I finally made it to Barcelona…the 1:10 flight on Vueling, though packed, took off and landed on time. It was a long walk from where we landed to the baggage claim, but the airport didn’t seem as packed as the Palma Airport…it was 2pm, siesta time, or maybe because the tourists who weren’t in Mallorca were in the taxi line in Barcelona (note to self…next time arrange a taxi pickup in advance). The line was by far the longest I’d seen in Barcelona, but moved quickly and I was in my hotel and checked in around 3:15.
Debbie Higa (from the San Diego area, who happened to schedule a vacation in Barcelona this week, randomly) and I arranged to hit about 45 minutes later so I walked down the hill to the club, and eventually our phones connected…we each had two and only two were talking to each other (we are connected now on What’s App…it works).
The people at the club were nice enough to get us a practice court for about 45 minutes, then the courts had to be prepared for matches, which begin at 6pm every day but Saturday (when there is a 5pm start).
I ran into a lot of acquaintances, Dagy from my German team & Fritz an international couple living currently in the south of Spain; a couple of Americans, Joe and George and others. Debbie needed a 55s doubles partner, and I had noticed an Italian player who had initially signed up for doubles but we had no way of contacting her…so Laura DiVittori, the only Italian for whom I had contact info came through (after asking her contacts for the number), they finally connected and are in the 55 doubles draw as the #2 seeds. International tennis networking.
We both tried out the “pulponeta” food truck (pulpo=octopus in Spanish and is big here), having pulpo sandwiches which were pretty good. As quiet as the club is before the tournament (except for all the children’s camps), it wakes up after dark.
I left the club around 8:30, before dark, dropped my stuff at the hotel and hoofed it to the nearby Lidl. Because…what’s not to like about viewing another Spanish located Lidl. It closed at 9:30, so I had to rush, but managed to get some lettuces and berries and drinks quickly.
The tournament hotel, Abba Garden, has a good gym, with plenty of room to stretch and pull exercise bands around, so I took advantage and ended a very long day with some good stretching.
Today Debbie and I hit at 11-12, and, while not as hot as Mallorca, it was plenty warm. After hitting and getting a warm up court for tomorrow, we went to the main clubhouse and got cold drinks (ice included without asking) and Debbie got a salad…it was air conditioned and we cooled off nicely.
After another gym session (complete with a guy who was FaceTiming without wearing headphones, while walking on the treadmill), I returned to Lidl, because I had missed the chocolate aisle last time, and that omission needed to be rectified. Normally I don’t see canned snails and Calamari with “American” sauce…or legs of pork in a store that’s sort of like a Trader Joe’s.
There were some cute houses on the street near the hotel.
Debbie plays tonight at 9pm, I don’t play till tomorrow. I’m going to go over for a bit and watch her and my doubles partner.
And that’s a wrap on my first day and a half in Barcelona…no sightseeing yet (possibly not this trip), but no sitting around either!