At 7:30am, local time, Aeropuerto de Barcelona welcomed us to the Catalunya region. We toughed it out for our first several hours in the city by consuming a caffe and baguette con jamón. But later, after an hour of wandering through the labyrinthine streets in the Barri Gòtic with all our luggage to find our short-stay apartment (more on this later), we found ourselves fast asleep within 30 minutes of arrival.
...fast forward 5 hours...
We leave our apartment, which is situated on the edge of sketchy town. Or as Rick Steve's would say, "These characters don't need the palm trees to be shady." But not to worry Mom, we feel very safe and are enjoying the diversity (and keeping our own hands in our pockets).
We are staying in the heart of the "Old City". The architecture here is medieval and the sites are nearby. Above we are posing in front of the Christopher Columbus monument.
Just beyond Las Ramblas (the main drag in town, Champs Élysées-esque) is the harbor, which was apparently beautified for the 1992 Olympics. Beautiful it was. Imaging we were 45 years in the past, we drank sangria and ate tapas on the harbor - just as my father did when he was last here.
Later, we did what every other person in Barcelona was likely doing: drank sangria, ate tapas, and watched world cup. Thank goodness Italia at least tied - otherwise I would have had a very angry Italian-American on my hands. Tomorrow we plan to watch España play Switzerland. I have high expectations of over-the-top enthusiasm from Spanish fans.