By the end of my flight from Buenos Aires to Frankfurt, I had made the decision never to fly Lufthansa again (still booked to Japan on it though); very poor service, unforgivable food, cabin design for the staff not the passengers, bed almost has hard as nails (and I am well padded).
Very long distances to cross in Frankfurt airport from arrival gate to departure gate – took me over an hour of continuous walking with one slight queue for passport quick stamping. The only event of interest was that I delayed other passengers. Security held me up after my x-ray and organised for a personal padding down in a booth. My travel vest with all its hidden zippers and cards and passport blocked me out. Now I know to take it off at Frankfurt when I go to Japan. Was most excited when I ran into people I knew – the Italian couple from the ship were making their way through the airport on their way home.
By contrast, I loved the flight to Barcelona (also Lufthansa) because of the space, good service, colourfully presented food, perfect freshness and cooking and great flavour. Then the glorious spectacle; as we left the French coast near Marseilles, I could see the snow-capped Pyrenees above the clouds.
We flew southwards out at sea parallel to the Spanish coast. City after city. Cliffs. Sensational.Then big beautiful Barcelona spread out under the sun.
No customs/immigration clearance of my suitcase. Just a domestic flight forgetting some people are travelling not just from other countries but other continents. Guess it was xrayed to within an inch of its life at Frankfurt. Transfer car waiting. Learnt more about the Catalan versus Spanish situation.
Great hotel receptionist at this boutique wine hotel (who mostly speaks Catalan). He gave me lots of excellent info including vegetarian restaurants close by. Ate my first ‘proper’ meal at Hummus in nearly a month. I loved walking the streets last evening; architecture often like down town 19th century Sydney. This is a wealthy suburb; no homeless, no litter, beautiful flower shops. Obviously, my middle-class beliefs / values / predilections are working well here.
The foyer of my hotel, the Praktika Vinoteca on Balmes St:
I am in love; in love with Barcelona. If I had come to Barcelona in 1975 instead of Mexico (and if Barcelona was like now – which it wasn’t) I would never have returned to live in Australia.
Slept like the dead and only this morning got around to changing the clocks; now only 10 hours behind eastern Australians.