Our Second Trip to Barcelona

During our years in Europe, we were lucky to have many wonderful travel adventures.  Living in Prague gave us the huge advantage that going in any direction for just a few hours brought us to the most fascinating destinations.  Four hours south, and we were in Austria.  Four hours northwest, we were in Germany.  Four hours northeast, we were in Poland.  Four hours east...well, you get the idea.

In order to take advantage of this prime central European location, we tried to take as many trips in Europe as we could.  Sometimes we drove and found the way in our purple car, and sometimes we took public transportation of some form.  Once we had the boys, we almost always mapped out our plans  and made lodging arrangements ahead of time.  (Except for that one trip when we were headed to Denmark, but that's another story.) 

When we decided to take our second trip to Barcelona for a family vacation, we flew.  Jericho was just a little guy (three months), and this was in fact his first plane trip.  We made arrangements to stay outside of the city in a suburb called Castelldefells.  As you can see from the map below, it's just a little ways from the city, on the airport side.  Through the daughter of a coworker of my father, we actually knew of a Baptist seminary that had some dorm-like rooms that we could stay in.  It was a great and inexpensive lodging arrangement, and with a nice rail system going into the city, we decided to split our time between hanging out at the beach and seeing the big city.

With all our plans made, we packed up the diaper and several other bags with all the things (and more) that one might need to travel with an infant, and off we flew to Spain.  We arrived fairly early in the afternoon, and after collecting our stroller and numerous suitcases, we went off to find a taxi to take us to our lodging.

The only problem was that at that very Go-Off-to-Find-a-Taxi moment, Jason realized that he had left the paper with address of our lodging back on the computer desk in Prague. 

So.  There we were in the Barcelona, Spain.  We had people at the seminary expecting us to arrive that day.  We had no cell phones or phone numbers of the place where these people were.  And we had no idea where we were supposed to go except for the name of the city.

"Oh, no problem," Jason said.  "We'll figure it out." 

So, we piled into the taxi with Mr. Spanish-Only Speaking Taxi Driver (it was Spain, after all), and told him to go to Castelldefells.   He zipped down the highway, and as soon as we were in the general vicinity, Jason starting questioning him, hoping that perhaps Mr. Spanish-Only Speaking Taxi Driver knew of this Baptist Seminary.  "Seminario de Bapstisto," Jason tried.  "Baptisto School-o?" 

*author's note: I'm very sure as I write this that Jason will refute this line of taxi-driver questioning with a comment to this post, so I'll tell you now that I am perhaps exaggerating a little.  But not about the "lost in Castelldefells" part.

Not surprisingly, none of those worked, and he looked at us just as puzzled as he had when we first started trying.  Finally, we just had him let us out on a road that seemed like it might have been named on the map that Jason examined before we left home.  Thus very vaguely oriented, we ventured off on our own. 

It is at this point in the story telling that I would very much like to have the picture that I was referring to a few days ago.  It is a picture from that very trip of me standing by the stroller.   Actually, 99% of our pictures from that trip are of one of us holding sleepy Jericho in front of some famous Barcelona landmark, since we couldn't seem to resist pulling him out of his stroller to do this.   Like this one:

Look - here's Jericho in front of the National Museum. Bless his heart.

However, this one missing picture showed me with the stroller, and I wanted to PhotoShop it with some pictures of several big suitcases to show what we did while we were (blindly) looking for our lodging.  Instead of one of us pushing the stroller and one of us carrying the suitcases, we instead loaded the suitcases on top of the metal frame of the stroller - with Jericho tucked in under the suitcases.  That way one of us could roll the bags and the baby while the other one attempted to find "El Baptisto Seminario".   Just think of it as as "Suitcase Shade" for the baby.

And find it we did.  I believe that we finally ran across a map of the town on display and from the map Jason recognized the name of the street from the address that was on the slip of paper on the computer desk back in Prague. 

Amazingly, we were not very far from it.  At the time of the Street Name Recognition, we were probably only two or three blocks away. 

So eventually, we did arrive at the seminary, perhaps even taking the suitcases off of the stroller before we arrived, so as to look like together, competent parent-travelers.  And we had a great week after that.  

We just had to work hard to get there first.

Bob  – (25 April 2010 at 18:23)  

Let's see if I got this straight. You stacked suitcases on top of my grandson? And wheeled him around who knows where? We need to talk.

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