Hola Espana

This morning I left rainy Essen, Germany for sunny Barcelona, Spain. I flew Vueling airlines (affiliated with Iberia), a discount airline that had the best nonstop flight today to Barcelona from Dusseldorf. I think Sunday may not be a great day to fly in Germany in particular. There was one woman at the check in counter for the entire plane full of people. And the way some of the fares work, is that a cabin bag (such as a small roller bag…anything that won’t fit under the seat) has to be checked. I got there early when there were only 30 minutes of people in front of me. But the check in counter only opened a bit less than two hours before the flight was to take off. By the time I’d checked my bags, the line was several hundred feet long. On the other hand, there were few people at security, most of the TSA equivalents were standing around. The security guy though where my bags were inspected decided to check everyone’s bags for what I assume was explosive residue. I still had plenty of time though and the flight was on time. By noon I was in warm Barcelona and at my hotel by 1pm.

Long line to check in this morning in Dusseldorf
Plane to Barcelona is at the gate

After checking in and organizing my stuff, I walked to the Reial Club do Polo de Barcelona to meet the Guille, the son-in-law of members of my club at home. We’d hit once before when his family visited there, and they’ve since moved back to Barcelona. We had a good hit. The tournament is using the same Wilson balls as were used at the French Open and they were good to hit with, a little less flighty than the heavy duty Wilson US Open balls used three years ago. They seemed more durable too.

After hitting, I walked to a gas station to get more water and snacks (all other stores are closed on Sundays) and then back to the hotel.

Avenida Diagonal, Barcelona on a quiet Sunday afternoon

I play my first match tomorrow at 6pm.

Draws and results are here.

3 responses to “Hola Espana

  1. Carolyn,
    I thoroughly enjoy reading about your travels and, of course, your tennis experiences. I admire your adventurous spirit. I liked your report of the wrong train travail, but you solved it and were unfazed by the misadventure. I spent a year teaching in Denmark on a Fulbright Grant in 1994-5, and traveled alone by train, planes, and automobile around Europe. That year changed my life. Are you using GPS to find your destinations? Do you plan out everything before setting out or do you leave a little meander time? Do you know the languages or do you have a translator to communicate with locals? Do you exchange currency prior to leaving the country or do you primarily use ATMs? Do you ever get food poisoning or are you extra careful? Do you reserve housing beforehand or does someone set you up and you just let them know you have arrived? Ever have phone issues? How do you get laundry done on the road?
    I really would like to know.

    Gwenda Ward

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