05.05.2013 - 05.05.2013
Moving Day May 5, 2013
Paris to Barcelona
We woke up at around 8:30 am and our only task was to get ready for the trip to Barcelona. We had to have a “you build” breakfast as we had some leftover food that Susan was loathe not to consume whether we wanted to or not. So my task while Susan showered was to prepare a six pack of eggs, three inches of a dried out baguette, and a couple hundred grams of some Swiss Cheese like cheese. Let's just say we had breakfast.
Susan had made arrangements for a taxi ride to the airport leaving the flat at ten o'clock so we weren't rushed. The fact that we could just get directly from point A to point B was a relief despite the fact we had gotten along just fine using buses, shuttles, metros and good ol' foot power to that point. The ride to CDG, being on a Sunday, was lightning fast and the fare was at the lowest estimated by the company.
I'm writing this a day or two later, but I recall this was the day that Susan dropped some dire news on me. Apparently I'm not on the starting rotation of photographers anymore, and have been relegated to bull pen relief only when Susan's shutter arm is fatigued. It was explained to me that shots of the Eiffel Tower were sub-standard. I was the starter that day . . .(sm: there was nothing wrong with the photos, there were just very few of them—not a lot of images for a once in a lifetime viewing)
On arrival at the Barcelona airport we were greeted with something we have never experienced before. Waiting with smiling and anticipatory looks were Cathy and Carlos, our personal escorts at the departure area. A big red sign proclaiming: “Welcome to Barcelona Susan and Mark!!”. We felt like celebrities. Lovely people who expertly drove us to the apartment and later to the cruise terminal for a very nominal cost.
Our apartment was the most unusual of all we have rented to date. It has to have been two or three hundred years old. The kitchen was approximately 4' x 6' with full cabinets on two walls and a door on another. The door had an opening with no glass. Very odd. Water to the space was limited to cold only, so washing dishes required boiling water and doing it like on the side of a lake before entering the tent for the night. The bathroom was literally an outhouse. You had to open an exterior set of french doors (8' high) and step into the outside air of the city, take two steps and enter the bathroom which thankfully had running water (hot included) and electricity. We were on the second level and the stone steps (from the front door up to the apartment) over the centuries had literally worn down the surface of the treads so that they had a dip in the center and the tread now tipped around twenty degrees toward the bottom. But the odd thing was that it had high speed internet access and a 32” high definition television.
That reminds me of the old days when people would ask: “How many rolls of film did you go through on your vacation?” The answer was perhaps four maybe five rolls, and that meant you were busy. Now we ask how many gigs do you have on your SD cards? In our case over one hundred. We have two smart phones with us, two tablets, and the camera's two SD cards (in addition to the memory of the laptop where we will backup the photos). How things have changed.
I fell asleep watching two of one hundred and six channels that were televised in English. One was was a children's version of The Disney Channel, the other was the Discovery Channel. After careful deliberation I opted for the Discovery Channel and fell asleep on the couch watching a documentary on the conspiracy theorists' view that Area 51 back in the day was a large cover up by the USA of aliens and UFOs.
Tomorrow, Mariner of the Seas.