Barcelona: the first 24 hours

I’m back in lovely Barcelona, this time not for Mobile World Congress, but for Cisco Live, a trade show I haven’t done before. I usually joke before a show, “what could possibly go wrong?”, knowing from experience that everything can, in fact, go wrong.

This show is no exception. Turns out the boxes that my colleague and I carefully delivered to the UPS store in Palo Alto never made it here. I don’t know why…I have tracking numbers that are turning up a “status not available” error message, a 1-800 number that is apparently closed on Sundays, and of course, the UPS location where we shipped from doesn’t open for another few hours. It’s now Sunday night here, and our booth will open tomorrow with no brochures and no giveaways, unless I can pull off a minor miracle tomorrow morning. Wish me luck.

On a happier note, this city is always gorgeous. I’m actually surprised I even made it here, considering that I got a text from the airline on Thursday afternoon saying that my flight on Friday (yes, the very next day) had been cancelled. After an hour on hold with the airline “hotline,” they rebooked me through LAX, which lengthened the journey, but it was manageable. I was a bit skeptical about traveling on “Norwegian Air Shuttle,” but other than serving frisee and a strawberry for breakfast (oh, and cancelling my flight), they really didn’t do anything wrong.

Today I have already walked 6.5 miles, and I see another few in my future before I turn in for the night. I really wanted to do some shopping, but almost everything is closed here on Sundays. I did manage to buy a cute knock-off Burberry belt for $15 from a street vendor, and had some terrific tapas with one of my co-workers.

Baby eels on toast.
Baby eels look suspiciously like worms on toast.

The hotel, Catalonia Eixample 1864, is cute, although I’m pretty sure it wasn’t built in 1864. My room is on the top floor and has a sunny little patio. The view as of an hour ago, during sunset, looked like this:

A room with a view. The white van looks out of place, though…probably a crime in progress.

While walking around earlier, I stopped to enjoy the moment on a park bench at Plaça de Catalunya. Yes, the fountains were glittering and spectacular in the sunlight, and I kind of hate to admit that the reason I walked over there is because the desk clerk at my hotel had handed me a tourist brochure, the back page of which advertised the “biggest Sephora store in Europe” at Plaça de Catalunya. Alas, since all retail here is closed on Sunday, I had to settle for the fountains.

My Sephora substitute.

My goal is to chronicle my adventures this week, so check back here for an update, or subscribe to email updates if you’re really interested. What could possibly go wrong? 🙂

2 Replies to “Barcelona: the first 24 hours”

  1. Jealous of you , Lisa. Sitting here at the “northern estate”, expecting 5-10 inches of white stuff, strong winds, temps WAY below zero today through Friday! Will anxiously await the next installment!

  2. Wow, what a start to this adventure! Hope all your stuff arrives!! I’ll be waiting to hear. Good luck this week.

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