have anything but a mini fridge…so salad and fruit were on the menu.

On the way to the Lidl, there was a view of the city all the way to the Mediterranean.

There’s a pretty good gym (with excellent A/C in the gym…not so excellent in the rooms so I bought a fan, then of course saw a cheaper one at Lidl…). I did my maintenance exercises and stretching and that took up the rest of the day.

The order of play is not out for tomorrow, hopefully we both play. This tournament tends to stretch things out over the week so there are lots of players still in town for the matches on Saturday night.

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