Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Our first days in Spain

HOLA,Well folks it has been an vastly eventful few days. For those of you we haven’t been in touch with lately, we have moved to Spain (finally), X’s papers came through and the job still existed. We are in a small town north up the coast from Barcelona. We got onto the plane on the 6th, and the darling children did not sleep AT ALL for the entire flight, though that is not strictly true, I think D slept for about 20 min on the first flight. Milan airport was horrific, X flew through Frankfort, but the girls and I went through Milan, don’t ask why, it’s a bit complicated. In Milan, we had to go through security again, but several transatlantic flights had arrived at the same time, and they only had 4 security isles functioning, so we were all jammed into a long unairconditioned hallway, packed in, someone had barfed on the floor and it hadn’t been cleaned up and a large number of people were butting the que. Not my favorite thing to do with two children who haven’t slept and whose bodies think it is 2:30 am. We had two hours between flights and I seriously doubted we would make the next flight at all, but we did thankfully. Again the children did not sleep, and we arrived in Barcelona. We had to take a bus out to and back from every single flight which definately increased the hassle factor. There is nothing gracious about air travel anymore. Barcelona airport was easy to get through, conveniently located loos and fast to leave. Then we had to wait 4 hrs for X to arrive. The children fell asleep on me and slept and slept as my legs went numb and my butt didn’t. N at one point sat up and teetered on the edge of the bench with her eyes closed as I tried to get her to lie down again before she fell off on her head on the marble floor. She has no memory of this. The time for X’s arrival came and went with no sign of his flight making me a touch uneasy, but as I was trapped under sleeping children I could not check the board. Eventually I got them up, poor dazed things, and we staggered through the crowd to discover we were in the wrong terminal, oh joy. Off to find X, whose flight has now been on the ground for over 40 min. Got him and got all the bags in the cab and off we went to where X will be working, and then onto the local hotel. That was the 7th.
Up the next morning bright and early, now the 8th, and by the end of the day we had a brand new Spanish bank account, and we had signed a lease on an apartment, had the keys and we were moving the next day. Had dinner at the apartment on our brand new plates, with our brand new cutlery and we also had a new kitchen knife and two georgeos pots. The agent had taken us to buy the dishes and also drove X to Mataro, the nearest big town where he purchased inflatable car-camping beds. A double and two singles. To the hotel to crash, exhausted. C up early the next morning, now the 9th, everyone else are sleepy heads. So C did the first load of luggage. This town is nothing if not hilly, it was quite a haul up to the apartment. The place is right downtown, slightly behind the main church. We have a three bedroom second floor flat with balconies front and back and a large terrace. The rent is more than we had planned to spend, but it is nice. The kids each have their own room, and we have lots of room for guests (though no beds or sheets or in fact pillows). Everything is handy if you don’t mind a hill and it is lovely, we even have a view with the Med in the distance. No tables or chairs however, so in the spirit of innovation we have reverted to the 70’s and I am reclining on a mock bean-bag chair made of sleeping bags and sail bags. We spent the 9th cleaning everything in sight, the place had been empty for a while and was grubby. The landlord is planning to paint it for us around the end of the month, which is badly needed. We also went to the grocery store, X did two trips, to get the rudiments of food, and again crashed exhausted.
Today, the 11th? 10th? I am not sure anymore, Sunday anyway was much less pressed, I got up early and watched everyone head off for church and saw the sun coming up over the church and the mountains, which are both large, bells ringing this morning. Went around the corner and bought bread baked a couple of hours ago, and came back, then we all went for a walk up into the hills. There is a big castle right behind us, almost invisible from the trees, which belongs to the local marquis, and we were up in the national park that is behind us withing 10 min, even with getting lost and walking at kid pace. Found a lovely shady spot with a georgeous view, very few people around, and the kids had a ball, we even found some pine nuts and smashed them open and ate them. Saw a cave like some odd old hermit might have lived in once. This is a pretty town, over 1000 yars old, and very active and lively. We seem so far to be doing fine. On the way back from the walk we saw a restaurant that offers cooking lessons two nights a week, I may go if it works out. Language lessons and cooking lessons all in one. I may go in with X though to book it. The catalan is tough to understand. X just came back from a run, he should get good legs here running up and down the mountain all the time. There are no level streets near by to speak of. He was a little destroyed, his legs are pretty tired I think. Tomorrow is a big Catalan holiday, everyone is getting their flags out so we’ll have to see what that is like, and then X starts work the next day, and the kids start home-school. We’ll let you know how it all goes.

No comments: