Wednesday, May 09, 2012
The food was ok. The only complaint we really had was that there was no audio so without movies to watch, it made for a longer trip.
For anyone flying into Barcelona, here is some good information.
A taxi from the airport into town will cost you around 50 Euros. OUCH!
Instead of a taxi, follow the signs to pick up baggage, then follow the signs for buses.
Go outside and pick up a bright blue Aero Bus that will take you into the center of town.
This bus cost 5,65 euros each - a great savings!
The first stop is Plaza Espana.
There is a little map above the door inside the bus so you can see where it goes.
Then they stop at another Plaza and a few other stops right in town.
From Plaza Espana, it is just a few steps to the Metro, which you can identify by the bright red triangular or oval signs. You can purchase tickets from machines down in the Metro basement. You can buy 1 ticket, 10 tickets, or day, week, month tickets. You will insert your ticket into the turnstile, then retreive it as the gate opens.
Be VERY careful in the metro. Keep your hand on your wallet at all times. You may want to put a lock on your backpack until you get on the Camino to discourage busy pickpocket hands. Even our Pension owner cautioned us about pickpockets and thieves in Barcelona.. so please be careful.
I booked Pension Peiro here in Barcelona. It was 45 Euros for a double private room. It is old and a bit rough around the edges, but the beds are clean. There is a sink and extra blankets in our room, as well as a nice balcony. We share a shower and toilet with 2 other rooms, but so far, I haven´t run into another person. The water is luciously hot!
The management is exceptionally kind here. They have an ordinador ...computer... that you can use for 1 euro for 20 minutes, but the desk clerk told me where there were two computer shops ....locutori... where I can use the computer for 1 euro for an entire hour, so here I am.
Also, I had to purchase bus tickets for the May group and he let me use his private computer, then he telephoned to make a correction for me when I booked two too many tickets. How nice was that¨. I can´t find the question mark on this keyboard. haha
Let´s see.. what else... the weather is warm and sunny here, with just a few clouds in the sky, so I am going to assume it will be HOT by the time you walkers arrive end of May. I wouldn´t bring too many cold weather clothes at all.
We looked for a Chinese Store, which is like the Dollar Stores in the USA. There, we purchased a fork, a sharp knife, and a corkscrew each for 1 Euro, a change purse for 1,20 euros, and a pair of black Crocs for 4 euros.
I was able to get to the correos - post office - and recognized it by its bright yellow and blue sign. Here´s some good information. When you go into the post office, find a machine that spits out numbers. You will need to know if you are sending or receiving mail and push the appropriate button. Then hold on to your number until they call you. I mailed a box with my tent, my blow up pad, tent stakes, and two guidebooks from Barcelona to Pamplona and it cost about 8 euros. Not bad and better than lugging it all the way to Pamplona.
We couldn not find Fels Naptha for washing our clothes, but I did find some Cocoanut Soap in a bar that is used for baby clothes. It made great suds and washed out easily, so we are happy with it. We hung our stretchy clotheslines out on the balcony and the clothes were nearly dry this morning.
Arriving in Madrid.
If your first stop is in Madrid, you will be in Terminal 1,2,3, or 4. When you first arrive, you will follow the herd to customs, where they do not check your luggage, but check only your passport. Then you go into another room where you again follow signs to the indoors trains that will take you to your next terminal. If you are catching a bus from the terminal, go to an information booth, where usually someone will speak English and help direct you to your bus stop.
If you arrive in Spain via Madrid, then take a connecting flight, you will have to go through security again. You will be asked to place everything in a box and go through a scanner. We opted out of the scary scanner and asked for a pat-down. It was the most exciting thing I´ve experienced in 10 years . hahaha!
I guess our walking sticks were suspicious because the TSA decided to open the box.
Well... I guess that´s all for now. I have photos I´ll post later but cannot do it from here. Tomorrow morning we take our bus to Toulouse and the next day to Moissac. I´ll post again as soon as I can find a computer.