Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The evening I landed in Barcelona.

Oh Barcelona. My 2nd trip to Europe and I landed in Barcelona on 4th September.  My connection with Barcelona started even before I had landed.  I had met this lovely and vibrant person Gemma in Ahmedabad who belongs to Barcelona and she had already told me that I'm going to love it.  Also during my layover in Istanbul I met these 2 ladies from Barcelona, Rachel and her friend who were returning after their travels in India.  I had some very interesting conversations with them at the airport waiting for my flight to Barcelona.  I reached Barcelona in the evening and as my CouchSurfing friend and host Silvia's instructions, I boarded the airport transfer bus to another terminal and from there reached the metro station.  It was the cheapest option.

Against my expectations, the weather was quiet hot and trust me on this coz I was literally sweating as if I was in Ahmedabad.  Next to me was this spanish guy who had arrived from Denmark.  He too was feeling the heat.  I asked him for some directions and came to know that we both were headed to Passage de Gracia station.  He even helped me to get the metro ticket.  Choosing the best ticket while traveling in European cities is always a tricky thing, since you don't know how many trips you shall be making by the public transport and also when you are on an extremely tight budget.  Also when your country's currency gets depreciated by almost 20% just when your traveling days are near. Damn, it's always frustrating.

So I got down at 'Passeig de Gràcia' and as explained by my friend started looking for the street that would lead me to Plaza Catalunya.  I was going round and round looking for directions, asking people and finally I got the directions.  But than another problem, which bus stop I should go? Silvia had told me to look for a building named Bankia.  I just couldn't find it.  I called Silvia and she told me the same, to find the building Bankia. So now I asked a woman at a street side stall, where to catch bus no.68? The lady didn't speak English and I didn't understand her Spanish. :p Ooops. But she asked me with finger signs and I confirmed. She gave me the directions in Spanish and showed me the directions using her hands which I think I understood some 60% ? Well I followed what I understood and voila I was at the bus stop where bus no.68 stopped.  I waited for few minutes and bus no.67 arrived.  In few minutes bus no.68 also arrived.  I greeted the bus driver and asked him I want to go to 'Santaló 11'.  Surprisingly the the drivers of both the bus started discussing and what I understood from their conversation was they were discussing in which bus this foreigner should be made to sit.  Interesting, and I got little bit anxious now.  Finally they put me in bus no.67, which made me nervous as I was not following Silvia's advice, but still I was like I'm sure I'll make it.

As the bus started in few min. I got a SMS from Silvia, 'Where are you? Did you board the bus coz bus no.68 just passed from Santalo? Finally I got that I won't be getting down close to where Silvia had told me. After almost 30 min. the bus driver signaled me from his rear view mirror to get down at the stop called Fransesc Marcia.  Now I was kind of completely lost.  So I called Silvia and told her my location and she immediately understood where I was.  In 10 min. she was there to receive me and wow it was great to meet her after almost 8 months when she first surfed my couch in Ahmedabad just after the Kite Flying festival.  

She was renting a big house in a nice quiet neighborhood.  After dinner, the evening was spend chit-chatting about how we both have been doing all these months and to my big surprise the book she had just completed, got an award even before it was published.  I felt like wooow.  This is what meeting new people gives you in life.  Big surprises and the opportunity to meet amazing people like Silvia.  While she was in Ahmedabad we had very little time to know about each other.  But now here I was having like almost 5 days to know more about this wonderful lady.

No comments:

Post a Comment