I woke up the morning of the 25th, finally feeling rested and clean and hoping that my family would be meeting me that day (they were supposed to be on a flight arriving in Barcelona at 11:30a). I knew that spending the morning in the room waiting would drive me nuts, especially after having spent the previous day waiting in the airport, so I decided to go out for a walk and explore the neighborhood.
I didn’t want to venture too far from the hotel, but it was a beautiful morning and I walked around for a few hours exploring the area and enjoying how cheap and beautiful the citrus fruits were.
About ten minutes after I returned to the hotel, I heard a knock on the door and my mom and Max were there! After reuniting, we went in search of tapas. After enjoying a leisurely lunch, we ventured over to one of Gaudi’s works, a church, La Sagrada Familia. We spent the rest of the afternoon and into early evening exploring the city, heading down Passeig de Gracia, an expensive and extensive shopping street in Barcelona, where I was re-exposed to the vast array of stores I had almost forgotten existed.
We continued down the street to the start of the old section of the town and almost to Las Ramblas, which is the large, tourist street. Walking the city at night was lovely – they light up not only all the street with beautiful Gaudi inspired light designs, but they also had lit up all the fountains and the city looked magnificent.
It was amazing seeing them again, getting to laugh with them over insignificant things and just generally enjoying being with my family – I have forgotten how comforting it was to be with family. It was also nice being in Spain, I had forgotten all the comforts – bakeries, restaurants (serving all varieties of cuisine), Starbucks, drinking tap water, flushing toilet paper, stores selling all kinds of clothing, people on the street speaking english, perfectly paved streets – it was a busy and tiring afternoon for all of us and by that night we were ready for early bedtime.
On the downside of the day, my mother and brother’s luggage still had not arrived (the airline had misplaced it). Max’s arrived late that night (after we’d gone to bed) and my mother’s arrived later the next day. Both their suitcases were packed with presents, clothes and goodies for me – meaning that on the way back to Moldova my suitcase was significantly overweight. I really enjoyed the gifts from my neighbors, Juanita, Beth and Lex and from my Dad, Louise and Juan. (Thanks guys – the stuff is awesome!)