Thursday, June 23, 2016

Decisions, Packing and TRAVELING


Wednesday, 22 June, 2016:

I could not sleep last night in part because of the excitement knowing that today I would be flying to my favorite city in Europe, BARCELONA!

As it turns out, this great city is fluent in Spanish, has good beaches, great historic sites and incredible, inexpensive cuisine.

 Another reason I have trouble
sleeping in Sweden

Please note that sunrise in Upplands Väsby occurred at 3:30 a.m., while sunset happens at 10:10 p.m. So much daylight makes it hard for me to get the recommended eight hours of rest daily.

Sunrise at 6:18 a.m.
Sunset at 9:28 p.m.

That's more like it!

The first order of business was to get my clothes washed. I thus boarded a bus at 6:20 a.m. to go over to Icelandia II where I still had free rein on the normally pay as you go washers and dryers.

I panicked when the door to this laundry area did not work as almost all of my underwear needed cleansing before the Barcelona flight at 5:20 p.m.

Although there is no time scheduled posted, I unilaterally decided that the laundry area did not open until 7:00 a.m.

I came back at 7:05 a.m. and voilà, the door magically opened.

Back home in Icelandia III, I now had to sort through all of my belongings in order to decide what to bring to Barcelona, what to leave in my big suitcase to bring home to California next week and what items to either throw away or giver to the local rescue mission.

Grueling I know, but it had to be done.

Another bus trip into town at about 11:30 a.m. and the local rescue mission had a ton of new used shoes and clothing in their coffers.

Next issue up, how to get to the Arlanda Airport to catch my plane to Barcelona?

Option A was to take a bus to the train station, catch a train to Märsta and then another bus to Arlanda. This would take a bit of time but was 100% cost free due to my ACCESS travel card.

Option B was to take the same bus to the train station but then catch the direct train to Arlanda. This would be faster than Option A but would incur a 61 Swedish crowns additional fee because the train to the airport is not covered by my ACCESS travel card.

Option C came out of the blue and was easily the best option for me.

Jesper and Lotta Douhan
a.k.a., Option C

These two have been so generous to me over that last eight weeks as their offer to pick me up and drive me to the airport was gratefully accepted.

Tack Så Mycket Douhans!

 With no one at the airport,
it took all of a minute to go
through airport security

Fueling Flight 1266 to
Barcelona was spacious

The flight was smooth, lasted a little over three hours and the man in front of me did not even think of reclining his seat.

Jason Serrano y Vino Tinto
I arrived safely

 Jorge Zaragoza
EAT YOUR HEART OUT!

I opted to try taking the Metro into Barcelona's city center from the airport for the first time instead of a bus.

BIG MISTAKE as it took nearly an hour and half to make what is normally a 30 minute bus ride. The big issue was about a 2o minute wait for the Metro to arrive at the airport followed by a 15 minute wait for my one transfer from the 9 Line to the 3 Line.

When I got off the last Metro, a man tried to pick my pocket. I felt his fingers, yelled at him as I whirled and hit him with my suitcase.

He said nothing and backed away quietly.

That was close.

After checking into the Hotel Nuevo Tiunfo, I needed sustenance.

This hotel is about two short blocks from one of my favorite little eating spots, Can Eusebio.

A Caña, Patatas Bravas
and a Tortilla Española
did the trick

All for only 6.25 Euros, which is about $8.50 USD.

It was after midnight and I needed some rest for a big first full day in Barcelona tomorrow.
  
 Pleasant Dreams

Reading Is FUNdamental

Just when you thought
Nordic Noir could not
possibly get any darker

I seriously considered suicide during the first 50 pages of this one.

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