Barcelona: Flying sure has gotten

by francine Hardaway on September 24, 2006

Flying sure has gotten interesting. In the airport, I was one of the lucky ones who were searched. They opened my backpack and threw out two old Ultra lipsticks, worth about $4.00 and just as dangerous. They missed $200 worth of Obagi face creams I forgetfully threw in there, and a nail file (metal, pointed) that had been there from the summer when I used the backpack as a purse. And a jar of Burt�s Bees lemon cuticle cream, and…you get it –security is sporadic.

On the planes themselves, things have sure gotten lean and mean. I haven�t flown an American carrier on a long haul in years, and I don�t think I will do it again soon. UsAirways sold me food on the flight from Phoenix to Philadelphia and gave me the worst food I�ve ever had on a plane from Philly to Barcelona. For dinner, a combination of starches. For breakfast, a donut bar. And they charged me for wine, which has never happened on a transcontinental flight before. No little slippers, no eye masks, no nuthin. Not even music. I brought two iPODs with me and went through the batteries on both.

Barcelona rocks. We landed at 7 AM Sunday morning, and our room wasn�t ready, so we got on the Bus Turistic, a doubledecker that drives all through the city on two different routes. For 18 euros, you can ride all day, getting off and on as many times as you want.

The architecture is unbelievably diverse –everything from the surreal, Art Nouveau Gaudi buildings to public sculpture by Joan Miro, to one futuristic all glass office building that has several floors cantilevered out over nothing. And then there are the beautiful restorations of old Mediterranean-looking buildings, with lovely wrought iron balconies off every window and floor to ceiling shuttered windows.

Found the Starbucks. Lines at 9 AM Sunday morning just like everywhere else, except these are fancy Euro-looking fashionistas with cropped pants and high heels and bizarre-shaped sweaters.

Tomorrow, the cruise.

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