Left at 7pm. Went to sleep at 10pm. Slept an hour. Woke up at 5am. OK, so this is only my second time, first in 4 years, flying east. Got some very tired first impressions of the city as I got off the bus: Plaça Espanya – wow! down into the subway, with luggage… whatever happened to escalators? Finally made it to the hotel in the afternoon.
After finally taking a nap (about 9-11am EDT) I went into the city, to Plaça Catalunya and La Rambla. I walked around there for a few hours, down the Rambla, along the waterfront, and through the little alleys. I especially like the labyrinth of alleys. There are all kinds of little shops and cafes and backs and fronts of churches and street performers in random places. I ended up at the Catedral de Barcelona purely by accident. The cathedral is quite magnificent inside though unfortunately it’s undergoing renovation on the outside. I could probably spend days more just wandering in that area.
My sense of time was completely thrown off as I was walking around, not just by the jetlag, but also by my habit of using a cellphone for a watch. The cell doesn’t work here — it doesn’t even give me the time. So I walk around time-blind — it’s a rather strange feeling, and makes it all the more difficult to eat the right meal at a reasonable time.
Being in a spanish speaking area is really strange to me. My brain is saying “language I can’t quite understand… french mode! french mode!” I think if I were to manage to say anything in spanish other than “si” or “gracias” it would come out in a french pronunciation (which would in turn have an american accent).
I came back to the hotel fairly early, but was the most exhausted I’ve been in a long time. Before crashing, there was just the little exercise for my roommate and I to figure out how to turn off the lights in the hotel room, almost as fun as the earlier exercise of figuring out how to turn them on. Now to spend the week engineering Kubuntu Karmic just a little less intensely than the people who put together this place.